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Tite's Corinthians connections makes Brazil strong unit: Villas-Boas

NEWS
329   //    26 Feb 2018, 18:27 IST

By Saumojyoti S Choudhury

Monaco, Feb 26 (PTI) Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas feels that Brazilian manager Tite's stint with the Corinthians will come in handy during World Cup in Russia as most national team players were at one point in time associated with country's top football club.

Talking about World Cup, Villas-Boas termed Germany and Brzil are the two teams to watch out for while Argentina's consistency is a problem for him.

I will put my money on Germany and Brazil. Brazil now have a group of players who played under Tite in Corinthians. They look really strong. Then in group of outsiders are Portugal, France, Belgium and Spain. They look to threaten these two gig teams. In the knock-outs, we can see some surprises, the 40-year-old Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs manager told PTI during an interview on the sidelines of the Laureus Sports Awards.

Argentina, I dont really see the consistency needed to win a World Cup. They changed to Jorge Sampaoli, a very attacking coach but still a lot of work to do in terms of organisation, preparation. Consistency is very important and thats why I put the Germans up ahead. I put Argentina a little bit outside, he added.

Asked to choose his pick among Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Villas-Boas named the Portuguese goal-poacher as his favourite.

I am Portuguese so this question is easier to respond. Cristiano, I think is amazing. They (Ronaldo and Messi) are now 5-5 in terms Ballon Dor titles. They are the two greatest players in the world but Ronaldo, for his age at 33 is gigantic and momentous player, he added.

Having managed clubs like FC Porto, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Zenit Saint Petersburg, Villas-Boas also coached Chinese side Shanghai SIPG.

But he didn't hide his desire to manage French giants Paris St Germain in future.

Its vacation time now. In March-April decisions are taken. So lets see in terms of projects that come my way. But my idea is to get back to Europe and try between Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

At this moment I would prefer club over national team. PSG are really well coached now. Unai Emery (PSG coach) is a good friend of mine so I will never put myself in that position.

But when you are in the market there is always contact. I was close to PSG deal twice. If they (PSG) continue to do well under Emery, then I will continue to be in the waiting but you never know, Villas-Boas said.

He had taken part in the Dakar Rally this season and would want to again take part.

Villas-Boas is a big motorsports fan and that is precisely the reason he took a sabbatical from his successful football coaching career to test his endurance and abilities under the wheel in the gruelling 2018 Dakar Rally.

Inspired by his uncle, who took part in the event in 1982, Villas-Boas and his fellow Portuguese co-driver Ruben Faria picked up a Hilux pick-up truck and participated in the Dakar.

But his experience came to a tragic end when he met with an accident in the enduring sand dunes of Peru in the fourth stage and was later airlifted to a hospital. He broke his back and since then has been recovering but he desires to make a comeback again.

For me, it was a great individual challenge (participating in Dakar Rally). I really wanted to go through it to see my mental and physical capabilities. I left Shanghai and I only had one month preparation time. I was really hoping to go past Peru stages and then the Dakar would have become much easier but unfortunately I crashed in the dunes.

But it was a great human experience for me, something I would like to repeat one day.

Motorsports passionate by his own admission, Villas-Boas said he wants to complete the Dakar Rally one day after finishing his football coaching career.

Motorsports is a passion which I got from my family. My uncle also did it few times. I have big passion for motor racing. My father used to take me to Formula One. I come to see the Monaco Grand Prix every year. One of my big passions is cars and motor racing, he said.

When you do something you really want to do it till the end. There was a bit frustration of coming out after the fourth stage. I hope one day when I go back and complete the race

NEWS
Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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