Former Ipswich boss George Burley can still recall how a young Villas-Boas spent two weeks at Portman Road.
And he knew from their very first meeting that the aristocratic kid from Portugal was something very special.
Burley said: "It wasn't long after I'd taken over as Ipswich boss that I got a call from Sir Bobby Robson.
"He'd just been appointed coach at Porto and asked if it would be possible to send this young lad over to learn about British football.
"He said this boy spoke perfect English and wanted to watch our training sessions, study our coaching methods and learn about tactics and team play.
"It was an unusual request but having spent the first 14 years of my career playing for Sir Bobby, of course I was going to agree.
"But I didn't realise just how young he was until he actually turned up at Ipswich.
"He had probably just turned 17 but he was very enthusiastic and very polite.
He really wanted to listen and learn and was always asking questions about what we were doing and why.
"His attitude was superb and he clearly looked up to Sir Bobby.
"And the experience and education he received at such an early age was where his incredible success all started."