A clash of generations, a clash of pupil and teacher. That’s exactly what we’re going to see tonight in the Europa League. AS Rome will take on Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-finals, with José Mourinho on one side and Xabi Alonso on the other.
It was June 2010 when José Mourinho joined Real Madrid on the bench. Back then, the centre of Los Blancos midfield was occupied by a certain Xabi Alonso, who had arrived a year earlier from Liverpool.
Together, the duo celebrated winning La Liga, the Spanish Cup and the Super Cup. Most notably, however, they interrupted, or perhaps even ended, Guardiola’s Barcelona domination of Spain and Europe.
Mourinho left Madrid in 2013 when his relationships with some of the star players he stopped fielding in the starting lineup, such as captain Iker Casillas, soured during his final season. He has, however, maintained a good relationship with Xabi Alonso.
And fate has reunited the two. For AS Roma and Bayer Leverkusen will face each other in the semi-finals of the Europa League, with José Mourinho on the bench on one side and Xabi Alonso on the other.
The Spanish rookie coach achieved this great success in his first year at Bayer Leverkusen. At the same time, the team featuring Patrik Schick and Adam Hložek only took over at 17th place in the Bundesliga.
However, he did a great job, pulling Bayer up to sixth place in the table and into the semi-finals of the Europa League. In order to play in the Champions League next year, he would have to win the Europa League, because the road out of the Bundesliga is a bit more difficult, as he is eight points behind both fourth-placed Union and fifth-placed Freiburg with seven rounds to go.
José Mourinho has already made that leap with AS Roma. Last season he dominated the Conference League and became not only the first coach to win the trophy, but also the first coach to win the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League.
By winning this competition, he jumped up the ranks to the Europa League, where the Romans reached the semi-finals. And they will face a German side that would also love to win the competition. So who will be more successful? Will the pupil outdo his coach?
Source:: Europa League, UEFA
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