André Villas-Boas

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André Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas 1.jpg
0Full Name Luís André de Pina
Cabral e Villas-Boas
0Date of Birth 17 October 1977
0Place of Birth Porto, Portugal
0Chelsea career 2011–2012
0Win percentage 48%
0Honours -
0Other clubs Académica
Tottenham Hotspur
Zenit Saint Petersburg

André Villas-Boas (born 17 October 1977), often referred to by his initials AVB, was manager of Chelsea from the start of the 2011-12 season until March 2012. He was previously manager of FC Porto, and served as a scout at Chelsea under José Mourinho from 2004 to 2007.


Before Chelsea

Born into an affluent, upper middle-class family in Porto, [1] Villas-Boas was never a professional footballer; his route into coaching began at the age of sixteen, when the Porto fan lived in the same apartment block as then manager Bobby Robson. Fluent in English – his grasp of the language aided by growing up with an English grandmother – Villas-Boas made contact with the former England manager, arguing that striker Domingos Paciencia should be played more often. [2] Impressed with the youngster, Robson invited Villas-Boas to work as a trainee with Porto's youth team, and helped him gain access to coaching courses in Britain, where he impressed with his attention to detail and analytical skills. [3] After further study, but still barely into his twenties, Villas-Boas became manager of the British Virgin Islands. The youngest manager in international football, he managed the side for two games, both ending in defeat. 2002 saw the beginning of a relationship that would ensure the continued development of Villas-Boas' burgeoning talents, with the young Portuguese returning to Porto to work under future Chelsea manager José Mourinho.

Chelsea (2004–2007)

"My work enables José to know exactly when a player from the opposition team is likely to be at his best or his weakest... I will travel to training grounds, often incognito, and look at our opponents' mental and physical state before drawing my conclusions. José will leave nothing to chance."

- André Villas-Boas on his role as opposition scout at Chelsea under José Mourinho.
Having established himself as a member of Mourinho's team during his highly successful spell as Porto manager, Villas-Boas joined Chelsea as part of the Portuguese manager's staff, performing the role of Assistant Scout. Villas-Boas applied his analytical skills in compiling highly detailed dossiers on opposition sides, and DVDs for individual players relating to their direct opponent. [4] With Mourinho leaving Stamford Bridge in 2007, Villas-Boas followed, performing the same role at Inter Milan before breaking his seven-year association with Mourinho at the start of the 2009-10 season to make the step up to club management.

Club management


Villas-Boas returned to his native Portugal to begin his club management career, joining Académica de Coimbra of the Primeira Liga in October 2009. Finding Académica in a perilous position – bottom of the table, without a win – the young manager had an immediate impact upon the side's form, eventually guiding the club to safety by 10 points, and also reaching the semi-finals of the Portuguese League Cup; narrowly losing to Porto at the Estádio do Dragão. Villas-Boas' impressive first few months in management – pairing attractive football with results – led to press speculation linking him to Portugal's top clubs, including the vacant manager's position at Sporting.

Villas-Boas with José Mourinho during their time together at Chelsea

FC Porto

Following Jesualdo Ferreira's departure from Porto, Villas-Boas' name was soon linked with the manager's role at his boyhood club. Villas-Boas was duly unveiled as the new manager at the Estádio do Dragão at the beginning of June 2010. Porto president Pinto da Costa would admit that the appointment was a gamble given the 32-year-old's relative lack of managerial experience. [5]

The gamble paid off; Villas-Boas' first full season in management was a spectacular success, the young manager leading Porto to a treble (league title, Portuguese cup and UEFA Europa League), in addition to the Portuguese supercup. His side became only the second in history to win the Portuguese league without losing a game, the other being the great Benfica side of the early 70s in 1972-73. Fittingly, Porto clinched the title at Benfica's Estádio das Amoreiras with five games left following a 2-1 win. The points margin over the second-placed team was a record, as was the points total for a 30-game season. His side also set a new record for consecutive wins in the league with sixteen. Porto's Europa League triumph meant that Villas-Boas became the youngest manager in history to win a European competition, recording the most wins in Europe in one season by a Portuguese club in the process. Porto's opponents in the final – Portuguese rivals Braga – were managed by Domingos Paciencia, the player Villas-Boas had implored Bobby Robson to pick for Porto years earlier.

Villas-Boas' achievements at Porto drew attention from across Europe, with press speculation in May linking him to the manager's position at Chelsea even before Carlo Ancelotti had been relieved of his duties at the end of the 2010-11 season. [6] Villas-Boas played down the link however, and following Ancelotti's sacking Guus Hiddink appeared to be set to return to Stamford Bridge following his successful temporary spell at the club for the last four months of the 2008-09 season, capped by victory in the FA Cup. Following continued speculation surrounding Hiddink, but with no solid developments, on 20 June reports began emerging in the Portuguese media that Villas-Boas would be joining Chelsea as manager. The English press was soon widely reporting that Villas-Boas had agreed upon the move to London, [7] and when Porto announced the following day that the €15m (£13.2m) release clause in Villas-Boas' contract had been activated it appeared to be a matter of time before an official announcement was made. [8]

Chelsea manager

Villas-Boas was officially unveiled as the new Chelsea manager on 22 June, returning to the club he had previously worked at for three years after signing a three year contract. Chelsea described the new manager as "the outstanding candidate for the job" [9], while the Portuguese pledged to develop a team ethic while ensuring that the qualities behind the club's recent successes were maintained. [10] On 29 June 2011, during his first press conference as manager, Villas-Boas announced that Roberto Di Matteo would be joining his backroom team as Assistant First Team Coach, while Reserve Team manager Steve Holland was promoted to a similar role, and it was confirmed that José Mario Rocha and Daniel Sousa would follow their former manager from Porto.

Following six victories out of six in pre-season, the Blues opened the 2011-12 Premier League season with a 0-0 draw at Stoke City. Four victories followed before Villas-Boas' first significant challenge as manager came against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Chelsea lost an eventful match 3-1, having found themselves 3-0 down at half time; a scoreline that didn't truly reflect their contribution to a very open match. The Blues had created chances, with Ramires in particular missing a great opportunity to equalise. Fernando Torres pulled a goal back shortly after half time, and later missed a simple chance to score a second, but despite generating more attempts on goal than their opponents, [11] Chelsea's attacking play came at the expense of defensive solidity. Having gone through the previous season at Porto undefeated it was Villas-Boas' first defeat in 39 league matches, when he was with Académica.

Following the loss at Old Trafford, Villas-Boas negotiated a series of low-key fixtures in a satisfactory manner before finding his side reduced to nine men after 41 minutes in a west London derby against Queens Park Rangers, with José Bosingwa and Didier Drogba having been sent off after an early penalty had put QPR 1-0 up. Despite a spirited second half display, in which the opposition were largely penned in their half by Chelsea's nine men, the Blues could not find an equaliser. A second London derby defeat followed in the next Premier League game, with an inconsistent Arsenal side winning 5-3 at Stamford Bridge. The defeat once again exposed the vulnerability of the relatively high defensive line employed by Villas-Boas, which he described as a "high block"; a tactic he had put to good use at Porto, but one that he would abandon at Chelsea.

Results over the next two months were indifferent at best, the Blues qualifying for the UEFA Champions League knock-out rounds as group winners despite defeat in Leverkusen, and home defeats to Liverpool and Aston Villa once again highlighting Chelsea's defensive vulnerability. Off the pitch, rumours surfaced of disagreements between senior players and the management team, with Alex and Nicolas Anelka leaving in the January transfer window having earlier handed in transfer requests. [12]

Chelsea remained undefeated over the first few weeks of 2012, though this run included two draws away against newly-promoted sides and a 3-3 draw at home to Manchester United in which the Blues squandered a 3-0 lead. Off the pitch, rumours of a rift between Villas-Boas and senior players (particularly Frank Lampard) persisted. [13]

Following a string of poor results and performances, including disappointing losses at Everton and Napoli, defeat at West Bromwich Albion paired with an Arsenal win against Liverpool at Anfield on 3 March increased the likelihood that Chelsea would fail to finish in the top four league positions, and therefore miss out on qualification for the following season's UEFA Champions League. Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea manager on 4 March 2012, with assistant Roberto Di Matteo placed in charge until the end of what would turn out to be an improbably successful season, the Blues winning the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League under the Italian's stewardship.

After Chelsea

Villas-Boas was appointed manager of Tottenham Hotspur prior to the 2012-13 season. He faced his former club for the first time in a match at White Hart Lane in October 2012. Now managed by his former assistant, Tottenham recovered from going 1-0 down to an early Gary Cahill strike to lead 2-1 shortly after half time, but Juan Mata's brace put Chelsea back in the lead before Daniel Sturridge sealed the 4-2 win with an injury time tap-in. Following a poor run of results he was sacked mid-way through the 2013-14 season, before joining Zenit Saint Petersburg three months later.

Managerial record

P W D L GF GA GD Win %
League 27 13 7 7 47 32 +15 48%
FA Cup 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 66%
Lg Cup 3 1 1 1 2 3 -1 33%
Europe 7 3 2 2 14 7 +7 50%
Total 40 19 11 10 69 43 +26 48%

Career honours


Robertson (1905–06) • Lewis (1906–07) • Calderhead (1907–33) • Knighton (1933–39) • Birrell (1939–52)
Drake (1952–61) • Docherty (1961–67) • Sexton (1967–74) • Suart (1974–75) • McCreadie (1975–77) • Shellito (1977–78)
Blanchflower (1978–79) • Hurst (1979–81) • Neal (1981–85) • Hollins (1985–88) • Campbell (1988–91)
Porterfield (1991–93) • Webb (1993) • Hoddle (1993–96) • Gullit (1996–98) • Vialli (1998–00) • Ranieri (2000–04)
Mourinho (2004–07) • Grant (2007–08) • Scolari (2008–09) • Hiddink (2009) • Ancelotti (2009–11)
Villas-Boas (2011–12) • Di Matteo (2012) • Benítez (2012–13) • Mourinho (2013–15) • Hiddink (2015–16)
Conte (2016–)
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