As Jose Mourinho lifted his fifth European trophy whilst becoming the first manager to win all three UEFA competitions in the process; a certain press conference came to mind which he presided over, following an early shock Round of 16 exit by his then team Manchester United.
The 59- year old Portuguese, being the box office personality that he is, went on a full 12-minute rant on what he termed as 'football heritage'.
What was a reactionary outburst based on statistical facts, claiming that a club's history and DNA should be factored into the fans' and pundits' consideration before being labelled as a failure; was not taken well by fans and followers of the sport. As a matter of fact, the outburst was considered ludicrous to many.
However, as time went on, a lot of what Mourinho said ended up being correct. The culture of the clubs he criticised are flaring up beyond his departure.
Jose stated in an interview with BT Sport a few days ago that him being sacked at Manchester United was never going to resolve the underlying issues that were deeply rooted within the foundation of the club's governing bodies.
Almost four years down the line, those very issues are clear as day. The very issues that he envisioned years ago.
While his previous clubs like Man United and Tottenham Hotspurs are still battling to alter the course of their 'football heritage', Mourinho has undertaken newer and much more complicated challenges and in the process, has added more euphoria to his own footballing heritage. That heritage is based upon one word only - winning.
Last night, the Portuguese won AS Roma their first-ever European trophy. That is the start of Roma's new heritage.
Furthermore, he is now the only active manager who has won European trophies in three separate decades. That is his heritage.
He has managed in five European finals, and he has a 100% record. That is Jose Mourinho heritage.
Despite all these accolades, not a day goes by that someone from the press or the footballing world labels him as 'outdated', 'finished' or brandishes his tactics as 'anti-football' but the man just keeps on winning.
Even last night, a couple of Irish 'pundits' labelled his low block as 'anti football'. Yet the irony is that Mourinho's team earned the right to shut up shop after having scored in the first place and that wasn't the only time he opted for such measures.
Across all the five finals, there exists a distinct consistency in the way his teams have played out of possession off the ball.
Let's take a look:
2003 UEFA cup- 55%
2004 UCL -44%
2010 UCL – 31%
2017 UEL – 33%
2022 UECL – 33%
The theory is simple, if the opponents do not get the space to create chances or work his goalkeeper, they simply do not score. Hence, it is irrelevant how much of the ball the opposition has. This, again, is Mourinho's philosophy and heritage.
Jose has been in the business long enough to know that the media will never change their narrative around him. But as the special one has stated in the past, "There are many poets in football, but poets don't win many trophies."
The poets will always be at him, but Mourinho keeps on ageing like the finest of wines. Probably even finer than the one Brendan Rodgers gifted him as a token before facing each other in the semifinals.