Portuguese football coach José Mourinho is enjoying European glory once again after leading Manchester United to its first Europa League title with a 2-0 win over Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden last night (May 24).
Apart from delivering some much-needed joy to Manchester after Monday’s horrific terror attack, Mourinho has become the first manager in history to win the Champions League and the Europa League/UEFA Cup more than once.
He is called the Special One for a reason – though the match won’t be remembered as one of the competition’s most exciting.
Man United displayed the kind of practical football for which Mourinho’s teams have become renowned, with Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the decisive goals despite the Red Devils enjoying only 31% of ball possession.
The team stood out mostly for its defensive prowess, hardly allowing Ajax any scoring opportunities especially in the first half.
As Mourinho said after the game: “Poets do not win titles.”
“If you are dominant in the air, you go long,” he said. “We knew where we were better than them and we exploited their weaknesses.”
“I am very happy in my most difficult season as a manager,” he added. “It is the end of a very difficult season. But a very, very good season.”
“We preferred to reach the Champions League this way than finish fourth, third or second. We got the objective, we are back in the Champions League by winning a title, an important title. The club now has every title in world football. We fought hard for this since the beginning.”
Mourinho was also happy to make Manchester proud after Monday’s horror but said it “takes happiness away from our achievement. If we could trade the people’s lives for this cup, we wouldn’t think twice”.