Andre Villas-Boas, a former football manager, broke the mold by choosing rally racing over managing a football team.
The 45-year-old was once regarded as one of Europe’s most promising young managers.
After an undefeated season with FC Porto in which he captured both the league championship and the Europa League, Villas-Boas gained notoriety.
He increased the club’s record victory percentage for any manager throughout the Premier League era when he departed Spurs in 2013.
Villas-Boas disclosed before leaving the North London club that he planned to transition out of management and into rally racing within the following ten years.
He stated to the Portuguese publication O Jogo then: “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.”
Years later, Villas-Boas took a sabbatical from management and participated in the Dakar Rally in 2018 after stints in China and Russia.
However, he was forced to leave the rally after hurting his back on the fourth stage in Peru after he collided with a sand dune.
Then, in 2018, he took part in the Baja TT do Pinhal while operating a Can-Am Maverick X3.
Between 2019 and 2021, the Portuguese manager returned to club management when he was named manager of Ligue 1 team Marseille.
Many football players looked up to him, as Aleksandr Kokorin confessed 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 competed once more in the WRC Vodafone Rally of Portugal in 2022.
Andre Villas-Boas said that the victory was a “dream come true” after the race.
He stated to 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.”
The former manager also mentioned last year that he likes to rally and that he collects automobiles.
Luis André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas, a Portuguese football manager who most recently served as Marseille’s manager, was born on October 17, 1977.
He is one of the few managers who has never played beyond youth football, and one of an increasing number of top-level managers who have never played football professionally.
Highlights of his career include helping Tottenham to their then-record tally of 72 points in the Premier League during the 2012–13 season (the most points for a team to finish outside the top four at the time), an undefeated 2010–11 season in the Primeira Liga with Porto, winning four trophies and becoming the youngest manager ever to win a European title in the process, and three trophies during his time with Zenit, winning the fifth league title in the club’s history.
On November 29, 2017, it was revealed that Villas-Boas would compete in the 2018 Dakar Rally in a Toyota Hilux with Ruben Faria, a past champion in the motorbike class.
He pulled out of the rally after hurting his back on the fourth stage in Peru when he collided with a sand dune.
He took part in the Baja TT do Pinhal on March 16 and 17, 2018, while operating a Can-Am Maverick X3.
They placed 12th while operating a Citroen C3 Rally2 with co-driver Gonçalo Magalhes.
Villas-Boas has stated that he is not likely to compete in the WRC again and instead plans to return to the Dakar Rally.
Is Villas-Boas Married?
In 2004, Andre Villas-Boas wed Joana Maria Noronha de Ornelas Teixeira, with whom he has two daughters, Benedita (born in August 2009), Carolina (born in October 2010), and a son, Frederico (born May 2015).
His paternal grandmother Margaret Kendall, whose mother relocated to Portugal from Cheadle, Greater Manchester, England, to launch a wine company, taught him how to speak English effectively.
During the Second World War, her brother Douglas Kendall worked as a wing commander with the Royal Air Force.
The title of Viscount of Guilhomil, which was first given to his father José Gerado Villas-Boas by King Carlos I in 1890, was held by his paternal great-uncle José Rui Villas-Boas.