Pep Guardiola says the manager of Leeds United Marcelo Bielsa is “probably” the person he admires the most in the world in terms of how he organizes his team and the personality of the 65-year-old Argentine tactician.
Guardiola will come face to face with Marcelo Bielsa who has been into coaching since 1990 at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium today, October 3, at 17:30. It is Leeds’ 4th Premier League game of the season and City’s 3rd league game.
Since Marcelo Bielsa returned Leeds United to the Premier League after the club had tried for 16 years without success, the club has been spectacular so far in the league. They have been proving why they were EFL Championship winners in the 2019-2020 season.
It took luck and extreme effort for Premier League reigning champions, Liverpool, to beat Leeds United 4-3 at Anfield on September 12. Since then, Marcelo Bielsa and his boys have gone on to win their last two Premier League games which means that they have recorded two wins in three league games. This performance has kept them on the 7th spot of the league table.
The fact that Pep Guardiola lost his first Premier League match of the season 5-2 against Leicester City on September 27 could give Leeds United the hope of pulling out an upset against City later today.
If that should happen, Pep Guardiola would want the world to know that it is because Marcelo Bielsa is “the most authentic manager” he has ever known. The 49-year-old Spanish coach who once said Dutch coach Johan Cruyff was his coaching inspiration said Marcelo is always inspirational to him whenever he sees him.
“He is probably the person I admire the most in world football – as a manager and as a person,” Guardiola said.
“He is the most authentic manager in terms of how he conducts his teams. He is unique. Nobody can imitate him, it’s impossible.
“I don’t see him quite as much but when I get the pleasure to spend time with him, it’s always inspirational.”
Pep Guardiola says being the greatest coach does not depend on trophies
Before Marcelo Bielsa started coaching Leeds United in 2018, he has coached a host of other clubs including Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio, and Lille. Unfortunately for the veteran coach, he has not been able to win one-quarter of what Guardiola has won with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and now Manchester City.
The biggest football title Marcelo has won as a coach was Gold Medal in football at the 2004 Summer Olympics with Argentina football team. He has also won the Argentine league title with Newell’s Old Boys in 1991.
Amidst all the European clubs he has coached, the club Marcelo enjoyed the most success was at Athletic Bilbao. While at the Spanish club, he helped the club to reach the finals of Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League in the 2011-2012 season.
Contrary to the way football fans see success in coaching, Pep Guardiola wants the world to know that “the value of a manager does not depend on how many titles or prizes you won”.
“My teams won more titles than his but in terms of knowledge of the game and many other things, including training sessions, I am still away from him”, Guardiola noted.
“It’s a good gift to the Premier League to have him here because his teams are always a joy to watch. They are honest, they always want to attack and they produce good football for spectators.”