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André Villas-Boas has been named as the new coach of FC Porto, with the 32-year-old having agreed to take charge of the deposed Portuguese champions for the next two seasons.
Having led A. Académica de Coimbra to an 11th-placed finish last season in his first campaign as a senior coach, Villas-Boas will have a chance to try his luck in the UEFA Europa League with Porto, who finished third in the Liga under Jesualdo Ferreira and won the Portuguese Cup. The 64-year-old Ferreira left the club by mutual consent last Wednesday, having led them to three straight titles from 2006 to 2009.
Villas-Boas is regarded as one of the most exciting up-and-coming coaches in Portugal. First employed as a coach at Porto by the late Sir Bobby Robson in the mid-1990s, he was appointed as the British Virgin Islands' technical director in 2000, but enjoyed more tangible success as part of José Mourinho's back-room staff at Porto, Chelsea FC and FC Internazionale Milano.
However, the coach insisted that despite his illustrious mentors, he was his own man. "I am not the clone of anyone," he said. "Bobby Robson was very important to me in the beginning when I first came to this stadium as a coach at the age of 17, and José Mourinho too.
People are always mentioning how young I am, but what matters when it came to my appointment was my ability. I want to leave my mark on this club."
He took sole command at Académica after Rogério Gonçalves was dismissed seven games into the 2009/10 season. His first game in charge saw his side lose 3-2 to Porto at the Estádio do Dragão, and Os Estudantes (the Students) also lost 1-0 to his new side in the Portuguese Cup semi-final. Porto will start their 2010/11 UEFA Europa League campaign in the play-off round.
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