Mourinho’s contract was up at the end of the season but, following their 3-1 defeat to AC Milan on Sunday and with the club in ninth in Serie A, the owners and the manager have parted ways.
It brings an end to Mourinho’s spell at the club, which started in May 2021 and saw him win the Europa Conference League title in 2022 and reach the Europa League final last season.
“We would like to thank José on behalf of all of us at Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival at the club,” said owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin.
“We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma, but we believe that an immediate change is in the best interests of the club. We wish Jose and his assistants all the best in their future endeavours.”
Mourinho’s three years at Roma peaked with them winning the Europa Conference League title against Feyenoord in Tirana. It was their first trophy in 11 years in their first European final since 1991.
But after a tough 2023-24 season, the final straw appears to be the defeat to Milan at the weekend. It came after a poor run of form when Roma were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by local rivals Lazio on Jan. 10, and had just one win in six league matches. But just last week, he was reiterating his commitment to the club. “I’ve been here for two years and five months and I’m the only person here who hasn’t missed a single training session in that time,” Mourinho said. “For me, there are no illnesses or bad moods.
“For two and a half years I haven’t done anything wrong, not even a couple of weeks ago when everyone was sick. I do not accept in any way that my professionalism and dignity, my heart for this job, can be questioned. If there is a perfect example of professionalism, it is me. I have never missed one match in over 20 years of my career.”
Mourinho joined Roma in 2021 following a career that saw him manage FC Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham. He took the Roma job just 15 days after being sacked at Spurs.
Since Mourinho joined the league, no-one in Serie A received more red cards than the five shown to the Portuguese coach. His struggles with officials in Italy were well documented — with Mourinho even going so far as to wear a microphone during a game against Monza last May in an effort to “protect” himself.
One of his final acts at Roma was to compare himself to Harry Potter.
“The Roma fans are the most incredible I have seen,” Mourinho said. “Their coach is Jose ‘Harry Potter’ Mourinho, and he raises expectations.”
Mourinho’s replacement De Rossi will take charge of his first match on Saturday against Verona at the Olimpico.
“We are happy to be able to hand over the managerial role of AS Roma to Daniele De Rossi, as we feel that the leadership and ambition that have always defined him can prove decisive in achieving the team’s objectives until the end of the season,” the owners said in a press release announcing the hire.
“We were aware of Daniele’s unbreakable bond with the club, but his enthusiasm for accepting the position for the next few months convinced us even more of his ability to be a guide for the players and a proud representative of the club’s values.”
De Rossi spent 18 years with Roma as a player, graduating through the club’s academy before making 616 appearances for the first team, in which he scored 63 goals.
“I know no other way but dedication, daily sacrifices, and giving everything I have in order to face the challenges that await us from now until the end of the season,” De Rossi said.
“The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits us all has already taken precedence.”