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‘I don’t believe in magic’: Roma’s Mourinho, Feyenoord’s Slot predict tough UECL final

ROMA manager Jose Mourinho and his Feyenoord counterpart Arne Slot as well as their top players have said they are looking forward to tonight’s UEFA Europa Conference League final.

The newly introduced competition’s first final will be held tonight at the 22,000-capacity Arena Kombëtare in Tirana, Albania.

Mourinho is looking to add the third-tier Conference League to his glittering European trophy collection that includes two UEFA Champions League titles (with Porto and Inter Milan) and UEFA Europa League honours (with Porto and Manchester United).

Feyenoord are also seeking to complete the UEFA set after previously winning the European Cup (Champions League) and the UEFA Cup (Europa League).

Mourinho’s last trophy was the Europa League with United in 2017 and he is not predicting an easy win over underdogs Feyenoord tonight.

“I don’t believe in magical potions, I don’t believe in magical spells,” the Portuguese said as he previewed the final yesterday.

“There’s nothing special to be done, just us to be us as a team. Knowing the qualities we have, knowing the limitations we have. For me, no matter how the final ends, this is a positive season for us.”

Roma defender Gianluca Mancini supported his manager’s claim that it would not be a walk in the park.

“The two best teams in the tournament face each other, it’s 50-50,” the Italian international said. “We know what we have to do, and we know their strengths and weaknesses.”

Feyenoord manager Slot accepts his side’s underdog status but insists that they will be ready for any tactical tweaks from the much more accomplished Mourinho.

“We know what to expect [from Roma], but you never know, sometimes their coach has a little twitch in his game plan,” Slot noted.

“But we’ve seen a lot, so we hope we’re prepared in the right way, and if he does surprise us…we’ve played 55 games [this season] so I’d be a bit surprised if he could think of something that we haven’t had yet.”

Feyenoord defender Gernot Trauner is more concerned about stopping Tammy Abraham, who has scored nine goals in the competition, one fewer that Feyenoord’s Nigerian striker Cyril Dessers.

“Of course, I’ve prepared to play against [Tammy] Abraham,” he said.

“He’s physically strong, has good technique and knows how to score goals, He’s one of the key players for Roma. We have to try to keep him out of the end zone.”

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