‘Bielsa would have relegated Bilbao’

Javier Clemente believes that if Marcelo Bielsa had continued at Athletic Bilbao one more year the club would have been relegated.

It is not the first time former Bilbao and Spain national team boss Clemente has been critical of the Argentine, now Coach at Marseille, having condemned Bielsa for his team’s performance in the final of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona 18 months ago.

However, speaking in an exclusive interview with Telebilbao, it appears he has gone even further this time and suggested Los Leones may have suffered demotion for the first time in the club’s history.

“It was a big mistake to bring Bielsa to Athletic and if he’d been there another season we’d have gone down,” said Clemente, who is now in charge of Libya.

“I used to like the way Bielsa worked, but for Argentina and not Athletic. I see him as more suited to French football because there are a lot of African players and their football is better to his style of play.”

In 2012 Clemente reproached Bielsa, who was at San Mames for two seasons, for not recognising the ‘significance’ of Athletic and saying he should learn how to win finals.

Tags Javier Clemente Marcelo Bielsa