Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas (Portuguese pronunciation: [luˈiz‿ɐ̃ˈdɾɛ ðɨ ˈpinɐ kɐˈβɾaɫ i ˈvilɐʒ ˈboɐʃ]; born 17 October 1977) is a Portuguese footballmanager, who most recently was the manager of Ligue 1 club Marseille. He is one of a growing number of top-level managers who have never played football professionally and one of the few managers to have never played beyond youth football.
Highlights in his career include an undefeated 2010–11 season in the Primeira Liga with Porto, winning four trophies and becoming the youngest manager ever to win a European title in the process, helping Tottenham to their then-record tally of 72 points in the Premier League during the 2012–13 season (the highest points for a team to finish outside the top four at the time) and three trophies during his spell with Zenit, achieving the fifth league title in the club’s history.
Born in Porto, Portugal, Villas-Boas was the second child and first son of Luís Filipe Manuel Henrique do Vale Peixoto de Sousa e Villas-Boas (born 29 February 1952) and Teresa Maria de Pina Cabral e Silva (born 11 February 1951). He is also the great-grandson of Dom José Gerardo Coelho Vieira Pinto do Vale Peixoto de Vilas-Boas, 1st Viscount of Guilhomil. Villas-Boas has spoken fluent English since childhood, as his grandmother was from Stockport, England. At the age of 16, Villas-Boas found himself living in the same apartment block as Sir Bobby Robson, who was then manager of Porto. Following a debate between the two, Robson appointed Villas-Boas to Porto’s observation department.
Robson arranged for Villas-Boas to obtain the FA coaching qualification, the UEFA C coaching licence in Scotland and for him to study the training methods of Ipswich Town. He obtained his C licence at the age of 17, and his B licence at 18. He received his A licence at the age of 19, and later acquired UEFA Pro Licence under the tutelage of Jim Fleeting. Villas-Boas had a short stint as technical director of the British Virgin Islands national team at the age of 21, before he moved on to a career as an assistant coach at Porto under José Mourinho. As Mourinho moved clubs to Chelsea and Internazionale, Villas-Boas followed.
At the start of the 2009–10 season, Villas-Boas left Mourinho’s team to pursue a career as a manager, and he soon found a job in the Primeira Liga with Académica de Coimbra, filling a vacancy created by Rogério Gonçalves‘ resignation in October 2009. At the time of his appointment, Académica were at the bottom of the league and still without any wins, but their luck started to change as he introduced a new style, leading them to a safe 11th place, ten points clear of the relegation zone. In addition to that, Académica also reached the 2009–10 Portuguese League Cup semi-finals, losing against Porto at the Estádio do Dragão to a late goal from Mariano González. His impact at Académica was immediate, not only because of solid results, but also because of the attractive football displayed by the team, which led to intense media speculation linking him with the vacant jobs at Sporting CP and FC Porto in the summer of 2010.