Premier League - AVB: battle with Mourinho 'means nothing'

Andre Villas-Boas has played down the importance of his personal battle with Jose Mourinho ahead of Tottenham's meeting with Chelsea.

PA Sport
Premier League - AVB: battle with Mourinho 'means nothing'
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Andre Villas-Boas with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, 2004 (Reuters)

Villas-Boas and Mourinho will be in opposing dugouts for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea visit White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.

For seven years Villas-Boas worked as a scout for Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but the pair split in 2009 and they have barely spoken since.

Villas-Boas wanted to become Mourinho's assistant at Inter, but the 50-year-old rejected the idea, leaving his protege to pursue his own career in management that has so far seen him take the reins at Academica de Coimbra, Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

The frosty relationship between two of the most highly-rated minds in management has been a source of debate for many years, but Villas-Boas thinks any personal battles will take a back seat on Saturday.

When asked how much his broken relationship with Mourinho mattered to the game, Villas-Boas said: "In my opinion not a lot.

"In the end we try to serve the players as much as we can.

"The game is theirs and the history of both clubs completely surpasses our achievements.

"I would say that we should, in my opinion, be secondary figures to a spectacular game that means a lot to the fans and much more to the players."

Villas-Boas insists the split was amicable, and the Spurs boss mainly put on a diplomatic front when talking about his former mentor in front of the media on Thursday.

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