The next edition of Rally of Portugal It will have among its more than 100 registered an illustrious figure of Portuguese sport whose success has come from an area totally foreign to football: the coach André Villas-Boas.
The technician, without equipment since his controversial resignation of Olympique de Marseille in March, he will compete in his country’s event at the wheel of a Citroen C3 Rally2 in the WRC3 category, with his compatriot Gonçalo Magalhaes as co-pilot. In this category, he will share the track with some of the most promising figures in the World Cup quarry, such as the Spanish Jan Solans or Pepe Lopez.
Villas-Boas’s passion for rallying comes from afar. In 2018 he contested the Dakar rally with a Toyota hilux (the same one that, for example, years later took Fernando Alonso or with the one who won Nasser Al-Attiyah), although he did not complete it (he left with a lumbar trauma due to an accident in the dunes), and has already participated in several rally events with a relatively good level. This same year, to prepare for the one in Portugal, he played the classic Vieira do Minho.
Villas-Boas is by no means the first athlete in a foreign discipline to make the move to rallying. In Spain, the case of the also ex-footballer stands out Santi Cañizares, who has contested the Spanish championship with a Suzuki, or that of the cyclist Oscar Pereiro, who has also made his first steps behind the wheel.