Porto’s Andre Villas-Boas: There is no problem between Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho and me

Portuguese trainer remains humble in spite of earning laurels for his exploits with the Dragons and says that he is happy in his current job

Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas has squashed suggestions that he is no longer on good terms with his former mentor Jose Mourinho and has also reiterated his desire to remain with the Portuguese giants.

Villas-Boas spent several years with the current Real Madrid coach as he was his compatriot’s scout at Porto, Chelsea and Inter. However, the 33-year-old parted company with Mourinho in 2009 to become the first-team manager of Academica and joined the Dragons last summer.

The 33-year-old Portuguese tactician, though, insists that there is no friction between him and Mourinho and is quoted as saying by AFP: "I spent seven years with Jose and we were part of a very good technical staff. We went to top class clubs at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan and worked with top players who gave us such a tremendous volume of success.

“The position I had with him was a position he needed some help on. I understood my role from the beginning and tried to fulfill it with maximum professionalism. When I left him, he took on another person who I hope gives him the same level. Regarding why I left Inter, it was because I wanted the extra edge to fulfill my ambitions as a professional coach, so I took the risk to find my own job at Academica."

Villas-Boas has been hugely successful with Porto this campaign, with the Portuguese giants winning the domestic league without losing a single game and they will take on Braga in the Europa League final in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

However, the Portuguese trainer has played down his own contribution and explained: "People focus a lot on the work of the manager and I don't see it that way. I don't see myself as a one-man show. Football isn't won by one person but by collective competence. It is the quality of the players and the structure of the club.

"I just want to make my players give their most. I give them room to express themselves because that's how they develop. I promote their talent and let them make their own decisions. There are no dictators. We don't see the game as a tactical game. If you are a dictator of choices, players won't be able to explore their possibilities to the full. You have to be able to free them."

Porto will start Wednesday’s encounter as favourites but Villas-Boas has warned against complacency.

"I'm not interested in saying who is favourites and who isn't. It won't help us. Braga comes to the final on merit," he said. "Braga has played against Celtic, Sevilla, Liverpool, Benfica and Arsenal. These are big European teams that lost to Braga. That shows they have done remarkable work so we need to focus.

"But we will be fighting for it, we really want to win. We will give our utmost and we are confident we will achieve a good result."

Villas-Boas has been linked with a host of major European clubs in the summer including Italian giants Juventus, but he has turned down such reports.

"I'm very happy at Porto," he said. "It's the city I grew up in. It is my own club and I don't think it is easy to leave it."

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