Paolo Di Canio has no intention of apologising to Jose Mourinho after a leaked voice recording of a scathing assessment of Roma’s recent appointment.
In voice notes sent via WhatsApp to a Roma-supporting friend, it’s reported that Paolo Di Canio criticised the Serie A side’s decision to appoint Jose Mourinho for next season.
Di Canio mocked Mourinho’s recent track record at clubs and insisted that the Portuguese coach was “finished in every conceivable way”.
“You’ve got the worst of the worst,” Di Canio said in the recording. “I understand you needed a big name at this moment, but it’s like when you sign a player who is finished.
“Mourinho just wanted a job with money, he’s had his third sacking in four years, kicked out from everywhere due to the incompatibility of his character and before that’s all he was good at, having character.
“Now Tottenham gave him the boot for his results and incapacity to take the team to another level after two years with all the money they spent. He’s finished in every conceivable way.
“He doesn’t even play football, he plays anti-football. You might enjoy yourselves in a few press conferences, because controversy makes for good theatre, but let me tell you: to reconstruct a team, he’s the worst you could possibly get.
“And I can say that because he was my favourite up until seven years ago, even more than Pep Guardiola.”
After the recording was released by the Italian media, Di Canio was approached for comment by Corriere Dello Sport and the former Lazio forward refused to row back on his remarks.
Di Canio insisted that the leaked clip was taken out of context but he stood by what he said about Mourinho, who was sacked by Spurs last week.
“Firstly, I don’t have to apologise to anyone. It was a private conversation and I can do as I please,” Di Canio said.
“Secondly, that audio was part of another six or seven messages in which I said very positive things about Mourinho. It’s cowardly that they only leaked that part.
“It’s a ridiculous and pathetic story. We were talking for fun, I was making fun of an old friend.”
Di Canio, whose last managerial role was at Sunderland in 2013, reiterated his opinion that Roma should have gone in a different direction with the replacement for Paulo Fonseca.
“There was talk of [Maurizio] Sarri, of playing attractive football. I said that Mourinho has lost appeal,” Di Canio continued. “He no longer seems to me to have the strength, the energy, to stay at the top level for 24 hours a day.
“My joke also meant that he won’t win the Scudetto, but maybe he will, who knows? With this Roma side you can reach the top six with your eyes closed.
“I didn’t say what I said to belittle Roma, but the opposite. Years ago, I would have said that Mourinho is a luxury for Roma, now I say that Roma is a luxury for Mourinho.”