Jose Mourinho (58) started his reign at AS Roma with a training session on Thursday evening.

Jose Mourinho - AS Roma
Jose Mourinho is determined to bring the glory days back to AS Roma. (Image: Twitter/OfficialASRoma)

The man who once called himself “The Special One,” made a big statement regarding his intentions on his first day with the team. Mourinho dropped no fewer than nine players, who were all told they are not part of the manager’s plans moving forward.

Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez was loaned to Marseille, with eight other players being officially made available.

Pedro, Pastore, Nzonzi, and Kluivert are all out

Mourinho decided that Pedro, Federico Fazio, Steven Nzonzi, Justin Kluivert, Javier Pastore, Davide Santon, Robin Olsen, and Ante Coric will not be part of Roma’s group for the preseason. The eight players won’t take part in the team training sessions.

Pedro (33) worked under Mourinho at Chelsea for a few months back in 2015. He only joined AS Roma in 2020, after five years in the Premier League. Pedro still has two years left in his current deal. The former Barcelona man played 40 games across all competitions for Roma last season, scoring six times.

Javier Pastore (32) is also expendable in Mourinho’s books, along with Justin Kluivert (22) and Steven Nzonzi (32). Kluivert and Nzonzi both spent time on loan last season, with the first being offloaded to RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, and Nzonzi playing for Rennes in the French Ligue 1.

‘I’m a victim of my own success’

Before his opening training session, Mourinho held his first press conference as Roma’s boss. He defended his record at his previous clubs, saying he’s a victim of his past success.

“What for me is considered a disaster, for other coaches is something they’ve never achieved in their lives,” Mourinho said. “I won three trophies at Manchester United and that was seen as a disaster. I reached a cup final which I was not allowed to play at Tottenham, and that was seen as a disaster. What’s a disaster for me is considered as a great success for others,” he argued.

Mourinho went on to defend his record at his last three clubs. “I won the title at Chelsea, three cups at United, I reached a final at Tottenham, we arrived sixth, reaching the Europa League. What’s considered a disaster for me it’s something that others have never achieved. It’s my fault.”

Mourinho penned a three-year contract with Roma worth $25.2 million after-tax. In his first season, Mourinho will get $8.41 million from AS Roma, along with $10.2 million from Tottenham. It’s part of the arrangement he cut with Spurs. The English club agreed to compensate Mourinho with the difference between his yearly revenue in London — $19.2 million — and his new salary.

Tottenham sacked Mourinho on April 19, just 17 months after appointing him.