Pep Guardiola has described Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa as the manager at the ‘top of the list’ in terms of world football on the back of the club’s promotion to the Premier League this weekend.
Leeds have had Bielsa in-charge since 2018 and after missing out on promotion last season, he’s delivered Premier League football for the first time in 16 years this weekend.
That means that Leeds will be at the top table with clubs like Manchester City next season, giving Bielsa the chance to take on Guardiola, who had some kind words on the 64-year-old today.
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“He has done an exceptional job,” Guardiola said, as quoted by the BBC.
“He is unique in world football because of the special way he plays. I learnt a lot about his style, his final product. He’s an incredible person, so special.
“It will be incredible for English football to have him in the Premier League next season,” added Guardiola.
“Winning titles helps to have a job next season but at the end of your life, what you remember is not the titles you have won, what you remember is the memories you have and whether the manager taught you a lot.
“What we remember are the experiences and the memories, the players you have had, the managers you have had. Marcelo is at the top of the list. Absolutely at the top of the list.”
It was the perfect weekend for Leeds, who were promoted and crowned as Champions without kicking a ball, with West Brom and Brentford both losing their fixtures.
When Leeds eventually took to the field on Sunday, the pressure was off and Bielsa’s side played excellently to beat Derby County 3-1.
Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton cancelled out Chris Martin’s opening goal, before a Matt Clarke own-goal wrapped up the points for the Whites.
Attention turns to the final game of the season, which sees Leeds take on Charlton Athletic at Elland Road.
The respect that Guardiola has for Bielsa tells you all you need to know about the Argentine.
To many, Guardiola is the best in the world, but he rates Bielsa so highly that he would rebuff that suggestion.
Leeds are in the Premier League now and when you hear Guardiola talk, he’s clearly delighted about that.
He wants to go up against Bielsa and their battles in the Premier League next season will be an excellent watch.
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