Possession principles - Issue 24 (July 2012)
At just 34, André Villas-Boas is widely regarded as one of the most promising young coaches in world football.
A brilliant planner and deep tactical thinker, the Portuguese never kicked a ball professionally, but from a very young age harboured ambitions of coaching at the highest level.
Living in the same apartment block as Sir Bobby Robson – who was then manager of Porto – Villas-Boas earned himself a job at the club. The 16-yearold worked his way up through the ranks before, five years later, landing the role of head coach with the British Virgin Islands national team.
He later joined Portuguese Primeira Liga side Académica de Coimbra, rescuing the club from relegation, and earning himself a move back to Porto, this time as first-team manager. Under his guidance, the club won the Portuguese Cup and Portuguese Supercup, went the entire Primeira Liga season unbeaten (winning the title by more than 20 points), and clinched the UEFA Europa League.
He went on to join Chelsea in the summer of 2011, departing in March 2012.
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