The Jose Mourinho career renaissance continues. The Portuguese, who was written off by many after failed stints at Manchester United and AS Roma has come back fighting and how. AS Roma has qualified for the UEFA Europa League final after a trademark Mourinho performance against Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. With Jose Mourinho’s finals record in Europe, not many would doubt their winning credentials, even against serial UEL winners Sevilla.
So, what is Jose Mourinho’s finals record in Europe that is so widely lauded? Has Mourinho ever lost a final in Europe? Here’s a rundown of Jose Mourinho’s finals record.
Note: One-off UEFA Super Cup games are not included
Jose Mourinho finals record in Europe
Jose Mourinho has played five finals in European competitions. Remarkably, he has never lost a European final.
Mourinho won two European competitions with FC Porto, one each with Inter Milan and Manchester United, and one with AS Roma.
Here’s a rundown of these matches, and what makes Mourinho so good in these games-
2003 UEFA Cup/Europa League- FC Porto 3-2 Celtic
A baby-faced Jose Mourinho was just announcing himself to the wider footballing public. In his first big job after short but successful stints at Benfica and Uniao de Leiria.
Derlei scored in the 115th minute in extra-time as Mourinho’s Porto became the first Portuguese club to win the UEFA Cup in football history.
It was a game that saw momentum shift repeatedly. Derlei opened the scoring in the first-half added time before Celtic legend Henrik Larsson answered with an equaliser. Dmitri Alenichev put Porto ahead again but this lead was again shortlived as Larsson answered fired back.
Finally, Derlei’s 2nd, and Porto’s 3rd goal ended up being the winner. Jose Mourinho had arrived, but this was only just the beginning.
2004 UEFA Champions League- FC Porto 3-0 AS Monaco
If the 2003 UEFA Cup triumph put Jose Mourinho on the map, the 2004 Champions League win shot him to the moon in terms of reputation.
FC Porto were riding high on the Mourinho wave, eliminating the favourites, Manchester United in the first knockout round en route to this final.
AS Monaco had also overachieved, playing their first European final since 1992. However, Mourinho marked his big game credentials once again as Porto blew away Monaco with a supremely professional performance.
AS Monaco enjoyed the majority of possession, a hallmark of the Mourinho template in finals. Still, they didn’t even have a shot on target, another staple of a “Mourinho masterclass”. Porto put them away comfortably with three unanswered goals from Carlos Alberto, Deco, and Alenichev. Two finals played, and two finals won. Jose Mourinho was an FC Porto legend.
2010 UEFA Champions League- Inter Milan 2-0 Bayern Munich
By Jose Mourinho’s extremely high standards, a six-year absence from European finals was a drought. He couldn’t get Chelsea to one. However, when he did ultimately reach a final, it was a momentous occasion. Jose Mourinho’s finals record was about to have its most prestigious entry.
Inter Milan created history, joining the illustrated list of teams that have won the treble. It was another Mourinho masterclass as Louis Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich enjoyed most of the possession and none of the goals. Inter rode high on striker Diego Milito’s brace as they became the first Italian team to win a continental treble. This feat hasn’t been matched since by any Italian team.
This was arguably “Peak Mourinho”.
2017 UEFA Europa League Final- Manchester United 2-0 Ajax
One need only look at Erik ten Hag and the clamour for a top-four place to understand how important Champions League qualification is for Manchester United.
In the 2016/17 season, Jose Mourinho took the big risk of putting all his eggs in the Europa League basket to qualify for the Champions League.
Red Devils performed inconsistently throughout their run, almost getting eliminated by underdogs like Anderlecht and Celta Vigo en route to the final.
However, the final once again saw the best of Jose Mourinho come to the fore. A youthful and exciting Ajax side was completely blunted in attack. United scored two goals from four shots on target while Ajax had 67% possession with 17 shots, only three being on target.
Defensive solidity is the key to winning any final and Mourinho showed he was still the master of it.
2022 UEFA Europa Conference League- AS Roma 1-0 Feyenoord
AS Roma created history by winning the inaugural edition of this tournament in 2022. Jose Mourinho became a god in Rome’s streets with this triumph, AS Roma’s first trophy since the 2007/08 Coppa Italia triumph. Not only that, but it was also any Italian team’s first European triumph since Mourinho himself won the Champions League with Inter in 2010.
Facing off against emerging Arne Slot tactics and his exciting Feyenoord team, Jose Mourinho went back to basics. Defend in numbers, counter-attack efficiently, and let the opposition have pointless possession.
Feyenoord had 64% possession but failed to score a goal. AS Roma took the lead in the 32nd minute via Nicolo Zaniolo’s effort and proceeded to take the sting out of the game in typical Mourinho style.
Now he can make history with AS Roma by winning back-to-back European competitions. With Jose Mourinho’s finals record in Europe reading five games, five wins, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against the pragmatic Portuguese to pull another masterclass out of his pocket.