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Name Marcelo Bielsa
Gender Male
Ethnic Argentine
Job Argentine Football Coach
  Chile Head Coach
Desc Taking influence from Rinus Michels’ totaalvoetbal, as well as Argentine pioneers César Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo, Marcelo Bielsa is still to this day one of the most well-renowned managers in football history. That’s come not only as a result of his tactics on the pitch, but Bielsa’s antics off it too. Legend has it he once pulled a grenade out and threatened to pull the pin when he was confronted by a group of Newell’s Old Boys ultras at his house


Org Chile National Team
Club as Coach Leeds United

2014 11 29 Retrieve

[Marcelo Bielsa on Rugby] I have a deep admiration for rugby as a sport. You can’t play rugby without being supportive, generous and brave. Leaders who carry these values arouse my admiration and curiosity to learn from them

2014 12 20 Retrieve

[Marcelo Bielsa on Zidane] Zidane is a living monument of football. I see him more like a statue than a living being. To have Mr Zidane with me, listening to me, was unforgettable. He was increasingly compelled to listen. Zidane exercises this overwhelming power over a common man. It’s indescribable

2019 05 10 Retrieve

[The Bielsa myth: Why Leeds’ late season collapse has nothing to do with tired legs] If we want to speak clearly and say why we do not have 10 points more, we just have to look at how many chances to score the other teams need to score one goal, and how many chances we need to score one goal. The level of the team has always been the same, the effort has always been the same. Of course the team has limits … This team has hidden many limits with huge effort. With personality, and by being demanding. Each player has played very close to his maximum during many games

2019 05 11 Retrieve

[The reaction to ‘spygate’ by Frank Lampard and Derby County, as well as the English media prompted the EFL and the FA to launch formal investigations] I’ve already said that I’m the one responsible. The club are not responsible whatsoever. The person who did it followed my orders. Many condemned me saying it was immoral, unethical and violated fair play. Some say it was cheating. The club felt obliged to make public excuses to Derby. I assume the fact that my behaviour is observed. I observed all the rivals and we watched all the training sessions of the opponents before we played against them. It’s not a violation of law. We can discuss if it’s right or wrong. I didn’t have bad intentions nor did I try and get an unfair sporting advantage

[The ultimate disciplinary course of action involved a fine of £200,000 ($260k). Despite the fact that he maintained he had not broken any rules, Bielsa decided to take direct responsibility for the fine by paying it out of his own pocket] The sanction I received that the federation [Football Association] gave us - £200,000 - is a financial sanction the club received, not against me, but I am responsible for it and that’s why I paid from my pocket the financial sanction

2019 05 13 Retrieve

[Bielsa admits Guardiola’s tactics are a mystery] The argument I give to explain my respect and admiration for Guardiola is that the beauty of the play of the teams he built you can’t copy. Guardiola builds alpha teams. We always said ‘what would Guardiola do without the players he had in Barcelona?’ and you can say the players of Barcelona are unique. The players of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich are very good and Manchester City too. But the capacity to create a style which you only see in the teams of Guardiola is much more important than the players he has

I’m not saying the players aren’t important. I’m underlining his capacity to be creative. The things you can’t analyse are a mystery for those who don’t know about them. When I watch Manchester City games I feel I’m ignorant. You have a picture where 10 players are in front of their own box and City move the ball, trying to find the space to put the ball in. I see what is well done and try to copy it and understand it. But you can’t copy Guardiola’s teams. When I see it I’m wondering ‘what’s the method? What do we have to repeat to do that? What are the pre-established needs to solve this compact defence?’ But you never find out. They always find a solution.

2019 05 15 Retrieve

[Marcelo Bielsa says he would consider staying on as Leeds United head coach despite their agonising defeat to Derby County in the Championship play-off semi-final] As you can imagine, it’s not convenient to talk about that point now. You know about this process, that’s why I’m talking about it. If the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to this proposal. You just have to accept the pain. I feel very sad first of all for the players. I don’t think that there’s someone who feels more pain than our players. And I also feel sad for the pain of the fans because I know it’s a big pain. This is a responsibility that I have to assume. We are very disappointed. It’s not necessary to analyse. The natural thing in the first half is we should have finished with two goals more, but we finished with a draw and in the second half it’s a game that broke immediately. The chances of the opponent ended in goals and our’s not. It’s meaningless explaining that we had as many chances as the opponent in the second half and in the first we had more chances and should have made a difference

2020 01 22 Retrieve

[Bielsa’s philosophy dictates that his teams relentlessly press the opposition in order to win the ball back as early as possible] My football in defence is very simple: ‘we run all the time’. It’s basically playing 11 v 11 with no stops. Constantly running around and sprinting, and you have all the coaches on the pitch basically screaming all the time and basically you can’t stop running. It’s just a normal game with normal rules, 11 v 11 on a big pitch. You just play, but you can’t stop running. It’s tough, but it’s the most important session in the week. It depends on the training how long he wants us to play. It could be five times six minutes, or one times 20 minutes. It just depends what Marcelo wants. Even if the ball goes out, there’s a member of staff waiting with another ball to put it in. You can’t stop.

2020 01 22b Retrieve

[Bielsa, unsurprisingly, has consistently denied the charge that his tactical approach is somehow self-defeating. Towards the end of Leeds United’s unsuccessful promotion drive in 2018-19, for example, he simply laughed off the suggestion] It’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about, because if there’s something this team doesn’t lack, it’s energy

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Leeds opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Championship after a professional display earned them a 3-0 win over Fulham] the first half, they were better than us and after we scored, the last 30 minutes in the first half was tough for us. But in the second half, the reality was the opposite to that of the first half - the key was to correct our mistakes. With 21 points left to play for, an eight-point lead is not a definite advantage

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Leeds extended their lead at the top of Championship but by only one point after being held 1-1 at home against relegation battlers Luton] What Luton did was right. They played honest, they didn’t foul, the referee didn’t have an impact in the match. But what is true is that we had lots of chances to score and they had just one chance. The opponent had one chance to score and we needed 12 chances to score one goal. We played against a team who defended with all their players in the goal and we had 12 or 15 chances. We allowed them to shoot just twice and that is something positive for us. But we cannot ignore that the lack of efficiency was the weak point for our team

2020 07 04 Retrieve

[Leeds outclassed Blackburn to take another step towards their long-awaited Premier League return as a 3-1 victory at Ewood Park put them four points clear at the top of the Championship] [Klich] played a great match today. He was the player who balanced the whole team. It was very difficult to imagine which kind of match we were going to have. The opponent was playing with different shapes today, and they made some modifications we didn’t expect with (Sam Gallagher) on the right, (Joe Rothwell) on the left and (Armstrong) as the centre forward. That was new today