The city of Rome is literally buzzing ahead of the UEFA Conference League’s final on Wednesday against Feyenoord. While this is Roma’s third appearance in a major UEFA final, and first for 31 years, it is Mourinho’s fifth. He has been triumphant in each of the previous four, with Porto in the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 UEFA Champions League, Inter in the 2010 UEFA Champions League and Manchester United in the 2017 UEFA Europa League. He has, however, lost two UEFA Super Cups. AS Roma might win their first trophy in almost thirteen years, after winning the 2007-2008 Coppa Italia under coach Luciano Spalletti they failed to lift another trophy. Giallorossi fans are excited and impatient for this match and Jose Mourinho knows that this game can completely change his impact at the club not only by bringing a trophy but also for building for the coming season. Let’s take a look at five players that might be crucial in the final that will take place in Tirana on Wednesday.
1. Nicola Zalewski — Fullback
At only 20, Nicola Zalewski is definitely a player to watch. He was born in Italy, but opted to play for the Polish National Team, and the right fullback is probably the best job of player talent discovery Jose Mourinho has done this season at Roma. He started to play consistently in the second part of the season and became a starter while Arsenal loanee Maitland-Niles was benched by Mourinho. Zalewski is likely to start in the final against Feyenoord but he’s already one of the players who the Portuguese manager is counting on for next season as well. Until now he played 23 matches in all competitions and provided two assists to his teammates.
2. Gianluca Mancini — Center-back
This central defender is a crucial player for Jose Mourinho. Gianulca Mancini will be a starter against Feyenoord and he’s one of those players that are fundamental to what Roma do on the pitch as much for his attitude as his ability. He’s a player full of charisma and has played 45 games this season and scored one goal in the UEFA Conference League’s debut against CSKA Sofia. Mancini is definitely a player to watch and one of those that Mourinho can’t do without and despite interest from many European clubs, he’s set to stay in Rome in the summer.
3. Nicolò Zaniolo
It was a strange season at the end for Nicolò Zaniolo. He’s had some injuries but he was always at the center of the Mourinho’s project. However, he only scored seven goals in forty-one games in all competitions. The Special One needs to figure out how to get the best out of him also for the Conference League final and whether that means starting him or having him as an option off the bench. The club will also have a meeting with his agent at the end of the season to clarify his future, considering that the talks over a new contract have stalled. Juventus and other European clubs are interested on him, but every decision is now postponed after Tirana’s final.
4. Lorenzo Pellegrini
One of the most iconic players on the current roster, Lorenzo Pellegrini is Roma’s captain and definitely a player that can decide the final against Feyenoord. This season he’s scored 14 goals in 40 matches, and provided eight assists in all competitions. He’s now the face and the symbol of the club, a player that Jose Mourinho desperately needs. He’s a good shooter, but also a key tactical player in the middle of the pitch. He knows when to defend but also he’s a consistent attacking midfielder. One of those that can be crucial during a European final.
5. Tammy Abraham
Lastly, who else? Tammy Abraham has been the most impressive player of Roma’s season. He scored 27 goals in 52 matches in all competitions and proved to be one of the best strikers in Serie A. Also, he’s one of the idols of the fans. He’s in love with the city and with the fans, who showed him all their support during the season. After winning the Champions League’s final with Chelsea against Manchester City in 2021, he wants now to win a second European final one year later. He will absolutely be one of the main characters of this UEFA Conference League’s first ever final. Roma fans hope he will come back from Tirana with the trophy as well.