Chris Smalling put in an excellent performance on Wednesday night as AS Roma won their first European trophy in 60 years.
The former Manchester United defender was a commanding figure at the back to help the Serie A side beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the Europa Conference League.
Smalling, 32, was chosen as man of the match by the UEFA Technical Observer panel, who said (via UEFA): “It was a great defensive display. He always won his individual duels and was solid as a rock in the heart of the Roma defence.”
Feyenoord couldn’t find an equaliser despite dominating possession in the second half, but they created a number of chances and, from a United perspective, it was nice to see Roma hold on as Smalling won his second European trophy under manager Jose Mourinho.
The pair won the Europa League with United in 2017.
Moreover, Mourinho made history on Wednesday night when he became the first manager ever to lift the Europa Conference League. The Portuguese coach managed in his fifth major European final and he has not been on the losing side in any of them.
Leaving the best until last, the one stat Mourinho will use as a badge of honour will be how he is now the first manager to win European titles with four different clubs.