Inter Milan fans still have a strong affection for Roma coach Jose Mourinho more than a decade after he left the San Siro.
Today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, note how the Portuguese tactician remains a beloved figure among Nerazzurri fans.
When Roma travel to the San Siro tomorrow, they will bring two figures who have history with Inter with them.
One is striker Romelu Lukaku.
And what looks very certain is that the Belgian will receive a very negative reception from the Inter faithful.
The reasons for this are not complicated. Lukaku’s acrimonious split from the Nerazzurri during the summer has led to a widespread feeling that he had betrayed the club.
But coach Jose Mourinho, by contrast, has always received a positive reception when he has returned to his old stadium with the Giallorossi.
And the reason for this, the Gazzetta notes, is a difference in the circumstances of his effort compared to Lukaku’s.
Why Inter Fans Still Love Roma Coach Jose Mourinho
Mourinho spent a total of two seasons as Inter coach.
They were years packed with success, however.
The current Giallorossi and former Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester United coach won the Serie A title in both of his campaigns in charge.
And, more than that, it was Mourinho who guided Inter to the European Treble during the 2009-10 season.
Obviously those successes help with the Portuguese coach’s reputation.
But the thing that really endeared Mourinho to the Inter fans was his personality during his two seasons at the helm.
Wherever he has gone, Mourinho has gained a reputation for a spiky character.
The former Nerazzurri coach certainly doesn’t shy away from confrontation, controversy, or freely expressing himself.
And at Inter, that came through in a number of still-iconic moments.
There was tge coach’s “handcuffs” gesture during a Serie A clash with Sampdoria. That match saw Inter receive two red cards.
And then there was Mourinho’s “zeru tituli” barb aimed at Roma and AC Milan in a 2009 press conference.
The Portuguese coach always dug in his heels and defended Inter to the bitter end against rivals.
And then when Mourinho left, he was always honest about his intentions. The Portuguese coach decided to join Real Madrid and went out on a high note.
So for Inter fans, there was no sense of betrayal or hypocrisy. Mourinho left on his own terms, the same that had earned the enduring goodwill of Inter fans.