Champions League news

Villas-Boas admires Barcelona

October 18, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Barcelona have set the "benchmark for modern football".

Andre Villas-Boas presser
GettyImagesAndre Villas-Boas has much admiration for Barcelona

Barcelona have been in stunning form in recent seasons, mesmerising fans with their attacking style while lifting the Champions League trophy twice in the last three years and claiming three successive La Liga titles.

Villas-Boas, whose side host Genk in the Champions League on Wednesday, arrived at Chelsea this summer having shone at Porto, where he claimed an impressive treble last season, and has admitted to his admiration for the way Barca play.

He said: "When I became a manager I got excited with an idea for how football should be played. Barcelona has set new standards for the way the game is played. They are the benchmark for modern football.

"Their success is a combination of events that has provided this team with the ability to play so well. It is the amount of talent that has come through the youth team and a manager who defends the club's philosophy so well.

"I'm not sure it can be this way forever because there will be some years of talent and some of drought, but now they are setting new standards in the game."

After a steady start under Villas-Boas, the Blues have swept aside their last three opponents in the Premier League, scoring 12 goals in the process, and Villas-Boas has been encouraged by his side's progress under his stewardship.

He said: "The most important thing has been able to progress from the first three games when we were not fluent in what we want to achieve. The confidence of the players has helped us become more fluent since the Sunderland game.

"In the match routines players are relating better with each other. It is not for me to say how well we are playing. I can analyse my own team but I'm not sure this is new. It is player talent expressed through the team.

"The players all want to get back to winning titles, when the focus is on that people are more receptive to receiving ideas."