Jose Mourinho has admitted that he experienced a first at Tottenham Hotspur which he never thought would happen in his managerial career.
At the time of his dismissal, they were seventh in the Premier League table at the time, having picked up two points from their past three league games, and were knocked out of the Europa League in March in a surprising defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb.
Daniel Levy’s decision to part company with the Portuguese came just five days before he was due to lead Spurs out at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
After not being given the opportunity to go head-to-head against Pep Guardiola, it resulted in the first time in his managerial career that he has left a club empty-handed, having failed to win a trophy in his 17-month spell in North London.
Speaking to the official Roma website after officially taking charge at the Serie A side, the 58-year-old was asked how he has changed as a coach since his last spell in Italy at Inter Milan a decade ago.
He said: “I am much better now. I am serious. I am much better now, because I think this is a job where experience means a lot.
“Experience – it looks like everything becomes déjà vu because you go through so many experiences. Since I left Italy I went to Real Madrid, which was an incredible experience, and I reached my dream of winning in Italy, England and Spain. Then back to England, which is my family base, and where I wanted to return.
“You know, I have even the extreme experience of taking a team to a final and not playing the final – which is something that I thought would never happen in my career. And it happened.
“So, with so many experiences, and learning in the good moments and the bad moments, I am much more prepared now than I was. It is the kind of job where you can only get better until the day where you lose your motivation. Because I think that is the only thing that can make a football coach decide to stop, or to stop learning. That is not my case – very far from it, I am still learning every day – so I think I am much better.
“And, of course, it is one thing to come to a country for the first time and you arrive at level zero and you have everything to learn about it. In my case, that’s not the case. I know Italy as a country, I know Italy as a football culture, I know something about Roma because in my time in Italy Roma was the real rival. It was the team close to us fighting for the titles.
“So I think I am in a better position now than I was when I landed in Italy for the first time back in 2008.”
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