Ex-Chelsea and Spurs manager to contest Dakar Rally

This article first appeared on motorsport.com

Andre Villas-Boas, former manager of English football clubs Chelsea and Tottenham, will compete in the 2018 Dakar Rally, the event organisers have announced.

The Portuguese, aged 40, will compete behind the wheel of a Toyota Hilux in the car category, with former motorcycle class frontrunner Ruben Faria joining him as co-driver.

Villas-Boas said he considered contesting the race on a bike before heeding advice to enter the car category instead.

“I spoke with my friend Alex Doringer, the manager of the KTM team, who told me that I would still need a full year’s preparation to get there [on a bike] and that it was better to consider doing it with a car,” Villas-Boas said.

“So I got in touch with Team Overdrive [Toyota] and here I am!”

As a manager, Villas-Boas won the UEFA Europa League with Porto in 2011, joining Chelsea at the conclusion of that season.

He departed the English team without overseeing a full campaign, and later joined another London-based outfit in Tottenham, where his stint in charge was likewise relatively brief.

More recently, Villas-Boas managed Russia’s Zenit and China’s Shanghai SIPG.

His Dakar 2018 co-driver Faria has been a regular competitor in the event with KTM over the past decade, finishing runner-up to teammate Cyril Despres in 2013.

He retired from full-time bike competition last year.

“When Andre called me to propose that I join him, I had to think about it… for at least five seconds,” Faria said.

“It is a great challenge and I think that we can put in a good Dakar, which means making it to the bivouac every night and not to arrive too late!”

The 2018 Dakar Rally – the 40th edition of the event – will take place between January 6-20, spanning Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

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