Marcelo Bielsa provides selfless acceptance speech as Leeds United head coach makes history to scoop LMA Award

LEEDS United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has been named Championship manager of the year as part of the annual LMA Awards.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bielsa becomes the first ever Leeds United manager or head coach to win the award since it was introduced in 1994.

In his second season at the helm, United romped to the Championship title with Leeds finishing ten points clear of second-placed West Brom and ensuring a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

United won 28 of their 46 league games with the Whites drawing nine and losing just nine.

THE TOP MAN: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa with the Championship trophy. Picture by Tony Johnson.THE TOP MAN: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa with the Championship trophy. Picture by Tony Johnson.
THE TOP MAN: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa with the Championship trophy. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Bielsa was one of four contenders for the award alongside West Brom's Slaven Bilic, Brentford's Thomas Frank and Wigan Athletic's Paul Cook.

Delivering his acceptance speech via a recorded video message in Spanish, Bielsa said: "Good evening, first of all, I wish to apologise for not delivering this message in English and for doing so in my own language.

"Secondly, I'd like to say thank you for this award.

"It's of special importance to me because votes were cast by the coaches in the league that Leeds have won.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The fact that my colleagues have decided to single out my contribution means so much to me.

"Awards are usually recognition of success achieved by a particular team and in this case it's recognition of the title that Leeds have won.

"I know perfectly well how much help I've received along the path towards this achievement.

"I'd like to thank the club and the authorities who hired me and gave me the chance to work in English football, the fans for their support, contribution and the love that they've shown towards me and every member of staff who has worked alongside the players this year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"In this regard there are many unnamed people who perform key roles in the work that we do with the players on a daily basis.

"Finally, the biggest thank you is to the players themselves because they're the ones doing the most difficult job in football which is playing, competing and, in this case, clinching success.

"Coaches are always the product of the players that we get to coach and I'd like to stress how grateful I am to them.

"I'd also like to thank the body in charge of the awards.

"Thank you very much everyone, it's been a pleasure speaking to you."