Roma hiring a manager like José Mourinho was always going to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Mourinho’s name and history of winning have done a spectacular job of attracting talent to the Giallorossi; it’s impossible to imagine Paulo Dybala moving from Turin to Rome without Mourinho at the helm. Similarly, every youth player who graduates to the senior team, from Cristian Volpato to Nicola Zalewski, fawns over Mourinho and seems doubly determined to impress one of the icons of the sport.
On the other hand, bringing in a manager like Mourinho means that both he and the club at large will be the target of even more rumors than usual. Is there an exciting young player plying his wares for a Serie C side? Well, Mourinho probably wants him. Is an aging Premier League star looking for a new opportunity to shine? Well, I heard José’s been in talks with him about joining Roma. Is there an opening on the Portuguese National Team’s bench? Well, who other than José could possibly be the answer for a post-Cristiano Ronaldo incarnation of Os Navegadores?
According to the rumor mill, that last hypothetical was inching closer to reality over the past few weeks, as Portugal crashed out of the World Cup in an ignominious fashion and Fernando Santos stepped down from his role as manager. Breathless rumors implied that Mourinho would be leaving Roma and taking over the Portuguese NT job... no, he’d be doing double duty, managing Roma and the Portuguese, like a high schooler trying to experience as much of Football Manager at once as humanly possible. All of those rumors, though? They’ve now been brushed aside by Sky Sports:
In essence, it sounds like Portugal wanted Mourinho to be their new manager, but Mourinho said no, he wants to win in Rome. Understandable on all sides, but with the end of the World Cup and new Serie A matches a ways away, both the Portuguese and the Italian media needed some new topic for their articles. As a result, we got this little tempest in a teapot.
Don’t worry, because as the Mourinho to Portugal news dies down, new rumors are already popping up suggesting that Brazil wants to bring in Mourinho. Rumors, rumors, rumors. All I can tell you is that I’m tired of bringing you all second-hand news.