Roma won their first major European title in more than 60 years as Nicolo Zaniolo’s first-half goal earned the Italians a 1-0 victory over Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League final in Albania on Wednesday (May 25).
The 22-year-old Zaniolo steered the ball home in the 32nd minute with a left-footed touch, after first taking it down off his chest, to make Roma inaugural winners of European football’s new third club competition which was introduced this season.
“With the greatest of respect to Eintracht Frankfurt and the other teams that were involved in the Europa League quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, I think that the semis and the final of the Conference League was unrivalled, and we’ve made history today." ROMA COACH, JOSE MOURINHO, SAYING:
"I said to the players after the Torino match, I said the work of an entire season has been done. This team had not been built to qualify for the Champions League. We did not have a strong enough, experienced enough squad with enough depth to be able to compete for the top four."
"We did our job, which was qualifying for the Europa League, and improving our league position from last season, and this competition was our opportunity to make history. History is not being involved in a final, that’s not a nice story at all, and I even went over the finals I’ve lost with the lads, and every time I lost a final, I always felt like ‘what am I doing here? Why wasn’t I knocked out in the semi-finals?’ I’ve always had that horrible feeling about losing finals, but we won. The guys gave everything, and it’s a shame they all now go on international duty, because if they have the same energy as I have, they should have gone straight to the beach, and unfortunately for them, they have to now play for their countries, and we’ll see each other for the next season. They are fantastic guys.”
"As you know, I have won European competitions with four different clubs. Winning with Manchester United, even though it was a Manchester United side that lacked the quality of proper United sides, but winning with United is almost natural. Winning the Champions League with Porto is not normal, and bringing joy to people, winning the Champions League with Inter, obviously, a huge club, but I think it was 50 years since they’d won the Champions League and brining joy to the fans, and today winning this competition with Roma brings joy to the people as well. It has a special flavour to it.”
Roma, whose only previous continental title was the old Fairs Cup in 1961, held off a spirited comeback from their Dutch opponents, who were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half, and ensured that Jose Mourinho became the first manager to win a European trophy with four different clubs.
Published : May 26, 2022
By : Reuters