Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício on the UEFA Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord and working under José Mourinho – interview
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
"We have to fight for the club and for the fans," says Roma's Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patrício as his side chase glory in the UEFA Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord.
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Rui Patrício was José Mourinho's first major signing when he took over at Roma last summer, the 34-year-old repaying the coach's faith by anchoring his team on their voyage to the UEFA Europa Conference League final.
The former Sporting CP and Wolves No1 experienced victory at UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League with Portugal, but this is his first major international club final. As he tells UEFA.com, he would love to mark it by helping Roma to win their first UEFA competition trophy.
On final opponents Feyenoord
Feyenoord are a very well-organised team and they have very good players who can definitely make a difference. When we prepare the game, we are going to look at those players, all their strengths, their weaknesses too, and we will try to exploit them.
It will be a great final. We know we'll face a great team who also had a great campaign, so we'll do everything to win it. That's what we have to do and that's what we've been doing: we need to work hard as we do every day so that we can be at our best.
On working under José Mourinho at Roma
Do I still think José Mourinho is the best coach in the world? My opinion is stronger. It's been an amazing year of learning. It's been great to work with coach Mourinho, with no doubts that everything we do and everything we fight for is to win, which is why we managed to reach a European final. I'm in a European final for the first time at club level. I'm definitely very happy and I want to keep learning from him.
I was his first signing, but when I came here I knew what I was going to do and how I was going to do it, which is to give my all as I've always done at the clubs I've played for. I'll never change that and I'll continue to work as hard as I can and give my best for the team. And that's it; that's what I have to do. I'm a professional footballer so I always have to give my all.
On the excitement of playing in the final
It's the first European final I'll be playing at club level. It's definitely something to be proud of because it's always been one of my main objectives – to reach finals, especially European finals. Since the beginning of the season, we've always had the goal of reaching the final. When we're playing in a competition, whatever it is, we have to do everything we can to win it.
We've reached a European final. That's a very good thing and every player's dream, but next year we have to be fighting for new trophies. That's what drives us and that's what has to happen. We're in a top-level sport at a club which has all the right conditions to compete for titles, and that has to be our purpose every day. We have to always work at our best so we can make it happen.
On the prospect of Roma winning a first UEFA competition title
I think it gives us more motivation but also a greater responsibility because we're at a club where we need to win. We have to do our best, we have to fight for the club and for the fans, and that's what we need to keep in mind. Each player knows his responsibility; he knows what he has to do because we are professionals. We know it's very important for the fans and for the club, and we will do everything we can to win this trophy because they definitely deserve it.