Villas-Boas 'will conquer Europe' says Academica chief

By Jonathan StevensonBBC Sport
Andre Villas-Boas
Villas-Boas won the Europa League with Porto last season

The man who gave Andre Villas-Boas his first job in management has backed the new Chelsea boss to win the Champions League with the west London club.

Academica president Jose Eduardo Simoes appointed Villas-Boas in October 2009.

Simoes told BBC Sport: "I could tell after our first meeting that he is a great human being, a natural leader.

"He will be successful at Chelsea and in two years' time I can certainly imagine him winning the Premier League and the Champions League."

Villas-Boas, 33, who spent seven years as part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, took over at Academica with the club bottom of the Portuguese league having failed to win a single game.

He led them to safety by 10 points and took them to a League Cup semi-final before going back to Porto last summer, where he went on to win four trophies in his first full season as a manager.

Off the back of this success, Chelsea paid £13.3m to activate a release clause in his Porto contract to bring him to Stamford Bridge as successor to Carlo Ancelotti.

Simoes added: "Villas-Boas did some very good work at my club. He improved the players' self-esteem and produced some quality football too - if he had been there for the entire season, we could have finished as high as fifth.

"He has got talent, he is a natural leader and he is very easy to work with. He communicates well, has a clear and well-structured message, he likes 'mind-games' and makes good use of them, he knows what he wants and how to achieve it and he creates a positive working atmosphere around him.

"Villas-Boas is a different kind of leader to Mourinho, but he shares the same capacity to motivate his players. I am very proud of all the successes he has had and of the ones yet to come."

Read the full Q&A with Jose Eduardo Simoes by clicking on this link.