André Villas-Boas named as new Marseille manager
AVB is back in football
Yes, the Dakar Rally's loss is French football's gain. Former Chelsea and Spurs boss André Villas-Boas has today been announced as the new manager of Olympique Marseille.
The Portuguese takes over from Rudi Garcia, who steered Marseille to a fifth place finish in Ligue 1. Marseille announced the news on their Twitter account:
— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_Officiel) May 28, 2019
Villas-Boas has not managed since leaving Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG in November 2017. AVB was reasonably successful in China, guiding his team to second place in the Chinese Super League as well as the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.
After leaving China, Villas-Boas tried his hand at motorsports. He competed in the 2018 Dakar Rally, eventually withdrawing from the race after crashing into a sand dune in Peru.
AVB's route into football management was somewhat unconventional. He never played professionally, which immediately drew parallels to managers such as Jose Mourinho and Arrigo Sacchi.
Instead, Villas-Boas' first job in football was at the club he supported. He joined FC Porto's analytics department under then-manager Sir Bobby Robson.
After a short spell with the British Virgin Islands, Villas-Boas became assistant manager to Mourinho at Porto. He later followed his compatriot to Chelsea and Inter, before being named Porto head coach.
His time in Porto was decorated in success, and his squad lifted the 2010-11 Europa League trophy. Domestically, they also won the Primeira Liga, Portuguese Cup and Portuguese Super Cup.
Villas-Boas was then snapped up by Chelsea, but his spell in England was somewhat mixed.
He lasted less than a year at Stamford Bridge, being sacked by Chelsea in 2012 before the club won the Champions League under caretaker coach Roberto Di Matteo.
AVB would then go on to replace Harry Redknapp at Tottenham. His spell at Spurs was more successful, and they finished fifth in the Premier League with a then record points tally of 72. Later that year, he replaced Harry Redknapp at Spurs, guiding them to a fifth place finish with a club's then highest points total in the Premier league of 72 points.