Marcelo Bielsa, an iconic figure in world football, has been speaking about Pep Guardiola in recent times, in comments to DAZN carried by Marca. The Argentine is well known as an inspiration to the Catalan, with Guardiola travelling to meet with him before he became a coach as well as meeting him when they were in charge of Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, respectively.
“He’s a magical man,” Bielsa said. “What he knows how to do is extremely difficult for me to try and I’ve already given up, but I have genuine admiration for what he does. Interpreting the novel decisions that he incorporates into a game is already a way of falling in love with football.”
Bielsa is well known for his unorthodox measures, such as watching matches from the vantage point of a pitch-side bucket as well as introducing revolutionary tactics centred around the progression of the ball as well as pressing off it. His players are renowned for their remarkable fitness levels as well as their unique style. Guardiola, the common thought goes, has adopted his methods and combined it with a ruthless will-to-win.
The pair will meet again this weekend, with Guardiola’s Manchester City currently the runaway leaders at the top of the Premier League table while Bielsa’s Leeds United sit eleventh, a very respectable first season back in the English top flight.