Inter legend Sneijder says Mourinho still No1 as Special One turns 60
Jose Mourinho is "still number one" in the eyes of former Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder.
The Portuguese boss celebrates his 60th birthday on Thursday and is back in Italian football with Roma, who he led to glory in the inaugural season of the Europa Conference League in 2021-22.
That triumph was Mourinho's fifth continental title, having won the Champions League with Porto and Inter, the UEFA Cup with Porto and the Europa League with Manchester United.
Mourinho's treble-winning season with Inter in 2009-10 is one of the highlights of his illustrious career, with Sneijder part of the team that dominated in the Nerazzurri's most famous campaign.
The Portuguese great went on to enjoy LaLiga success with Real Madrid, while leading Chelsea to the Premier League title in his second spell in charge, which preceded winning the EFL Cup and Europa League with United.
However, he was sacked by both clubs and by Tottenham prior to joining Roma, with some believing Mourinho's reputation has taken a hit.
Sneijder, however, still rates Mourinho ahead of his managerial rivals.
He said: "I have great memories of him, especially when we won the Champions League. He was very determined and so confident we would win that match.
"He knows exactly how to behave with his players on the pitch but especially off it. As I said before, with him there was no need for a chairman, he protected all the players.
"For me, he is still number one."
Having guided Roma to sixth in Serie A last season, Mourinho's side are now in the midst of a fierce battle for a top-four finish and Champions League football.
Roma are fifth, level on points with Inter and Lazio ahead of them, while just three points separate second-placed AC Milan from sixth-placed Atalanta.
With many rival teams enduring problems this season, Sneijder feels Mourinho and Roma have a great opportunity to take advantage.
"Of course, he is doing well there. As you said, Milan, Inter and Juventus with all their problems are a bit in trouble now, so this is the right moment [for Roma]," he added.
"But there is Napoli now who are doing great in Serie A and in the Champions League. It will be hard to beat Napoli, but Roma can beat all the others."