Shanghai SIPG boss Andre Villas-Boas leaves his post at the club to pursue his dream of competing in the Dakar Rally: reports
The 40-year-old will compete in the Dakar Rally next year after it was confirmed the former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boss will drive a Toyota Hilux in the two-week race
Andre Villas-Boas has quit as manager of the Chinese Super League’s Shanghai SIPG to pursue a career in rally driving, according to reports.
It was reported on Wednesday that the 40-year-old will compete in the Dakar Rally next year after the former Porto, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Zenit St Petersburg boss announced he will drive for Team Overdrive in the two-week race, which starts on January 6 in Lima and criss-crosses the Andes before concluding in Argentina.
Villas-Boas, a keen motorsport enthusiast, will drive alongside countryman Ruben Faria after revealing he originally approached his friend with the idea of completing the gruelling rally on a motorbike.
“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 and that it was better to consider doing it with a car,” Villas-Boas told the Dakar Rally website.
“So I got in touch with Team Overdrive and here I am!”
The Portuguese’s time at SIPG was rumoured to be at an end after the conclusion of the 2017 Super League campaign, although it is believed a number of the club’s directors wanted him to stay on and build on this season’s second-placed finish.
He also led the club to the final of the CFA Cup in his one and only year with the club, although they were beaten on away goals by cross-town rivals Shanghai Shenhua.
Villas-Boas had been reluctant to discuss his future after the Cup final loss, although having made a promise to deliver silverware in his first season at the helm and failing to deliver, he was expected to step down.
Villas-Boas’ uncle Pedro drove in the 1982 edition race in 1982.