Mourinho Apologizes Publicly to Sidelined Renato Sanches After Substituting Him 18-Minutes After Bringing Him On

Theatrics on the Pitch Overshadow Bologna Defeat as Mourinho’s Apology Sheds Light on Strained Relationship with Midfielder Renato Sanches

Roma’s 2-0 defeat to Bologna on Sunday night took an unexpected turn as manager Jose Mourinho found himself issuing a public apology to midfielder Renato Sanches, who endured a peculiar and abrupt substitution just 18 minutes after being brought on.

Nikola Moro and an unfortunate own goal from Rasmus Kristensen secured the victory for Bologna, elevating them to fourth place in Serie A. However, the bizarre incident involving Sanches took center stage, casting a shadow over the match’s final result.

Sanches, on loan at Roma from PSG, entered the game at half-time with the team trailing 1-0. Astonishingly, Mourinho decided to substitute him off only 18 minutes later, further compounding the Portuguese player’s misery by giving him the cold shoulder during the departure.

After the match, Mourinho publicly addressed the unusual substitution in an interview with DAZN (via OneFootball), expressing remorse for the decision. “I want to publicly apologise to Renato Sanches. It’s very hard for a footballer, but it’s also hard for a coach. I’ve done it 3-4 times in my career, and it’s not easy,” Mourinho stated.

This incident adds another layer to the strained relationship between Mourinho and Sanches, with the midfielder having been limited to just nine appearances this season, mostly from the bench. In September, Mourinho had criticized Sanches and teammate Houssem Aouar for their persistent injuries, emphasizing the need for consistent playing time to regain form.

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As the fallout from this peculiar substitution unfolds, it raises questions about the dynamics within the Roma camp and Mourinho’s approach to managing player fitness and game time.

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