Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa thanks Louis van Gaal following retirement

Two names invariably come up with Marcelo Bielsa talks about the inspiration behind his coaching career, and no-one ever ranks above Jorge Griffa.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 4:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 4:08 pm
Former manager Louis van Gaal.

Griffa is a legendary figure at Newell’s Old Boys, the Argentinian club where Bielsa is also revered, and Bielsa has spoken before about the impression the 83-year-old scout made on him in his early days as a coach.

But Bielsa also thinks of himself as a disciple of Louis van Gaal, a man he never worked with directly or managed against but whose methods, tactics and innovation struck a chord.

Earlier this month, van Gaal announced his retirement from coaching.

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Now 67, the former Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Holland boss had been absent from the touchline since the end of his short reign at Manchester United and publicly declared that the job at Old Trafford would be his last.

Paying tribute to him today, Leeds United head coach Bielsa said: “I want to say thank you to van Gaal because he’s finished his career as a coach.

“With all the people who’ve learned from him by watching his work, my desire is only to say thank you for what I learned and for all the things he showed us, which deserve to carry on.

“It doesn’t mean we learned these things. But we tried.”