Andre Villas-Boas has said that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho makes those he works with “fall in love with him,” adding that the time spent working with his fellow Portuguese was the best of his life.
The pair worked together from 2002 to 2009 at Porto, Chelsea and Inter, with Villas-Boas eventually graduating from the role of opposition scout to become one of Mourinho’s most trusted assistants.
But tensions ultimately developed in the relationship and Villas-Boas left Mourinho’s side to embark on his own distinguished career in management, which has included spells at Academica, Porto, Chelsea, Tottenham and Zenit St Petersburg.
Speaking at an event in Amsterdam, Villas-Boas said he no longer has Mourinho’s phone number and has not spoken to his former boss in some time but added: “In my formative moments working with Jose was the best time of my life.
“I was able to learn to many things and working with him takes you to another level. You fall in love with him and he becomes your idol. I wanted to be like him, know everything that he knew and absorb all the information he was giving.
“Then you fall on the wrong side of Jose and that’s when things change and you realise that you’ve been blinded by someone. He has this fascinating capability of getting the best out of you, which has good or bad consequences for people.
“My consequences were that as a result of the argument or disagreement we had, I started my coaching career.”
Villas-Boas followed in Mourinho’s footsteps by leading Porto to domestic and European glory before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2011, but his spell in charge at Stamford Bridge lasted just nine months as he was sacked after a series of clashes with senior players.
“The Chelsea experience was too much too soon,” he added. “I wasn’t flexible as a manager at that time. I was communicative, but I wasn’t flexible in my approach. At Tottenham I learnt to be different.
“In professional football you have to live the day-to-day. The objective is the group performance, but every single individual requires a different response from a manager.
“You can’t be the same person to each player. At Chelsea the group was more important, I stuck to my methods too much.”
Villas-Boas is currently out of work, having left Zenit St Petersburg in May after winning the Russian Premier League and Russian Cup in two seasons and turning down a contract extension.