Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Andres Villas-Boas has explained to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo that he opted to join Zenit Saint Petersburg in order to work under less pressure.
The Portuguese coach was tipped for big things after winning a famous treble with Porto and joined Chelsea with big expectations.
However, a tough spell at Stamford Bridge soon saw him relieved of his duties and he later joined fellow Premier League side Tottenham.
At Spurs, he improved the team following Harry Redknapp’s spell as boss and the White Hart Lane club used the money from the sale of Gareth Bale to strengthen a number of areas.
Yet, a disappointing start to the 2013/14 campaign once again saw him out of work – despite achieving the highest percentage of league wins at Spurs of any manager in the club’s Premier League history.
“I made some errors in England. Maybe I was too aggressive with the press in order to protect my players, but I also felt that I was mistreated. I wasn’t given the players I asked for,” AVB explained.
His two London dismissals prompted questions of his managerial ability in England, but on the continent he was still held in high regard and was reportedly the subject of offers from big European teams, including Barcelona.
Villas-Boas, however, allegedly rejected the advances of the Nou Camp in favour of the Russian top flight, telling reporters of his decision:
“I had offers from big European teams but I decided to opt for a lower profile. Here in Zenit I can work happily, with total support and respect from the club and the players,” he explained.
“It’s a step forward here, I have been able to bring in the players that I wanted such as Ezequiel Garay. On Barcelona, everybody knows I was in contact with them, I’m not going to deny that.”
The Catalans eventually appointed Argentine coach Gerardo Martino, but after just one unsuccessful season he departed the Nou Camp with Luis Enrique taking over last summer.
As for AVB, his Zenit side currently top the Russian table by four points and look a good bid to challenge for the Europa League.