'He is a great influencer' - Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa hailed by Pablo Aimar after FIFA nomination

The Leeds United head coach has been hailed by one of his former players after his FIFA nomination.
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Pablo Aimar has hailed 'influencer'Marcelo Bielsa after the Leeds United boss made the three man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2020.

Aimar, currently assistant manager of Argentina's national team, was handed his first international cap by Bielsa in 1999.

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The 41-year-old made 52 appearances for La Albiceleste, scoring eight goals before retiring from international football in 2009.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: GettyLeeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

Aimar was part of Bielsa's squad that headed to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, where Argentina failed to progress from the group stages having been beaten by England during the tournament.

Bielsa has spent the last two and a half years working in the country which caused him heartache 18 years ago and helped restore the Whites' top flight status after 16 years in the Football League wilderness.

Bielsa's achievements in West Yorkshire haven't gone unnoticed on the world stage.

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The 65-year-old was nominated for the top coaching gong at FIFA's yearly awards ceremony and when the shortlist was whittled down to a final three, he remained in the running alongside Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Bayern Munich boss Hans-Dieter Flick.

The winner will announced on Thursday in Zurich.

Aimar says Bielsa's legacy is the impression he makes on the players he coaches.

"He has an impact and had a great impact in all of the footballers he managed," he said.

"In all of the countries that he has been in he had a big influence. I think that the word is being a great influencer.

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"In English football I think he left his mark and he is doing it now [with Leeds] in the biggest league.

"I think it's where the best coaches of the world are and that today it's the strongest league in the world.

"We will have to see what will be his legacy in this league... but it's very clear that he is a person and a manager with great influence in all the people that are around him, even in a league so strong, so powerful and with so much history as it is the English one."