The second few days of April has hurled one of the Premier League’s most fascinating match-ups in the hole, as Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

The peculiar Bielsa has engineered Leeds’ hotly anticipated re-visitation of the first class, playing a debilitating style of football and standing out as truly newsworthy off the pitch with his different whimsies.

The previous Argentina administrator is an incredible influencer – and companion – of Guardiola’s. The City manager has appreciated a profession of maintained, momentous accomplishment since he traded the contribute for the burrow 2007, forming groups that have sent footballing records tumbling across Europe.

In any case, Guardiola may not be the director he is today were it not for the impact of Bielsa, making for a possibly captivating an hour and a half on Saturday evening at the Etihad Stadium.


It was October 2006 and Pep Guardiola was moving into the board. On the exhortation of ex-partner Gabriel Batistuta, he traveled to visit Batistuta’s previous global supervisor Marcelo Bielsa on his farm in Argentina.

It was the pair’s first-truly meeting. They wildly talked, discussed, and took apart football, strategies, reasoning, and everything in the middle of profound into the early hours of the morning.

They initially met in the burrow in November 2011, as Bielsa’s Athletic Club was denied every one of the three focuses against Guardiola’s imperious Barcelona side on account of a last-minute Lionel Messi equalizer. It finished up an excited 2-2 thrill ride with botches, blazes of brightness, and a red card – pretty much all that you could need from a round of football.

One of their most celebrated experiences was in the 2012 Copa del Rey last. In readiness, Bielsa fastidiously concentrated each of the 63 of Barcelona’s games from the 2011/12 season, observing each objective scored and yielded and separating each second and each progress that prompted them.

Bilbao lost 3-0.


 Guardiola commented at full time when given Bielsa’s broad examination.

“It was pointless,” Bielsa answered.

Their first Premier League meeting was in October when the crown jewels were partaken in a 1-1 draw among Leeds and Man City at Elland Road.


Bielsa appreciated an unobtrusive playing profession in contrast with Guardiola, playing homegrown football in his local Argentina – most strikingly for Newell’s Old Boys – during the 70s, prior to calling time on his playing days in 1980 at the period of only 25 to seek after a training vocation.

The Leeds manager has taken the panoramic detour to the Premier League. He went through 10 years in the Old Boys youth framework prior to tolerating the top occupation at his previous side. He and his improved container at that point took different situations at clubs across Argentina and Mexico, before the Argentina work came bringing in 1998.

He acquired clique status for the work he did with the Chile public group somewhere in the range of 2007 and 2011, totally reviving the footballing arrangement, improving the adolescent framework, and controlling the country to World Cup capability following an eight-year nonattendance.

His scrupulousness and unconventionalities have consistently grabbed the attention; from the notorious ‘Spy Gate’ during the 2018/19 season, to the reality he went to live with nuns in a religious community in 2004. Despite the fact that his prize bureau is generally uncovered, he is viewed as one of the game’s extraordinary researchers, psyches, and characters.

Conversely, Guardiola’s sparkling playing vocation has been coordinated by his accomplishments as an administrator. A profound lying midfielder in his day, he won six La Liga titles as a feature of Johan Cruyff’s famous Barcelona side of the 1990s, prior to closing his playing profession with brief spells in Italy, Qatar, and Mexico.

Guardiola at that point made a distinguished Barcelona side of his own subsequent to taking the Camp Nou tough situation in 2008. He won two Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles as Barcelona tiki-taka-ed their way into the football history books.

His tender loving care is practically identical to that of Bielsa’s, while his irately elevated expectations are apparent to any individual who has watched Manchester City’s Amazon Prime narrative. Like Bielsa, he takes an amicable, energetic, and persuasive methodology – yet has reliably had much better players available to him.

Furthermore, with regards to being a sequential, pompous over-mastermind, the pair unquestionably rival each other for that award.


The likenesses in playing style between the pair are frequently overhyped. Leeds has a marginally more turbulent style, with a more noteworthy accentuation set on their high-energy squeezing theory and wisely coordinated over-burdens.

Interestingly, City rules ownership in the last third. They pass groups to death until players are ultimately moved out of position, permitting Guardiola’s side to jump.

Albeit the style of play in execution contrasts, in way of thinking, there are similitudes; the high guarded line that is nearly requesting to be abused, the ravaging full-backs, and the complex positional trade.

Bielsa and Guardiola both interested in football that is extreme and persevering. Games are seized, it is 100 miles 60 minutes, and a debilitating assaulting exertion. You could undoubtedly two or three seasons under Bielsa or Guardiola and afterward, joyfully resign at 25 with a similar energy-sapped vibe of somebody hanging up their boots toward the finish of a 20-year vocation.

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