Villas-Boas dreams of riding into the sunset

Chelsea manager says he escapes from pressure by riding motorbike through mountains of Portugal

Andre Villas-Boas's youth and rapid rise through the ranks of his profession always suggested there must be much more to the Chelsea manager than meets the eye.

The surprise to many people will be that behind the besuited coach is a motorcyclist whose ambition is to compete in the Paris-Dakar rally.

Villas-Boas has repeatedly bristled when he has been accused of being the kind of coach who specialises in the forensic analysis of the game.

True, he developed his early reputation on the back of the detailedscouting reports he prepared for Jose Mourinho when he was part of the backroom staff at Stamford Bridge, but since then he has been keen to point out that, as the man in charge, the laptop plays only a supporting role in his methods.

Villas-Boas, he insists, is just like any other manager. Any other manager, that is, who will use the international break to indulge his hobby of off-road motorcycling in the Portuguese mountains.

"Like all the other managers I like time off," he said. "My passions are outside football. I'm not one of those people who are obsessed with the game. I have tremendous passion for the game but I don't live and breathe it 24 hours a day. I just live and breathe it the way I have to do with responsibilities of the job and the passion I have for the game."

His collection runs to five bikes and a number of cars, all of which are still in Portugal. The broken limbs sustained in pursuing his hobby so far run to just one.

"I have a couple of bikes from the Dakar Rally," he said. "One is in my collection and the other I ride. I have a bit of a crazy head so I have enduro-bikes. I go into mountains with the big rocks and almost kill myself!

"It feels fantastic. It's my escape, my passion. You feel the need for it. Driving is adrenaline-fuelled and feels good. We all have our passions and respond in different ways. I would love to do Paris-Dakar, yes. It's expensive. But maybe it's something for when my career ends."

He added: "I'm not more meticulous than other managers. I'm not one of those who watches everything. It's a stamp people tend to sell, just to pretend. I'm not like that. When it's time to switch off, I do. I don't watch second division German football."

The fracture came when he was in charge of the FC Porto youth team and, no doubt to the relief of the Chelsea board, he insists it will be his last. "Now I tend to be more careful and not exaggerate," he adds.

The forthcoming international break will allow Villas-Boas to return to Portugal to ride his bikes, although the quality of his break will be dependent on his team avoiding defeat when they visit the Reebok Stadium tomorrow to face a Bolton side without a win since the opening day.

"When things don't go your way, you have to take over your life and emotional state," he added. "It just takes two days to get over a defeat."

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