Ex-Chelsea & Spurs boss Villas-Boas set for World Rally Championship debut in Portugal

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Three years after competing in the Dakar Rally, the currently unattached coach is set to run again in his native country

Former Tottenham and Chelsea manager Andres Villas-Boas will make his debut in the World Rally Championship after entering the Portugal leg of the competition. 

Villas Boas, 43, has been out of work since February when he parted company with Marseille in stormy circumstances.

And he is taking the opportunity to pursue a different sporting interest, as he prepares to pilot a Citroen C3 in his home nation. 

Andres behind the wheel

Villas Boas has a long-standing affinity with motorsports, especially in their off-road variety. 

In 2018 the Portuguese manager made his debut in the famed Dakar Rally at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux, although that experience ended on a low note. 

He was forced to withdraw in the fourth stage in Peru after sustaining minor back injuries, telling BBC Sport: “Nothing [was] broken, which was the main worry.

“Unfortunately I can’t continue but it’s part of the Dakar.”

Villas Boas went on to participate in a charity rally at the start of 2021, but this will be his first taste of elite competition. 

He will compete in the WRC3 category, the third tier of the championship for privateer cars.

The bigger picture

Jose Mourinho’s former assistant at Porto has experienced mixed fortunes since taking on his first job as head coach with Academica at just 32. 

He has lifted titles in both Portugal and Russia, with Porto and Zenit respectively, but struggled to impress during two stints in the Premier League with Chelsea and Tottenham. 

His most recent job in France turned sour at the start of the year when he publicly offered his resignation in a press conference due to a disagreement with the board over the signing of Olivier Ntcham. 

Marseille responded by sacking their coach, with ex-Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli coming in to replace him. 

Further reading 

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