Villas-Boas warning for Europe
Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas has warned clubs around Europe that neither he nor his players are ripe for picking after their Europa League win.
Falcao’s 44th-minute header earned Porto a 1-0 win over Braga on Wednesday night that meant Villas-Boas became the youngest manager to win a UEFA club competition.
The 33-year-old had already won the Portuguese Super Cup and the league, and he will pick up a fourth winners’ medal if the Dragons beat Vitoria Guimaraes in Sunday’s cup final.
Villas-Boas reaffirmed his commitment to Porto after the victory and insisted he had only played a small part in the club’s success this season.
Hulk and Falcao have scored a remarkable 71 goals between them this term and are bound to be the subject of interest from Europe’s giants this summer, but Villas-Boas insists they will be staying at the club with him.
"The speculation is normal with managers and players around the world," Villas-Boas said.
"But it’s not easy for any of this talent to run away from us.
"Hulk has a release clause of 100million euros, which is not easy for any club to pay. Falcao’s is 30million euros.
"It’s very difficult for a club to splash around that amount of money. It’s not impossible, but let’s hope we can keep the majority of our talent next year."
On his own future Villas-Boas added: "My release clause is very, very high.
"It’s something that’s not normal. That reflects the power of Porto’s brand, and I’m very proud of that.
"This is my club, my home town and I’m proud to be here.
"My ambitions are not important."
Villas-Boas paid tribute to Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and the two men who had mentored him throughout his time in management – Sir Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho – after the win.
Robson gave a 16-year-old Villas-Boas his first break in football by enrolling him in several coaching courses after impressing the Englishman with his passion for the game during his time in charge of Porto.
Villas-Boas went on to forge a career in scouting with Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan before taking the helm at the Estadio do Dragao.
"I dedicate this win to my technical staff, the players of Porto and the supporters. But I’d like to pay a compliment to Pep Guardiola and to Jose Mourinho," Villas-Boas said.
"He (Mourinho) introduced me to professional football, and I’d like to dedicate this to him and to someone who has already left us, but was decisive in my career: Sir Bobby Robson.
"I never had the opportunity to say farewell to him. I’d like to dedicate this to him and his wife, Elsie, and thank him for everything he’s done for me."
The only brief glimpse Braga got of goal in Dublin was when substitute Mossoro wrestled the ball off Fernando and broke free just after the break.
The forward squandered the chance though, driving straight at Helton’s legs.
The miss, Braga coach Domingos Paciencia conceded, was a vital turning point in the match.
He said: "I’m a bit sad for not being able to win, which was what we were really longing for, but the difference lies in small details which can settle a match.
"This game had three or four moments: the goal that Falcao scored on 44 minutes, and how Mossoro could have equalised moments later.
"Everything could have changed. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. But we weren’t able to reach the standards we hoped to."
He admits it was a disappointing way to end his time in charge of the Arsenalistas, but insists he is still proud of his team for beating the likes of Benfica and Liverpool to get to the final.
"I hope Braga will grow and become stronger," the 42-year-old said.
"I’m sad to go out in this way. But we’re still proud of ourselves."