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Oct 19, 2012

AVB plays down Chelsea success

As Andre Villas-Boas prepares to face European champions Chelsea this weekend, the Tottenham manager has said it is a superior achievement to go unbeaten in the league than win the Champions League.

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Although the Portuguese made the statement rather matter-of-factly and with no hint of taunting, it was noteworthy given that he himself went an entire campaign undefeated with Porto the very season before Chelsea won the Champions League after sacking him.

"Winning any league is extremely difficult but going through it unbeaten is also extremely difficult," he said. "The achievement that Arsenal did [in 2003-04] was remarkable and outstanding and probably won't be repeated in the modern game as it happened in Porto with me.

"There were games where we lived on the limit and certainly Arsenal did the same. It will be something extremely difficult to go past."

When outright asked which was more difficult between that and winning the European Cup, Villas-Boas was emphatic: "Remaining unbeaten in the league."

Meanwhile, Villas-Boas has stood by his own decision to fully back John Terry in the wake of the infamous match at QPR in October 2011. At the time, the Portuguese described the situation as a "witch-hunt". A year on, however, he is a little more nuanced about it.

He said: "This is a long story full of events, so many different interpretations, so many governing bodies intervening. I made my stance towards my reading of the situation. But what I did in the past I continue to support."

When asked if he would still have Terry as captain, Villas-Boas was diplomatic. "It is not up to me," he added. "I am not in that situation."

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