EX-FOOTBALL manager Andre Villas-Boas broke the mould when he traded management for rally car racing.

The 45-year-old was once considered one of the most exciting young managers in Europe.


Andre Villas-Boas gave up football management to race rally cars[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

He entered the Dakar Rally in 2018[/caption]

Jordi Rierola

But he had to withdraw after crashing into a sand dune[/caption]


He managed in England at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur[/caption]


His last club was Ligue 1 side Marseille[/caption]

Villas-Boas attracted attention after an unbeaten season with FC Porto, in which he won the league title as well as the Europa League.

This saw him be appointed to Chelsea in 2011 but was sacked a year later and moved to Tottenham.

When he left Spurs in 2013, he boosted the record win percentage of any of the club’s managers in the Premier League era.

Before leaving the North London club, Villas-Boas revealed that he would leave management in the next decade with the aim of rally racing.

He told the Portuguese newspaper O Jogo: “My passion for football makes me live it very intensively over 11 months and dedicate myself to that, but I think life allows you to enjoy other things.

“For me, there is a limit and, in the next five to 10 years, I will quit coaching.

“To compete in the Dakar Rally is a lifetime ambition for me and is something I know I have to do.

“It went from a passion to an ­obligation, a destination of life, but I can only do it when I leave football. I will do it.”


After spells in Russia and China, Villas-Boas announced that he would be taking a break from management and instead compete in the Dakar Rally in 2018.

However, he had to withdraw from the rally after crashing into a sand dune on the fourth stage in Peru and injuring his back.

He then participated in the Baja TT do Pinhal in 2018 while driving a Can-Am Maverick X3.

The Portuguese boss returned to club management between 2019 and 2021 when he took charge of Ligue 1 side Marseille.

He was admired by many players in football, as Aleksandr Kokorin revealed to Foot Mercato: “André Villas-Boas, I worked with him for a few months, he’s really the best coach I’ve had in my career, a great coach, a wonderful person.

 “A great guy, a great coach, always available when I called him, able to keep the confidence. A really great man.”

He then raced again in 2022 in the WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

After the race, Villas-Boas admitted that it was a “dream come true”.

Getty Images – Getty

Aleksandr Kokorin loved his time playing for Villas-Boas[/caption]

He told reporters: “It is one of those things you dream of as a boy. I have been watching rallies since I was a little boy, and Formula One as well.

“It is a very special, it is a great opportunity as we do it for our causes for good.

“It is very stressful to tell you the truth. I wasn’t aware of how intense it was.

“But we did well and finished on a good note, happy with the jump because I was scared to death.”

Last year the former manager also spoke of how he collects cars and how he always wanted to rally.]

Villas-Boas told WRC.com: “I like to collect cars with prestige, I always wanted to own a rally car, so I started investigating.

“At first, I was in limbo about which rally car to own.

“I have, fortunately, a good relationship with the PSA Group, and the first car that came up was actually a [Citroën] C4 from Loeb.

AFP or licensors

Villas-Boas is still open to a return to football management[/caption]

“It was a great car with six wins, but it needed rebuilding.

“It was actually a car that had been around for a while, was sold by Citroën and then was around a few drivers, so the ten years of its life were very intense.”

However, he is still open to a return to football management before 2026, as he admitted that he wants to take charge of a national side.

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