Champions League news

Villas-Boas unafraid of Barca

August 25, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said he is driven by the prospect of beating European champions Barcelona.

Andre Villas-Boas
PA PhotosAndre Villas-Boas will be expected to take Chelsea far in this season's Champions League

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Villas-Boas took over from sacked Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti in the summer following a trophyless season for the Italian, as owner Roman Abramovich again demonstrated his ruthlessness in his search for silverware, in particular European glory.

Thursday marked the draw of this campaign's Champions League group stage, with Chelsea placed alongside Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk in Group E. And Villas-Boas is eager to impress in Europe's premier competition, aware that Barca are the team to beat.

"Barcelona are the reference," Villas-Boas said. "They can beat any team in the world, but so could Chelsea and so could Real (Madrid). If I didn't believe that, I'd quit the game. I'm not going into the game with a losing mentality."

Villas-Boas also considers affluent side Manchester City as contenders for the Champions League trophy, following yet another summer of investment at Eastlands, having added the likes of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri to their ranks.

He said: "They have joined together the best talent in the world this year. It's something unbelievable. It shows what they want to achieve, and they have a winning coach as well, a coach who won three titles in a row at Inter.

"I don't see why they wouldn't have the drive or the qualities to go all the way through. City are going for proven talent. (Samir) Nasri and (Sergio) Aguero. They already have their value.

"That shows that, this year, they already want to make a difference. They join an elite group that wants to be champions from the scouting and investment that we've seen there."

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