CSKA Sofia coach hails ‘humble’ Mourinho

CSKA Sofia coach Stojcho Mladenov praises Roma boss Jose Mourinho for being ‘still a humble person’ ahead of their UEFA Europa Conference League meeting.

The opening game of the group stage kicks off on Thursday at the Stadio Olimpico at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).

They are in the same group as Bodo/Glimt and Zorya Luhansk.

“It’s difficult for us, because we have a lot of players missing, but we want to make our ideas work on the pitch at all costs,” said the coach in his press conference.

While the Giallorossi are expected to rotate the squad compared to their Serie A performances, CSKA Sofia will be forced to make changes of their own.

“We’ve got a lot of problems to deal with. I will try to guess Roma’s line-up based on their recent matches. I know CSKA Sofia played Roma last season in the Europa League, but I didn’t watch those games, because they changed coach and it’s a completely different team.”

Paulo Fonseca was at the helm last season and took Roma all the way to the Europa League semi-final, losing only to Manchester United.

He was replaced by Mourinho, who is criticised by so many for being arrogant or stealing the spotlight, even calling himself the Special One, but Mladenov doesn’t see the Portuguese boss that way at all.

“Mourinho is one of the best tacticians in the world and Roma among the best European teams. Mourinho really impresses me, because despite all his success, he is still a humble person. There is great respect between us and that will never change.”