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Guardiola praises influential Bielsa following Leeds ‘exceptional’ promotion

Pep Guardiola has praised Marcelo Bielsa and congratulated the Argentine after he guided Leeds to promotion to the Premier League.

Premier League football will return to Elland Road for the first time in 16 years next season, after Bielsa’s side were crowned as champions of England’s second tier to earn a long-awaited promotion back to the top flight.

Bielsa is widely credited as a major influence on a host of modern managers including the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, and the Manchester City boss has praised the veteran coach following his achievement in guiding Leeds back into the big time.

“Congratulations, not just to Marcelo Bielsa, but all Leeds. It is a historic team, after 16 years they are coming back and it will be good to go to play in that stadium against them,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.

“They have done an exceptional job, it was not easy mentally for the club after not being promoted last season. They did it one year later, which shows how consistent they are. Big congratulations.”

Guardiola has previously described Bielsa as the ‘best-prepared manager’ he has seen and spent time with the Leeds manager before embarking on his own managerial career at Barcelona, the Spaniard effusive in his praise for the 64-year-old’s methods and believes the Premier League will benefit from his presence next season.

“I was not his player so it is difficult for me to talk about him, but I know the reference and influence for a thousand million players that did work with him,” he continued.

“I was lucky to have the opportunity to talk with him, but for world football, his ethics, his behaviour, the way his team plays, he is an authentic manager, his product is always incredible. Nobody can imitate him and that makes him special.

“I think, honestly it is my personal opinion, for English football it will be incredible for him to be in the Premier League this season and learn how his teams play. Titles help you to have more jobs, but at the end of your life when you remember it is not the titles you won what you remember are the memories you had with the teams and players you worked with.

“I have memories as a football player the managers would teach me, not the titles I won as a manager. You spend a bad night after the Arsenal game but the day after it is forgotten and when you win a title it is the same. What you remember is the memories and the experiences you have as a player and Marcelo is at the top of the list for this.

“Knowledge as a manager does not depend on results, knowledge is knowledge. Other people just see the results but the managers and players judge them through the knowledge the manager has and there are no doubts about Marcelo Bielsa and his knowledge through the comments and experience of the players.”

Leeds already setting sights on Europe following Premier League promotion

See also – 2020 Ballon d’Or scrapped due to ‘unordinary conditions’

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