In a fiery press conference ahead of the Rome derby, AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho fired back at Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri, comparing his own title-winning credentials to a manager who “has barely won anything.” The tension between the two managers has been building up, with Sarri describing Roma’s Europa League game against Slavia Prague as a “friendly.”
Mourinho had previously suggested that Lazio had an advantage over Roma as their Champions League clash with Feyenoord fell two days before Roma’s European game. The Portuguese manager claimed that his team had to go to “war” with Feyenoord, while Roma had the luxury of resting players for their game on Thursday.
In response, Mourinho criticized Sarri for insulting Slavia Prague and questioned the 64-year-old’s mentality. He stated that if anyone should feel offended by Sarri’s comments, it should be Slavia Prague, as it was as if Sarri had said they had no quality. Mourinho emphasized that he always respects his opponents and highlighted the difference in mentality between a coach with 26 titles and one with few accomplishments.
Moving on to Roma’s recent performance, Mourinho praised his team’s electric start in their 2-0 win over Slavia Prague two weeks ago. Edoardo Bove scored in the first minute, followed by a goal from Romelu Lukaku 16 minutes later, giving Roma a comfortable lead. The Italians controlled the game from then on, with no response from Slavia Prague.
Looking ahead to the upcoming derby, Mourinho reiterated his belief that every game must be taken seriously and that there are no friendlies. He expressed his curiosity about the reaction of the Lega Serie A to Sarri’s comments, as he considered them to be an objective and direct criticism.
Roma currently sit at the top of their group in the Europa League, with nine points, making them all-but assured of a knockout place. Slavia Prague follows with six points, while Servette and Sheriff have one point each. Mourinho expects a good game against Slavia Prague and acknowledged their strength as a team with quality in both attack and defense.
As the tension between Mourinho and Sarri continues to escalate, all eyes will be on the Rome derby to see how the two managers’ teams perform on the pitch.