Despite the Giallorossi’s Thursday 1-0 victory over Genoa, Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has called the Coppa Italia “the worst cup in Europe.”
Paulo Dybala’s goal in the 64th minute gave Mourinho’s team a victory on Thursday and guaranteed them a spot in the quarterfinals. They will now face the victor of the Napoli-Cremonese Round of 16 matchups.
But the Portuguese legend was damning of the Coppa Italia format in light of Torino’s upset 1-0 extra-time win over Milan on Wednesday, which saw them progress to the last eight where they will face Fiorentina away.
“First of all, I’ll say I would love to win it, I won it once playing against Roma, and I would love to win it playing with Roma in Rome,” Mourinho told Sportmediaset.
“I think it’s the worst cup in Europe, it doesn’t protect the smaller teams. It doesn’t put on a show.
“I’m talking about Torino for example who win on the pitch of the Italian champions Milan, then they have to play the next elimination game away from home, I don’t understand this structure of the Coppa Italia.
“We played against a Serie B team with a full stadium, if there are empty stadiums they must understand why we are full and the others are not.
“Last year we finished sixth, the year before we finished seventh and I want to invest in the Coppa Italia, but a lower team doesn’t want to play, what motivation do these people have?
“Torino won against the Italian champions, they made great history in the Round of 16 and they have to play away. Where is the beauty of Coppa Italia? It would be nice to play on a Serie B or Serie C pitch, where is that? Because people accept it.
“The next elimination game will be either in Naples or at home with Cremonese, if we lose like last year, we’ll lose, but we’ll try to win. For a squad like ours, playing three competitions together is very hard.
“There’s too much build-up for people of more quality, it’s a big risk to play three or four players who don’t play all the time or to put so many kids together, I could have done Bove-Tahirovic but I didn’t.
“If we want to win the Coppa Italia I won’t say we want to, because everyone wants to, we will try to win the next game of the tournament.”
Roma, who have advanced to the Europa League knockout round playoffs, bowed out in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals last season to eventual winners Inter.