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Leeds United Football Club Manager – Marcelo Bielsa

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Marcelo Bielsa is Leeds United football club manager and has been helping the club reach the English Premier League and stay there for the past three seasons. In the past, Bielsa has also managed Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Chile, Argentina, Espanyol, Newell’s Old Boys, and other teams. However, Bielsa has been a manager with Leeds the longest among his stints as a club manager.

Marcelo Bielsa has played professional football as a defender in the past, with Newells’ Old Boys, Instituto, and Argentino racking up 113 appearances between the three clubs. Based on his performance as a manager and player, most football fans will remember him as the great Marcelo Bielsa manager. The Leeds United football club manager is also credited with managing former players who have become managers themselves, such as Mauricio Pochettino, Diego Simeone, M. Gallardo, and influenced other managers such as Pep Guardiola.

Marcelo Bielsa Career 1980s-2000s

Marcelo Bielsa retired in the 1980s and started managing youth teams until 1990 before becoming the manager of Newell. Marcelo was appointed manager of Argentina’s men’s national football team before 1999 and stayed as manager for four more years, winning the Olympics in 2004 and finishing second in Copa America the same year. However, the team failed to qualify past the group stage in the 2002 World Cup won by Brazil. After Argentina, Bielsa was appointed as manager of the Chile national football team. As a result, the team managed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA football world cup and even reached the last 16. The fans and club members wanted Bielsa to continue working for Chile, but he resigned from his position due to differences with the board president.

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Marcelo Bielsa Career 2011-2017

Bielsa then switched back to managing club football with Athletic Bilbao and had a perfect season. Bilbao defeated Manchester United, Schalke, and Sporting Portugal in the Europa League before losing in the semifinals. Nevertheless, the team made it to the final round of the Copa del Rey in 2012. The following year saw vital players leave the club, with Bielsa parting ways to manage Marseille. Bielsa worked Marseille for one season with a top-four finish before resigning due to agreement conflicts.

In 2016, Lazio appointed Bielsa, and he quit two days later because the club failed to sign critical players he asked for by a specific timeline. Lazio responded with a lawsuit. The next team to appoint Bielsa was Lille in 2017. Marcelo recruited several talented youth players such as Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo Moreno Machado, Pepe, Maia, Mende, Malcuit, Toure, Luiz, etc., at the expense of releasing key older players. Lille then suspended Bielsa halfway through the season before terminating his contract with the club. After the Marcelo Bielsa review, the Argentine manager felt he was removed from his position because he sold or froze out older and famous players.

Marcelo Bielsa In Leeds United

In 2018, Leeds United managed to appoint Marco Bielsa on a two-year contract and the highest wages ever paid to a manager at Leeds United. In addition, Bielsa managed to win his first six games with the club, a record held previously with only three wins by two other managers. Marcelo Bielsa also admitted to sending a spy to Derby to help give Leeds an edge at the top of the table and was fined 200,000 pounds for the Spygate incident. In his first season in charge, Bielsa almost secured automatic promotion but fell out of first and second place with four games left in the season.

 

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Marcelo Bielsa was involved in another incident right before the regular season that may have cost Leeds the title. Leeds scored a goal against Villa when a player was injured, and in the aftermath, the referee sent off a Villa player. Bielsa asked his side to let Villa score a goal and concede one, which happened. The game cost Leeds automatic promotion. However, Bielsa and Leeds won the FIFA Fair Play Award. The club then lost Derby in the Championship qualification game and repeated the same process the following year.

Leeds secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years, thanks to Bielsa at the helm. Bielsa also has a street named after him in the City Center following his promotion to the Premier League. Leeds plays fast and high-scoring games under Bielsa but also concedes as much because of their playing style. As a result, the team has been able to keep up with Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City.

Seth Schey
the authorSeth Schey
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