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Guardiola is a magical man - Bielsa says hes given up trying to imitate Man City boss

07-Apr-2021, 01:50 pm

Marcelo Bielsa Pep Guardiola Leeds Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is a "magical man", according to Marcelo Bielsa, who says hes "given up" trying to imitate the Manchester City boss.

Bielsa is currently preparing his Leeds United team for a trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, where they will come up against the runaway Premier League leaders.

The Argentinehas talked up Guardiolas qualities as a coach ahead of that fixture, admitting he hasbeen unable to replicate the Spaniards trademark playing style over the course of his own managerial career.

"Hes a magical man. What he knows how to do is extremely difficult for me to try [to copy] and I’ve already given up, but I have genuine admiration for what he does," Bielsa toldDAZN.

"Interpreting the novel decisions that he incorporates into a game is already a way of falling in love with football."

Guardiola has expressed his admiration towards Bielsa on a number of occasions, including during a press conference before Citys 1-1 draw at Elland Road back in October.

The City tactician insisted he considers himself to be below the 65-year-old in the list of the best managers in the game despite boasting a far superior record in terms of trophies won.

“He is probably the person I admire the most in world football - as a manager and as a person,” said Guardiola. "I think he is the most authentic manager all the time. In terms of how he conducts his teams, he is unique.

"The value of the manager does not depend on how many titles he has won. My teams have won more titles than him but in terms of knowledge of the game, I am still below him.

“His teams are always a joy to watch; how honest they are, they always want to attack and produce good football for the spectators.”

Bielsa has come up against Guardiola four times on the touchline, and has yet to record a victory, losing twice and drawing twice.

Guardiolas Barcelona beat a Bielsa-led Athletic Club 3-0 in the 2012 Copa del Rey final, and the former also had the superior head-to-head record in La Liga that season.

Athletic earned a 2-2 draw at San Mames stadium in the first-ever meeting between the two managers, but Barcawon the reverse fixture at Camp Nou 2-0.

Leeds have impressed during their first season back in Premier League, rising to 11th in the table with eight matches left to play.

Bielsas side should comfortably avoid the drop, and could even push for a European place if they win the majority of their remaining games.

The Whites have entertained fans with their slick passing interchanges and willingness to throw men forward, scoring 47 goals, but have also shipped 48 at the other end of the pitch.

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