Inside Andre Villas-Boas’ shocking career change after ex-Chelsea boss left football management to drive rally cars


EX-FOOTBALL manager Andre Villas-Boas broke with form when he swapped 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 drive rally cars

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Andre Villas-Boas gave up football management to drive rally cars
He took part in the Dakar Rally in 2018

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He took part in the Dakar Rally in 2018Photo Credit: AP:Associated Press
But he was forced to retreat after crashing into a sand dune

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But he was forced to retreat after crashing into a sand duneCredit: Jordi Rierola

Villas-Boas attracted attention after an unbeaten season FC Portoin which he won both the championship title and the Europa League.

This saw him appointed Chelsea in 2011 but was fired a year later and moved on Tottenham.

When he left Spurs in 2013 he surpassed the club’s record winning percentage of any manager in the Premier League era.

Before Leaving the North London clubVillas-Boas announced that he would be leaving management over the next decade with the goal of rally racing.

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

“For me there is a limit and I will stop coaching in the next five to ten years.

“To take part in the Dakar Rally is a lifetime dream for me and something I know I have to do.

“It went from a passion to a commitment, to a goal in life, but the only way I can do it is by leaving football. I will do it.â€‌

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

However, he then had to withdraw from the rally Impact on a sand dune on the fourth stage in Peru and injured his back.

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

The Portuguese manager returned to the club’s helm between 2019 and 2021 when he took charge of the Ligue 1 side Marseilles.

Andre Villas-Boas was forced to end his chase to end the Dakar Rally after falling on a sand dune but was able to walk away from the incident

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Andre Villas-Boas was forced to end his chase to end the Dakar Rally after falling on a sand dune but was able to walk away from the incidentPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty
He made it in England at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur

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He made it in England at Chelsea and Tottenham HotspurPhoto credit: AFP
His last club was Ligue 1 club Marseille

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His last club was Ligue 1 club MarseillePhoto credit: Reuters

He was admired by many players in football, as revealed by Aleksandr Kokorin foot Mercato: “André Villas-Boas, I worked with him for a few months, he really is 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 maintain confidence.  A really great man.”

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

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

He said reporter: “It’s one of those things you dream about as a boy. I’ve watched rallies since I was a little boy and also Formula 1.

“It’s very special, it’s a great opportunity as we’re doing it for a good cause.

“It’s very stressful telling 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 that he’s always wanted to do rallies.)

Villas-Boas told WRC.com: “I like collecting prestige cars, I’ve always wanted to own a rally car, so I started researching.

“At first I was in limbo as to which rally car I should own.

“Fortunately, I have a good relationship with the PSA group and the first car that appeared was actually a (Citroën) C4 from Loeb.

Villas-Boas remains open to a return to football management

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Villas-Boas remains open to a return to football managementPhoto credit: AFP

“It was a great car with six wins, but it had to be modified.

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

However, he is still open to returning to football management before 2026 as he admitted he would like to do so take over a national team.





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