Porto win Europa League title
Dublin: Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas insists it would cost Europe`s super-powers a fortune to break up his Europa League winners.
Villas-Boas and several of Porto`s squad will be highly prized after a triumphant campaign reached a new high with a 1-0 victory over Braga in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Colombia striker Falcao scored the winner with a superb header on the stroke of half-time at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin as Porto added Europe`s second tier trophy to the Portuguese title they won without losing a single match.
At just 33, Villas-Boas is the youngest coach to win a UEFA club competition and his meteoric rise has drawn admiring glances from Chelsea, Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma.
It would be no surprise if Porto receive an official approach for Villas-Boas, as well as Falcao and fellow forward Hulk, before next season.
But Villas-Boas revealed the buy-out clause in his contract and those of Hulk and Falcao may prove prohibitive.
"The speculation is normal with managers and players all around the world. Porto has such an incredible year that people speculate about exits," he said.
"But Porto has the highest release clauses in the market so it is not easy for these talents to leave us.”
"Hulk has a release clause of £100 million. It is not easy for any club to pay and Falcao has a release clause of £30 million, which is not easy to pay either.”
"My release clause is very high. It is something that is not normal. I am proud to have that because it reflects on Porto.”
"Of course you can say that is a number that doesn`t scare people but there is not a lot of money in peoples` pockets. It is not impossible but let`s hope we can keep everyone for next year."
Villas-Boas did acknowledge that he would love to test himself in one of world`s top leagues eventually, but he plans a short career in the game and would happily retire to a life of motorbike riding within 10 years.
"I have an ambition to leave a mark in the game and to win much more. The greatest leagues in the world are the Spanish, English and Italian leagues and one day I hope to be part of it," he said.
"But I am happy in Porto, it is my home town. I want to have a short career because it is very stressful.”
"Normally it would be 10 years. I am crazy about motorsports so maybe I will buy a new car or bike and jet off."
After spending several years as Jose Mourinho`s opposition scout at Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea, Villas-Boas has inevitably been compared to the Special One.
In truth his relationship with Real Madrid coach Mourinho has fractured since they parted ways at Inter.
He was willing to dedicate the trophy to his compatriot but was far more glowing in his tribute to the influence Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has had on his career.
Villas-Boas is huge admirer of Guardiola`s attacking principles and he said: "I should pay a compliment to Pep Guardiola. He was always an inspiration for me because of his methodology and the way Barca play fantastic football.
"I had the chance to meet him this year. He is an inspiration everyday. His philosophy is Barcelona`s philosophy.”
"The other I should mention is Jose Mourinho, he introduced me to professional football and gave me a lot. I would like to dedicate the trophy to him and also to my family and to Bobby Robson, who gave me my start."
While Villas-Boas can justifiably contemplate a bright future, Braga coach Domingos Paciencia is also expected to go onto greater things.
Paciencia had already announced he would leave after the final, with Sporting Lisbon mooted as his likely next club.
"I`m sad because this team has been working together for two years. We went through unique moments," Paciencia said "It is a cycle that has been broken. I hope Braga will grow stronger.
"We reached the final and that shows this team has lots of qualities. It`s normal that there is a bit of frustration but we should be proud of reaching a final of this magnitude."