JOSE MOURINHO cannot envisage retirement thanks to wise words from Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the 59-year-old admits the days of calling himself ‘The Special One’ are long gone — even if he guides Roma to a European title.
Mourinho has the chance to become the first manager to win the Uefa Treble: the Champions League, the Europa League and the Europa Conference League.
After a disappointing spell in charge of Tottenham, the Portuguese coach appears to be revitalised at Roma — the ninth different club he has managed in 22 years.
And with the chance to keep up his record of never losing a major European final, against Feyenoord in Tirana tonight, that fire is still burning for Jose.
Looking back to the 2012/13 Champions League last 16, he recalled: “It was Manchester United vs Real Madrid. Before the game, Sir Alex invited me to his office.
“I asked him, ‘What is it like, boss? Does it change? Does it change over the years?’. He said, ‘Forget about it. Nothing changes. It is the same up until the very last day’.
“That is why I keep saying I cannot believe I am 59 years old. I cannot believe I have a 22-year career as a head coach. I cannot tell you when I am going to stop because I cannot visualise it.
“The passion doesn’t change.”
Mourinho labelled himself the Special One after arriving at Chelsea having won the Champions League with Porto aged 41.
That tag remained worthy after some hugely successful years.
And win against Feyenoord would be the fifth Euro title of his illustrious career.
But asked if he can produce another special performance tonight, he said: “The Special One is an old story.
“When you have more maturity and stability you think much more about the people and less about yourself.
“I can just do what every coach can do and try to help the team.
“I don’t believe in magical moments. This is not the moment of one individual, it is the team, the players, the staff.
“The Special One is an old story”
“Does each new achievement mean more than the previous one? It does.
“But there is nothing special to be done, just be us.”
There will be those who diminish the value of Europe’s third-tier title.
But Mourinho has no room for snobbery when it comes to finals.
He added: “The Conference League is our Champions League. That’s the level we’re at, the competition we’re playing in.
“The club hasn’t reached an occasion like this for a long time.
“But we haven’t won anything yet and we really want to do that.”