Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has lifted the lid on how he lured Marcelo Bielsa to the club but admitted he doesn’t know how much longer the popular Argentine will be staying at Elland Road.
The 65-year-old has worked wonders since being appointed Leeds manager in 2018, guiding them to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years before getting them off to a flying start in their first season in the top flight.
Bielsa, along with the work of Radrizzani and Director of Football Victor Orta, has helped transform the culture at the Yorkshire club after years of neglect and underachievement.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has revealed how he lured Marcelo Bielsa to the club
The chief says it was seen as ‘impossible’, but managed to secure him after leaving a voicemail
He is renowned for his meticulous methods and full-frontal playing style at teams including Newell’s Old Boys, Athletic Bilbao and Argentina.
The Leeds owner has revealed how securing Bielsa was first seen as ‘impossible’, but how several calls and a trip to Argentina with Orta saw them bring the legendary manager to Elland Road.
‘It was a discussion in the car [to appoint MB] between myself and Victor Orta. It was a difficult season so I wanted to have a leader, a charismatic coach who could change the culture of the club’, Radrizzani told global sports broadcaster beIN SPORTS.
‘So we went through different names and when Victor said “I think Marcelo Bielsa would be amazing, but it’s impossible.”…when someone says something is impossible I want it more. So I said “Call him now.”
He and Victor Orta (right) flew to Argentina to meet Bielsa who had a clear plan for Leeds
‘And then he didn’t pick up but he [Victor] left him a message. By the time he spoke to him the next day he [MB] had already watched ten games [of LUFC], already knew the players, that’s the man he is.
‘Then we flew to Buenos Aires and we spent ten hours in a room learning from him while he was already clear in his mind what to do and change in the training ground.
As good a coup it was to land the manager originally, Radrizzani also admitted it is unclear how much longer they will be able to keep Bielsa at the club.
The Argentine does not tend to stay with a team longer than two to three seasons and only signs with a club one year at a time.
Radrizzani admitted he doesn’t know how long they will keep Bielsa, who got Leeds promoted
‘Well, I hope he can stay with us for a long time, but we like to decide year by year because obviously as I said in another interview he’s not a young manager, he’s 65 and his family, his wife is often in Argentina’, Radrizzani added.
‘Hopefully he can stay longer – 60 is the new 40 these days! If not, I think what he’s building is the foundation for a proper club.’
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