Andre Villas-Boas has revealed working with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho "was the best time of my life". The 38-year-old Portuguese coach worked with Mourinho from 2002 to 2009 at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan – and has admitted to being captivated by his countryman.
Villas-Boas fell out with his mentor in 2009 when he left Mourinho to pursue his own managerial career, which has included spells at Academica, Porto, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Zenit St Petersburg. Villas-Boas admitted he no longer has Mourinho's phone number and has not spoken to his one-time boss for a considerable period of time.
"In my formative moments working with Jose was the best time of my life," the former Chelsea manager explained, according to ESPN.
"I was able to learn to many things and working with him takes you to another level. You fall in love with him and he becomes your idol. I wanted to be like him, know everything that he knew and absorb all the information he was giving.
"Then you fall on the wrong side of Jose and that's when things change and you realise that you've been blinded by someone. He has this fascinating capability of getting the best out of you, which has good or bad consequences for people. My consequences were that as a result of the argument or disagreement we had, I started my coaching career."
Villas-Boas – who served as an assistant to the United manager during his first spell at Chelsea – admitted he bit off more than he could chew upon taking charge of the Stamford Bridge club in 2011. The Portuguese lasted just nine months at Chelsea before he was sacked, after which he spent a year-and-a-half as manager of Tottenham.
"The Chelsea experience was too much too soon. I wasn't flexible as a manager at that time. I was communicative, but I wasn't flexible in my approach. At Tottenham I learnt to be different," Villas-Boas reflected.
"In professional football you have to live the day-to-day. The objective is the group performance, but every single individual requires a different response from a manager. You can't be the same person to each player. At Chelsea the group was more important, I stuck to my methods too much."