The appointment of Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea manager will boost the Blues’ chances of winning the Champions League trophy so coveted by owner Roman Abramovich, it has been claimed.
In an interview with the BBC, Academica president Jose Eduardo Simoes, who gave Villas-Boas his first job in management, tipped his former employee to bring domestic and European glory to Stamford Bridge.
“I could tell after our first meeting that he is a great human being, a natural leader,” he told the news provider.
“He will be successful at Chelsea and in two years’ time I can certainly imagine him winning the Premier League and the Champions League.”
The Blues are joint-third favourites to win the 2011-12 Champions League, with their odds of 15/2 putting them alongside last year’s beaten finalists Manchester United.
Barcelona are out in front in bwin’s football betting market with odds of 2/1 to defend the trophy they won last year.
Meanwhile, their Spanish rivals Real Madrid are second-favourites at 9/2 having made their first Champions League semi-final appearance since 2003 last time around.
All this means that a successful £25 free bet on Chelsea to claim their first Champions League crown, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £66.25
Villas-Boas was at Academica for less than a year having assumed control at the club in October 2009.
At the time, Academica were bottom of the league and yet to record a win, but the 33-year-old Portuguese quickly turned the team’s fortunes around.
He not only led them to safety but did so while ensuring the team played attractive football.
“Villas-Boas did some very good work at my club,” Simoes confirmed.
“He improved the players’ self-esteem and produced some quality football too – if he had been there for the entire season, we could have finished as high as fifth.”
A former protege of Jose Mourinho, Villas-Boas went on to have great success at FC Porto before his move to Chelsea last Wednesday.
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