Bobby Robson inspired many people in his long and very successful football career.
André Villas-Boas – inspired by the great Bobby Robson
Bobby finally passed away from cancer in July, 2009, just days following a match at St. James’ Park to celebrate the England vs Germany semi-final of the 1990 World Cup, when England were eventually beaten on penalties.
That match attracted many personalities in football, who were only too willing to show their thanks to a man who was an inspiration to a lot of us.
We know Jose Mourinho has often talked in glowing terms of Bobby, since Jose was his translator at Barcelona, when Bobby managed that famous club from 1996-1997.
It turns out that Bobby also had a big impact on new Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas, who has today paid tribute to the inspiration of the great man.
When Andre was just 16 and a born and bred Porto supporter, he lived in the same apartment building as Bobby Robson, who was managing FC Porto at that time (1995), and Bobby finally appointed Villas-Boas to Porto’s scouting department.
And under the guidance of Robson, who was always impressed with the youngster’s fluent English, he achieved his UEFA C coaching license at the young age of 17 in Scotland.
Andre was an assistant to Jose Mourinho at Porto, when they famously won the European Champions League in 2004, and he moved with Jose to both Chelsea and Inter Milan, to continue working with Jose, before finally taking over at Porto last season.
It’s really good to see that Villas-Boas has not forgotten the men who helped him achieve his meteoric success, and he had this to say about the inspirational Bobby Robson today:
“Bobby was a very important person in my career,””He was the person who advised me at a very young age to go on coaching courses and unlocked the doors of Porto for me to have access to his training sessions.”
“We had a very good relationship and he was someone I respected a lot and was respected in the world of football.”
“What he did he did not only with me and Jose, but with all different kinds of people, promoting them and inspiring them to take their own role and their own way.”
“He is somebody who means a lot to the English game and I think he would be happy of course, to see me here at Chelsea now.”
Villas-Boas has replaced Carlo Ancelotti as manager at the West London club, and we’ll be following his career closely now – just like we have followed the career of another former Robson prodigy, Jose Mourinho, who hasn’t done too bad in his management career so far.