Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has been admitted to hospital after crashing out of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday, ending his first attempt at the legendary cross-continent race.
The 40-year-old motorsport enthusiast suffered an accident during the fourth stage of the rally when his Toyota Hilux hit a sand dune, with the former Spurs boss being airlifted to hospital with a back injury.
Villas-Boas, who is currently out of management after leaving Shanghai SIPG last year to pursue his dream of competing in the Dakar Rally, has not broken any bones and is being checked over, with the Portuguese expected to be released later on Wednesday.
His Overdrive team director, Jean-Marc Fortin, said: “Andre was taken to the hospital with a back injury.
“It was unfortunate for Andre, who was making a very positive debut in the Dakar.”
Villas-Boas had been ranked 41st of 91 competitors remaining at the start of the fourth day alongside co-driver Ruben Faria, six hours, 10 minutes and 52 seconds behind leaders Stephane Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret.
The 5,475-mile endurance race, which is staged across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina this year over a span of two weeks with just one rest day, features legendary drivers such as nine-time rally world champion Sebastian Loeb and Spanish rally great Carlos Sainz Sr – father of the current Renault Formula One driver Carlos Sainz Jr.
This year, there was the notable inclusion of Villas-Boas on the entry list as he entered the race with former motorcycle frontrunner Faria. Villas-Boas, who has also managed Porto, Chelsea and Zenit, had been competing for ‘Race for Good’ with the aim to raise awareness for Ace Africa, an organisation that supports communities in their mission to become self-sufficient, and APPACDM, a learning disability charity.
He had originally planned to compete in the motorcycle category, but was talked out of it by KTM manager Alex Doringer and advised to tackle this year’s event by car. He also followed in the footsteps of his uncle Pedro, who took part in the event in 1982 when it was originally held in Africa.