The Europa Conference League has been the source of much derision from football fans all season. Despite having a tricky inception when it came to winning the fans over, it's clear that it's won over plenty in the game - with Jose Mourinho reduced to tears after leading Roma to the final on Thursday night.
Roma progressed to the final after beating Leicester City 1-0 on the night thanks to a goal from Englishman Tammy Abraham.
Mourinho, who took over in charge of La Giallorossi after an unsuccessful period in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, was in tears as the final whistle blew on Thursday night. Speaking after the game, he revealed his emotion came from his pride in delivering a final for the people of Rome.
Jose Mourinho emotional after reaching Europa Conference League final
Jose Mourinho has experienced a rough ride since his time at Manchester United. His period in charge at Old Trafford came to an acrimonious end and, after a rocky time with Spurs, questions were asked of the Portuguese manager's ability to coach in the modern game.
It's been an up-and-down season with Roma, but Mourinho surely won over any doubters in the Italian capital on Thursday night with the Europa Conference League semi-final win. It brings only the second ever major European final for the club, and their first since the 1991 UEFA Cup final.
After a tough few years, Mourinho was visibly emotional on the sideline as the game came to a close on Thursday night.
José Mourinho in tears after reaching the Conference final. Might not be the biggest final in his career, but man does this show how much he loves the game. Imagine not loving this man. pic.twitter.com/ZNXoAGqzOq
— Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) May 5, 2022
On the surface of it, a manager who has won two Champions League titles, as well as eight league titles in four different countries, such emotion for reaching a Conference League final may seem strange.
But Roma have never been European heavyweights. Despite the size of their fanbase, they have comparatively few trophies to show for their exploits. They have only won three Italian league titles, and their last came 21 years ago.
As Mourinho explained after the game, this result is huge in the club's history:
I shed a tear because my emotion was for everyone that loves this club. This is a giant club, without the trophy room in relation to the social dimension of the club. This is not a trophy, it is only a final, but it means a lot for them.
I live in this city, I work in this city for about 11 months - I know what it means for them, and my emotion was for them.
I am very emotional, this for us is our Champions League.
Thursday night's win was particularly special for Roma fans, given they lost at the semi-final stage of the Champions League in 2017-18 and the Europa League last season.
They will face Dutch side Feyenoord in the final in Tirana on May 25th.
In classic Mourinho fashion, he couldn't help but point out that how this win added to his own personal history of success.
Let's see if we can win in the final, it would be good.
I think I can also say that every club that I coached, I reached a final. I cannot say that I played a final with all of them, but I reached a final with all of them, that's good.
Never change, Jose. Never change.