Roma boss Jose Mourinho said Sevilla’s six previous Europa League trophy wins will count for little against his side in Wednesday’s final in Budapest.

Sevilla are bidding for a record-extending seventh triumph at the Puskas Arena, in a match the Hungarian media have dubbed ‘The Specialists against The Special One’.

Mourinho has yet to lose in five major European finals as a manager, while Sevilla have won all six of their Europa League finals.

The Portuguese told a press conference: “History does not play. My colleague (Sevilla head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar) thinks otherwise, I have respect for him.

“He believes that history makes Sevilla favourites, I respect that. We are in the final because we deserve to be.

“They have a history that we do not have. For them to play the final is a normal thing, for us it is an extraordinary event.”

Mourinho is aiming to become the first manager to win the Europa League with three different clubs after previous successes with Porto (2003) and Manchester United (2017).

The 60-year-old former Chelsea boss added: “We are two great teams, with high-level players.

“It’s curious because we talk about coaching experience, but we face a Sevilla side that has very accustomed players.

“They are a bit more experienced in finals, but my team comes here ready. We have played a lot of European games in the last two seasons.”

Mourinho’s latest European trophy triumph came last season when he led Roma to victory over Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final.

Roma finished second in this season’s Europa League qualifying group behind Real Betis and overcame RB Salzburg, Real Sociedad and Feyenoord in the knockout rounds before edging past Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 on aggregate in their semi-final.

The Italian side, currently sixth in Serie A with one game remaining, could be boosted by the return of former United defender Chris Smalling (hip), while Argentina’s Paulo Dybala is hoping to play some part despite an ankle injury.

Sevilla head coach Mendilibar, 62, will become the oldest manager to win the Europa League if the Andalusians seal a record-extending seventh tournament win.

He said the side which makes the fewest errors on the night at the Puskas Arena will prevail.

The former Eibar and Alaves boss said: “Mistakes are what you pay for in games like this and it’s about making the fewest mistakes possible.

“We’ve eliminated big teams, but the most difficult one is ahead of us. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes will win.”

Mendilibar has transformed Sevilla since replacing Jorge Sampaoli at the end of March when they were two points above LaLiga’s relegation zone.

They have risen to 11th in the table, 10 points clear of the drop zone with one game left, and won their Europa League quarter-final and semi-final under Mendilibar against United and Juventus respectively.

Jose Mourinho ranks as the best manager Willian has worked with and the former Brazil attacker hopes more European honours will be heading the Roma coach's way.

Willian was part of Mourinho's Chelsea squad as the Blues secured a Premier League and EFL Cup double in 2015.

The Fulham winger and Italian coach have since gone their separate ways but Willian still holds Mourinho in the highest of regards, hoping his former boss can lift yet another trophy this season.

Mourinho has guided Roma to the Europa League final, in which they face Sevilla, and Willian made it clear where his allegiances lie for that showpiece on Wednesday.

"For me, Mourinho is the best manager I've had, I always say that," he told Stats Perform. "In the way he works every day, in the way he talks, in the way he motivates.

"He is a different manager and, for me, the best I've had. As he says: 'The special one'. 

"I hope that he wins this trophy because he is a manager that sometimes gives a lot of people the impression that he is arrogant or something like that.

"But on a daily basis, we see that he is a great manager. He jokes when he has to, and he hits hard when he has to.

"He's real. When you don't play well, he says it in front of you, but when you play, he says it too. He's a great manager, an amazing manager.

"He is a winning manager, and he has a chance to win another title in his career."

Victory over Sevilla would secure Mourinho's sixth European title of his managerial career, having lifted various UEFA trophies with Porto (two), Roma, Inter and Manchester United.

The most recent of those successes came last season as Roma triumphed in the inaugural Europa Conference League with a final victory over Feyenoord.

What the papers say

Leicester have reportedly been approached over a potential transfer for Youri Tielemans. According to the Leicester Mercury, citing a report from La Gazetta dello Sport, Roma have made enquiries about the 26-year-old midfielder’s potential availability come the end of the season. Several other clubs, including Paris St Germain and Arsenal, have also shown interest in the out-of-contract Belgian.

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is off to the Camp Nou, according to The Sun. Via Spanish outlet Sport, the paper says the 26-year-old has agreed to a four-year deal with Barcelona, with Wolves’ sign off on the deal contingent on getting forward Ansu Fati in return. The 20-year-old is reportedly yet to agree to the move.

The Telegraph reports Nottingham Forest are set to pursue a permanent deal for on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The 26-year-old is believed to be keen on the idea, but the situation will ultimately be determined by David de Gea‘s future at Old Trafford.

And The Sun says Crystal Palace are keen on making a move for Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Dusan Vlahovic: Chelsea have made a £70m offer for the Juventus striker, according to ESPN.

Habib Diarra: The Sun reports Wolves and Aston Villa are both in the running to sign the Strasbourg midfielder.

Inter kept themselves on course for a top-four finish in Serie A after they defeated Roma 2-0 in an ill-tempered clash on Saturday.

The Nerazzurri seized a first-half lead through Federico Dimarco's close-range finish before Romelu Lukaku's breakaway strike 16 minutes from time sealed the three points at Stadio Olimpico.

Ahead of a Champions League semi-final with arch-rivals Milan on Wednesday, Simone Inzaghi's team returned to the top four and boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season's competition.

For Jose Mourinho's Giallorossi however, defeat leaves them five points off the top four with just four games left to play, leaving them with an uphill battle in hand.

Several stoppages due to injuries meant chances were at a relative premium during a closely fought opening quarter.

Lukaku required treatment in the six-yard area shortly after Lorenzo Pellegrini went close, while Nicola Zalewski came off worse after taking a fast ball to the face.

But Inter took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Dimarco flicked a Denzel Dumfries ball into the net, via a handy deflection off Bryan Cristante.

Roma fought back and were incensed when Matteo Darmian escaped punishment for a handball in the box shortly before the hour mark, with tempers continuing to boil over.

Even so, the hosts still looked in the game, until a defensive misread from Roger Ibanez allowed their opponents to make the most of a long ball downfield.

Lautaro Martinez pounced on the loose ball, and played in Lukaku for a composed finish, ultimately sealing victory for Inter with just over a quarter of an hour to go.

Stefano Pioli feels Milan dropped two points against Roma despite Alexis Saelemaekers snatching a draw with a 97th-minute equaliser at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The Rossoneri headed into the match in the Champions League places but above fifth-placed Roma on just goal difference, and it appeared the Giallorossi would leapfrog Pioli's men as Tammy Abraham scored in the 94th minute with the match's first shot on target.

But with Roma seconds away from a huge win, Saelemaekers turned home from Rafael Leao's deep cross to break the hosts' hearts and keep Milan in the top four.

Despite his team snatching a draw at the death, Pioli still felt Milan dropped two points, with city rivals Inter just three points behind and with a game in hand.

When asked if Roma had dropped points, Pioli replied: "For us too, it means that tonight we all go home unhappy. It's not the result we wanted.

"We didn't play badly, we lacked the right decisions in the last 30 metres. It's a shame we didn't exploit situations. We knew that the difficulty was to unlock the match, we didn't succeed."

Roma may have seen a crucial three points slip through their fingers with seconds to play, but head coach Jose Mourinho remained appreciative of his players' efforts, telling reporters: "I'm sad, but I'm more proud than sad. 

"Only we can do what we've done, only us with all our limitations, only us with all the players we've lost, could play this match against Milan. Milan have two teams, one on the pitch and one on the bench. I'm not envious of Pioli; he is always fair and nice to me.

"I'm super proud and I'm sure Roma fans go home like I do, sad but proud."

A 97th-minute Alexis Saelamaekers equaliser stunned Roma and earned Milan a point at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday to maintain their place in the Serie A Champions League places.

Milan headed into the game above the Giallorossi on just goal difference, and it appeared it would remain that way as a quiet affair was moments away from finishing goalless.

But in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Abraham fired into the bottom corner to send the home fans into raptures and seemingly lift Jose Mourinho's men above the visitors.

However, Saelemaekers stuck in the dying seconds to nick a draw for Milan and extend their unbeaten Serie A streak against Roma to seven matches.

Milan's game against Roma on Saturday is "worth double" as both teams vie for Champions League qualification, says Rossoneri head coach Stefano Pioli.

Milan occupy the all-important fourth place in Serie A, but only by virtue of their superior goal difference, with Roma also on 56 points ahead of Saturday's vital clash.

Pioli's men head to Stadio Olimpico where the Giallorossi have kept seven clean sheets in their last eight home league matches, with no other team in the top five European leagues keeping more since the turn of the year.

Pioli acknowledged the importance of the fixture in his pre-match press conference, telling reporters: "We need to give continuity to our performances, making sure that the next match is the most important one.

"Tomorrow's match is worth double and we need to face it with the right spirit and convictions.

"It's worth a lot. After tomorrow there will be six games left. The more points we get, the more chance we have of getting into the top-four places, which is our great goal."

Pioli was asked about his close relationship with winger Rafael Leao, who recently said his head coach was like his "father" having accumulated 22 goal involvements in 41 appearances for Milan this season in all competitions.

"My players are all my children, from morning to night," Pioli said. "Even when I'm at home I think of them.

"I talk to them every day, both about football and about other situations: they are lucky, but they have the problems of 20-year-olds.

"Rafa is the player who has been in my office the most in recent years, so there is the strongest bond."

Jose Mourinho saluted Paulo Dybala after his late equaliser paved the way for Roma's dramatic extra-time victory over Feyenoord in the Europa League quarter-finals.

The Giallorossi set up a semi-final showdown with Bayer Leverkusen after coming from behind to defeat Feyenoord 4-2 on aggregate at Stadio Olimpico.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Roma were on the brink of elimination after Igor Paixao's header cancelled out Leonardo Spinazzola's earlier strike.

But Dybala, who was introduced as a substitute after missing Sunday's victory over Udinese through injury, levelled the tie with a sharp turn and finish forcing extra time, in which further strikes from Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini sealed the deal.

It was the former Juventus forward's 16th goal of the season and fourth in the Europa League – a tally only bettered by Marcus Rashford, Victor Boniface (both six) and Santiago Gimenez (five) – and his exploits drew praise from his head coach.

"My feeling is that he was seeking the joy, he had lost more than confidence," Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia. 

"He found it here. He has found a coach who understands him, a crowd that loves him and a space on the field in which to be a leader with his quality and personality.

"Dybala is a nice boy. He has the quality to play for the biggest clubs in the world, but he has found joy here.

"I gave him absolute freedom to come on tonight, and he could come off even two minutes later if he didn't feel up to it. But he played 30 minutes of extra time and 25 minutes regular, and he finished on a high."

Meanwhile, Dybala also paid tribute to Mourinho who, having guided Roma to the Europa Conference League title last season, is closing in on a sixth triumph in European competition. 

"I think everyone knows Mourinho, his history, what he's done in Europe and at every club he worked at, I think he won something," the forward added.

"His mentality fuels you. He knew the game could end up like this and pushed us to give something more. He changed the tactical system, we started playing better and dominated extra time for a deserved victory.

"I think we all want to win, which is the most important thing. We have a coach with an incredible mentality. He told us the game would be like that, and he was absolutely right.

"This squad won the Europa Conference League last season, so they know what it takes to win. Now, we hope to go all the way in the Europa League too."

Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini scored in extra time as Roma battled into the Europa League last four after a 4-1 win over Feyenoord secured a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Leonardo Spinazzola's second-half goal on Thursday cancelled out Mats Wieffer's first-leg winner, only for Igor Paixao's header to put Feyenoord on the brink of the semi-finals with 10 minutes remaining.

Yet Paulo Dybala levelled the tie in the 89th minute with a sharp turn and finish to set the stage for an extra-time period Roma dominated to set up a two-legged meeting with Bayer Leverkusen in the semis.

El Shaarawy prodded Tammy Abraham's low cross past Justin Bijlow to edge the Giallorossi ahead, before Pellegrini – who hit the post when the game was still goalless – lashed home a clinching goal awarded after a VAR review overturned an original offside decision.

That was the end of the scoring, but the VAR was involved again before the final whistle.

Anthony Taylor was sent to the touchline monitor and subsequently dismissed Santiago Gimenez for a rash lunge on Gianluca Mancini, with Feyenoord exiting the competition in frustrating fashion.

Chelsea and Bayern Munich are reportedly both in contact with Spanish midfielder Gavi amid concerns that Barcelona's financial position will mean they are unable to retain him.

Gavi, 18, is one of the top central midfield prospects in the world, having already racked up 87 senior appearances for Barcelona since debuting in the 2021-22 season.

According to AS, the contract extension Gavi signed this season to tie him to Barcelona until 2026 was rejected by LaLiga because of the club's finances and, if they fail to clear enough salary room by June 30, Gavi will be allowed to leave on a free transfer.

 

TOP STORY – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SHARKS CIRCLING VULNERABLE BARCELONA

AS reports Chelsea have already met with Gavi's agent in an attempt to convince him of a Premier League move, and a second meeting is expected with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly and Gavi's parents in attendance.

The report states Chelsea are prepared to make the teen with 19 senior caps for Spain one of the Premier League's highest-paid players – significantly more than the contract he signed with Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Sport adds Bayern have also alerted Gavi's agent that they are prepared to submit a significant offer if he ends up being allowed to leave on a free.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are confident they will be able to convince 24-year-old Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to join, despite not being able to offer Champions League football, as Osimhen's childhood hero was Didier Drogba.

– According to Football Insider, Liverpool have made 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister their top midfield target in the off-season.

Leeds United have strong interest in Barcelona loanee Ez Abde, with the 21-year-old winger shining during his stint at Osasuna, per Sport.

– Journalist Nicolo Schira is reporting that Roma are considering a contract offer for 31-year-old Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino when he becomes a free agent after the season.

– According to Sport1's Patrick Berger, Bayer Leverkusen right-back Jeremie Frimpong is keen on a move to Manchester United, although his club is holding out for a €50million (£45m) fee.

Heavyweight clubs including Manchester City, Liverpool, Napoli and Milan are reportedly closely monitoring the exciting Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga due to his affordable release clause.

Veiga, 20, is enjoying the best season of his young career, with the skilful central midfielder forcing his way into manager Carlos Carvahal's best XI.

Playing mostly as an attacking midfielder, Veiga has racked up nine goals in 26 LaLiga appearances, earning his first call-up to the Spain Under-21 team along the way.

His play in one of the top leagues in the world has caught the eye of midfielder-hungry Champions League sides, with his release clause providing a more affordable alternative to some of the other top central midfielders on the market in the upcoming transfer window.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE AND SERIE A GIANTS CLAMOUR FOR VEIGA

Veiga is said to have a €40million (£35m) release clause, which Galician newspaper Atlantico says has caught the attention of Manchester United, City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle United, Napoli and Milan.

The report states Celta Vigo are prepared for a big club to come and activate that clause in the off-season, and they will not budge or negotiate a lower figure.

The emergence of Veiga provides another option for clubs who have been closely following Brighton and Hove Albion 21-year-old Moises Caicedo, who is believed to be valued around £80m, or £100m-plus teenager Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Guardian is reporting Liverpool, Chelsea and United are the leading candidates in the chase for 24-year-old Brighton and Argentina standout Alexis Mac Allister, with Puroboca.com quoting the player's father, Carlos, as saying: "It is most likely that Alexis will already be playing in another team next July."

– According to Foot Mercato, Nice are hoping to receive a €60m (£53m) fee in return for 22-year-old midfielder Khephren Thuram, with Paris Saint-Germain, Dortmund, Liverpool and City all said to be circling the France international.

Roma are reportedly in advanced talks with 24-year-old Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar ahead of his contract expiring in a few months, although they will face competition from Real Betis and Eintracht Frankfurt, per Fabrizio Romano.

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are confident they will be able to sign 24-year-old Mason Mount to a new long-term contract.

– According to CBS Sports, Al Nassr are targeting either Zinedine Zidane or Jose Mourinho as their future manager after the club where Cristiano Ronaldo plays fired Rudi Garcia.

Feyenoord gained some semblance of revenge against Roma for last season's Europa Conference League final as they beat the Serie A side 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

An insipid performance from Jose Mourinho's side saw them miss a first-half penalty, before Mats Wieffer struck the only goal of the game just after half-time.

Paulo Dybala was forced off after 25 minutes through what appeared to be a groin injury as Roma struggled to get anything going, while Feyenoord only threatened with half chances.

Roma were awarded a penalty just before half-time after an outswinging corner struck Mats Wieffer on the hand, but Giallorissi captain Lorenzo Pellegrini hit the left-hand post with his spot-kick.

The hosts were ahead just eight minutes into the second half after neat work from Oussama Idrissi on the left allowed him to find Wieffer on the edge of the box, and his volley into the turf bounced past Rui Patricio and into the far corner of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Mourinho as he also lost Tammy Abraham to a shoulder injury, while Roger Ibanez was denied an equaliser by a goal-line clearance from Idrissi as Arne Slot's men clung on to take an advantage to the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Joao Cancelo has spent the second half of this season on loan at Bayern Munich, having fallen out of starting XI favour at Manchester City.

The Portugal full-back had penned a contract extension with City in January last year, tying him down to 2027.

But Cancelo's time at Bayern has reportedly not convinced the Germans to pursue a permanent deal, creating uncertainty about his future.


TOP STORY – MADRID TO MAKE CANCELO BID

Real Madrid are interested in a move for Joao Cancelo and will submit a bid of around €60million (£52.8m) to Manchester City for his services, claims Fichajes.

The report claims Madrid are eager to improve their current first-choice full-backs Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal, hence the interest in the Portuguese.

Los Blancos like the versatility of Cancelo, who has made 13 appearances with only eight starts since joining Bayern in January.


ROUND-UP

– Florian Plettenberg claims Liverpool's shortlist for midfielders includes West Ham United's Declan Rice, Wolves' Matheus Nunes, Inter's Nicolo Barella and Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo having dropped out of the race for Jude Bellingham.

Barcelona are ready to ramp up their advances to sign Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan after being impressed by his midweek Champion League display against Bayern Munich, reports Sport.

– Bayern midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has interest from Premier League trio Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, reports Footmercato.

Chris Smalling is set to pen a new two-year deal with Roma according to iSport, amid interest from Inter, Juventus and some Premier League clubs.

– Bild claims RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer will join Bayern on a four-year deal in the off-season. Laimer's Leipzig deal ends at the end of this season.

Jose Mourinho could not resist a dig at Serie A rivals Juventus after seeing his Roma side secure a crucial 1-0 win at Torino on Saturday.

Paulo Dybala's eighth-minute penalty was enough for the Giallorossi, sending them into third place after Milan and Inter both drew on Friday.

Juve lost 2-1 at Lazio to leave the Bianconeri on 44 points, nine adrift of Mourinho's side, though the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is not convinced that will remain the case.

The appeal Juve lodged against their 15-point penalty for transfer fee irregularities will be heard on April 19, meaning the top-four picture could eventually look very different.

Speaking after the win in Turin, Mourinho did not care about the quality of the performance, just the three points, before referencing Juve's situation.

"Matches are won when you score one more goal than your opponent," he told DAZN. "This is the goal not only in football but in sport: you have to win by trying to exploit your qualities and try to hide the problems.

"We are third in the standings? Are we sure that Juve don't have 59 points? We are in Italy."

Since 2004-05, Dybala (11 goals, six assists) is only the second player to score more than 10 goals and record more than five assists in a debut season for Roma in Serie A, after Mohamed Salah in 2015-16.

Roma have nine league games remaining as well as their upcoming Europa League quarter-final against Feyenoord, and Mourinho is hopeful of success on both fronts despite what he sees as squad limitations.

"The opponent that worries me the most in the Champions League fight? Ourselves, the fact that we want to think like a great team but we have a squad with limits," he said. 

"We have three games a week and it's hard for us, but I'm not capable of thinking small. We go ahead from game to game.

"I'm not able to say that Udinese is less important than Feyenoord – let's think game by game. Today we didn't score a second goal, otherwise the game would have been completely different."

Francesco Totti has lauded Napoli and "great coach" Luciano Spalletti but suggests the runaway Serie A leaders have been "also lucky" this season.

Napoli are on course for their first Scudetto since 1990, when Diego Maradona was still at the club.

The Partenopei are a mammoth 19 points clear with only 11 games remaining, making a title triumph almost an inevitability.

Yet Roma great Totti, while praising their work under ex-Giallorossi boss Spalletti, believes they have benefited from the absence of a genuine competitor.

Legend Totti won only one title with Roma, although they finished as runners-up on a further nine occasions across his remarkable career, missing out to Juventus, Milan and Inter.

"I honestly didn't expect it like this," Totti told Sky Sport of Napoli. "I knew it was a good team with a great coach – it was a well-made combination.

"They expressed themselves to the fullest in everything and were also lucky because they didn't have an opponent behind them who can keep up with their pace.

"When we were there, there was always Juve, Inter, Milan who always clung there.

"If you won 20 games, they won 19. Napoli doesn't have a second team like that."

Lazio are Napoli's nearest rivals, but Juve would be second if not for a 15-point deduction. Even then, the Bianconeri would be 15 points off the pace.

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