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Even Lionel Messi wanted Marcelo Bielsa as his coach

Leeds United

Even Lionel Messi wanted Marcelo Bielsa as his coach

The Argentine is now the clear front-runner to become the new Leeds United manager.

Leeds United’s hunt for a new manager has gone into realms of fantasy for the football hipster. It appears that former Athletic Bilbao and Chile boss Marcelo Bielsa is the frontrunner for the role. Paul Heckingbottom was sacked at the start of the month, as Leeds’ owner Andrea Radrizzani continues trying to pin down his philosophy at the club.

Bielsa is, of course, a fine choice and one of the great managerial minds of a generation. If you want a finer example of just how highly regarded Bielsa is, then just rewind to the summer of 2012.

Bielsa had just led Bilbao to the Europa League final in swashbuckling fashion. The way they had dispatched of Manchester United earlier in the competition left English football fans aghast at their relentless style of play. Meanwhile, at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola was standing down. In a shock move, the club legend decided he needed time out from the game and left the Nou Camp.

(Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images)

The immediate front-runner to take the job? It was indeed Marcelo Bielsa.

His incredible football philosophy would have gone down brilliantly in Catalonia and he was undoubtedly the man for the job. As reported by Goal at the time, Barca’s star man Lionel Messi was an advocate for Bielsa getting the top job.


But the Argentine had started a project at Bilbao he had no desire of departing and in the end, Barcelona went internal with the appointment of the now sadly deceased Tito Vilanova.

Of course, this is in no way a suggestion that Messi might one day pop up at Elland Road. However, what is clear is that Leeds will be playing some of the purest football in England if they can get convince Bielsa to head to West Yorkshire.

Even the football neutrals should want to see it happen.

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