Born in Porto, Portugal, it was under the guidance of the then FC Porto manager, the late Sir Bobby Robson, that he took the first steps on his career as a coach, after Sir Bobby invited him to observe training. He went on to obtain his UEFA coaching badges and his first coaching roles were in FC Porto's youth academy, where he was assistant coach and coach to various year groups from the Under-8s up to the Under-18s.
He left Porto to become the British Virgin Islands's FA Youth Co-ordinator before being promoted to Technical Director.
Then he returned to Portugal as assistant coach to Jose Mourinho at Porto, and undertook similar roles at Chelsea and Inter Milan before taking the top job at Portuguese side Academica de Coimbra in October, 2009. Bottom of the table and without a win on his arrival, he guided them to the safety of 11th place by the end of that 2009/2010 campaign - as well as the semi-finals of the domestic cup - having stamped his own unique style of football on the team.
That success naturally caught the eye of Portugal's top teams and when Porto came calling, he couldn't resist the lure of his hometown club once more and took charge as manager in June, 2010.
In an incredible debut season as manager at the Estadio de Dragao, he not only led Porto to a quadruple success of Portuguese Supercup, League Championship, Portuguese Cup and Europa League, but did so remaining undefeated during the league campaign, conceding just 13 goals. At the age of 33 years and 213 days, he also became the youngest manager to ever win a European trophy.
After one season with Porto, he left to join Chelsea in June, 2011, and extended his own personal undefeated league record to 39 games, before leaving the post the following March.
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