East Asia China

Andre Villas-Boas leaves Shanghai SIPG to pursue Dakar Rally career

Former Shanghai SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas has quit the Chinese Super League and intends to take a break from football to pursue his interest in motorsports.

The 40-year-old joined Shanghai SIPG in November of last year but ended his maiden season in the Chinese Super League without a trophy, as the team finished runners-up in the Chinese Super League.

Villas-Boas had been linked with a return to the English Premier League as Everton’s new manager but has made it clear that he will compete in the 2018 Dakar Rally in January.

“I spoke with my friend Alex Doringer, the manager of the KTM team, who told me that I would still need a full year’s preparation to get there and that it was better to consider doing it with a car,” he said.

Villas-Boas will follow in the footsteps of his uncle Pedro who took part in the event back in 1982. He had initially wanted to contest the race on a motorbike but was advised against it because of the lack of preparation time.

“So I got in touch with Team Overdrive and here I am,” he added.

The event starts in Peru on 6 January, with the ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea manager will drive a Toyota Hilux in the car category.