"You are going to have me, still, for many years," the Portuguese coach tells UEFA.com, refusing to rest on his laurels as he targets a sixth successive major UEFA final win.
Article top media content
On 21 May 2003, José Mourinho took another major step up in the coaching world as he led Porto to a 3-2 UEFA Cup final victory against Rangers in Seville. It was the first of five successive wins for the Portuguese coach in major UEFA club competition finals – the fifth coming with Roma in last season's Europa Conference League final – and he leads his side into this season's UEFA Europa League final against Sevilla hoping to make it six out of six.
Not that statistics are a major concern, as Mourinho was at pains to point out to UEFA.com ahead of the final. At 60, he was supremely unconcerned at the prospect of being the first coach to win this competition with three teams, a measure perhaps of a coach for whom the next big success is always the most important one.
On the 20th anniversary of his first European trophy with Porto
I don't think too much about what happened before. What happened, happened. History cannot be deleted. The difficult moments with [those] feelings, you also don't forget them, but you get used to living with them. And I always look forward. Maybe that's my secret or my philosophy, of being in football for so many years, so this final for me is a new final. I don't think of Porto [in] 2003, I don't think about Roma last season. I'm just thinking about this final. That's my way of being.
Is the fact that I am up against Sevilla when I won that first trophy in Seville significant? No, I don't think so. I've been in football for many years. Maybe people think I'm older than I am. Maybe they look at my white hair and think I'm really old, but not old [enough] to think about closing the circle. No, no, no. You are going to have me, still, for many years.
On his winning record in finals
History doesn't win matches at all. You look at Real Madrid's finals and you think Real Madrid wins every final. You look at Sevilla and you say Sevilla wins every final. But the reality is that history doesn't win matches. Superstition is something that I don't like, so I don't look at superstition even as a factor.
It's a new final. It's new history. They have experience of being there. We have experience because we were [in a European final] very recently, we were [there] last season. So no problems, I just want to play the game.
On Sevilla's José Luis Mendilibar, who has been in charge of just four European games
I'm very happy for him. I have known Mendilibar for many, many, many years. I went to Spain in 2010, we played in the same league. I know his work, I know his qualities, I know how good he is, I know how well-prepared he is and he's just never had the chance to go to a club fighting for these big prizes.
When he got the job at Sevilla, he did amazingly. He transformed the team totally; a team that was in trouble in the league, a team that was kicked out of the Champions League, and he built a team with his knowledge, with his experience. I'm more than happy to hug him before and after the final.
On his determination to celebrate another big success
Do I know that I could become the first coach to win this competition with three teams? I really don't care. We work for [the fans]. In this moment of my career, I think of the happiness that we can give to these people.
To be in this final is something that nobody would have expected at the beginning of the season when you see the incredible, incredible quality of the teams in the Europa League. Barcelona and Arsenal were in this competition and they were kicked out very, very early. For Roma to be in this final, it means a lot. So let's try to give [the fans] the ultimate happiness.