Benjamin Mendy has told FourFourTwo that Marcelo Bielsa is a special person, with the Manchester City full-back labelling the Leeds United boss a fantastic coach.
Mendy worked under Bielsa during his time at Marseille. And it was during Bielsa’s only full campaign at Stade Velodrome that the left-back made the most top flight appearances he would make in a single season for the Ligue 1 club.
The pair have both since moved to England. Mendy joined Manchester City for £52 million in 2017 (fee reported by BBC Sport), while Bielsa would arrive at Elland Road one year later.
Bielsa is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and talked-about figures currently in the English game. And Mendy offered an insight into what working with the Whites boss was like.
“Yes, he is special,” he told FourFourTwo. “The videos! The meetings! For me, when you go to France you need to try to speak French, but he spoke in Spanish all the time – that’s how much he was focused only on the game. He always had a guy with him to translate.
“For our first match, we had a friendly and some of the staff had been making jokes. He didn’t like them. So before that game he told them not to bother coming – we got on the coach and it was only the players, Bielsa and the doctor. We all thought, ‘This manager is crazy’. But after that it was OK – he’s a great personality, a fantastic coach, and you had to respect him for what he did.”
Could Mendy and Bielsa meet in the Premier League next season?
It is likely that the large majority of Leeds supporters would use similar adjectives to describe Bielsa and his methods.
He is loved by the Elland Road faithful. And it appears that he is in a fantastic position to secure legendary status this season by taking Leeds back to the Premier League.
The Whites are second in the Championship. And after two consecutive wins, they have put a little daylight between themselves and the chasing pack with 12 games to go.
So perhaps there is a real possibility that Mendy will be coming up against his former boss at English football’s top table next season.