Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente - what those in football have said about Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is a world-renowned figure in the game of football - but what have those who have worked with him said?

After he put pen to paper on another year at Elland Road, we take a look:

"My admiration for Marcelo Bielsa is huge because he makes the players much, much better. Still, I didn't meet one guy, a former player from Marcelo Biesla who speaks no good about him. "They are grateful about his influence on their careers in football.

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"He helped me a lot with his advice. Whenever I speak with him I always feel like he wants to help me.

"It is important for me to say this about Marcelo because it doesn't matter how many titles he had in his career. We are judged by that – how much success we have, how many titles we have won.

"But that is much less influential than how he has influenced football and his football players. That is why, for me, he is the best coach in the world."

Mauricio Pochettino - Tottenham Hotspur manager

"He is like my football father. We are a generation of coaches who were his disciples. How he feels football, the passion he has for football, I think we all took that from him."

Diego Simeone? - Atletico Madrid manager

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"I have the influence of several coaches: Bielsa, Eriksson, Basile, they have all left a mark. Bielsa taught me the most."

Tata Martino - Mexico manager (former Barcelona and Argentina head coach)

“Bielsa is the most famous coach. He had a big impact on us as coaches.

“He only coached me for four years but it is enough. We are all disciples of Bielsa.

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“He is called Loco because the thinkers in football are usually called Loco. He is definitely not crazy.

“He has charisma, and it’s important, but charisma is not enough. He is also very intellectual. He leaves a mark wherever he has gone.

“He is a coach that players want to play for. He has left a footprint wherever he has been, at Newell’s for sure but also in Bilbao, Chile, Marseille, Argentina.”

Marcelo Gallardo - River Plate manager

“Bielsa was one of the coaches who taught me the most, but maybe I missed some of his concepts because I was very young and they didn’t interest me that much at the time.”

Ander Herrera - former player

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"He's a football romantic. He thinks that football should be a spectacle.

"He is the most original, different, singular person that I've ever met.

"He made us play football in form none of us had played before. Football needs him."

Aymeric Laporte - former player

“Bielsa’s different in lots of ways, his character, his personality. You only have to talk to him to realise he’s not cut from the usual cloth. But he’s also a really hard worker: he never stops watching matches, he has an extraordinary knowledge of football, he knows everything about the game.

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“It was Bielsa who gave me my first steps in the [Spanish] top flight, and so I owe him a lot. I’m very grateful to him and very aware of exactly what he did for me.

Mario Lemina - former player

With the coach (Bielsa), I learned a lot. It’s really very interesting to work under his command. When he left, it was a shock to me and that’s what made me want to go.”

Gabriel Heinze - former player

"I don't know if there is a secret to Bielsa and how he does so well. I know one word to describe him - that's 'work'. He works very hard, he displays passion, devotes his life to what he does, but I don't know if there is any secret."

Fernando Llorente - former player

"At first he seems tough and he may even annoy you with his persistence and don't take no for an answer resilience but in the end he is a genius."

Benjamin Mendy - former player

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"He made me devour videos like never before. To begin with he put me in front of the videos and I'd fall asleep. But he was happy! I was shocked. After a while I stopped sleeping and told myself go on, I'll watch two minutes of this thing after all.

"After that he talked to me, I talked to him and we'd go over moves together. He told me, see, that's why I let you sleep. You slept, you slept, you slept but the day you decided to watch you got interested on your own. If I'd pushed you to watch you wouldn't have been interested. Marcelo is just too good."

Alexis Sanchez - former player

"I learned a lot from him and it is because of him that I am who I am. What I remember the most about Bielsa was the mentality that he tries his players to have."

Javi Martinez - former player

"There are days when he doesn't leave the training ground until the small hours, it is insane."

Diego Maradona

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“For me what Bielsa has done (at Athletic Bilbao) is worthier than what Simeone has. Marcelo made a team out of nothing.”

Anwar El Ghazi - former player

"He is a little bit different, he can be very aggressive and shout at people but then he'll be very quiet.

"He pushes everybody to the limit, for example my body fat used to be 10% or 11% and now it's 8%.

"We train a lot, it's very physically and mentally hard. You do the kind of actions that you do on the pitch. We train like a realistic game, like passes you would do during matches, those type of things. Training is very different to what I experienced when I was playing at Ajax. We don't do position games and we don't do a lot of matches during the training sessions."

Eugenio Tironi - Chilean sociologist

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"An excellent reference and role model for youth because he achieves results through discipline, rigour, but most importantly through enthusiasm.

"He is like a character in a novel, someone who sees the world from the point of view of a game and who lives with the obsession of achieving perfection."