La Liga Weekly

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Pep Guardiola mentioned that Marcelo Bielsa is the best coach in the world. Although there might be
people that might think that Pep as well as the gatekeeper at Valdebebas would be the top two, there is a significant case for the Argentine to be earning that distinction.

First of all, Bielsa never had the money that Jose Mourinho has had in his last three stops- in his career.  Of course, the backing that Guardiola has is also important and just as unattainable in any job Bielsa has had at the club level.  Well you could even say that Bielsas national teams have not had those types of moneys.

The closest he ever got to blank check at the club level was when he was coaching Club América in
Mexico. At that time, Las Águilas were in the middle of a title drought that was mostly attributed to bad management.  Still his ability to get the most out of his side earned him consideration for
the Mexican national team job- which he declined.

For many, Bielsas greatest teams were the Newells Old Boys side from the late 80s and early 90s.  He led them to the doorstep of glory as they won back-to back titles with La Lepra.  He was left at the altar in Copa Libertadores in 1992 as he lost to one of the greatest sides in South America football history- Telê Santanas São Paulo.

He also took over a Vélez Sarsfield side that he had to rebuild with a successful core of players led by José Luis Chilavert, Christian Bassedas, Flavio Zandoná and Darío Husaín.  Under Osvaldo Piazza, who took over for Carlos Bianchi, they were able to win league as well the Super Cup under his
regime.

Mourinho and Pep did not have to start projects from scratch. That is what he had to do at Chile. From an xs and os standpoint, Bielsa had the manpower but not the resources. The ANFP had to establish a new
training center as well as implement a new style of play that wouldhelp La Roja return to the World Cup since 1998.

This was a job where he was able to do something that not even a gold medal in the Olympics could fully heal.  The 2002 World Cup looked to have been his Waterloo at one moment.  People blamed  his
tactical hubris and stubbornness to leave out Juan Román Riquelme as the reasons for Argentinas exit in that tournament.

As far as what Bielsa is doing (with what he has) is starting to show his true colors and the belief that the club has in him.  Now the detractors that criticized Josu Urrutia when he brought the Rosario native on aboard at Lezama.

He has been able to change the way that Bilbao traditionally played and has made talented players to truly play with such style and pace that take some Basques back to the days of Elauste, Pichichi, Panizo and Iraondo- even though most of fans werent alive when they were in their heyday.

He has earned all the plaudits that he received throughout his career and there is no doubt that the
financial sky is the limit in his latest, and possibly, greatest endeavor of all.  It is true, there is a thin line between genius and insanity and Marcelo Bielsa has been able to balance that out perfectly up to now.  Is he the best in the world?  Maybe. But if you look at his body of work, he has truly built a great legacy.

Fred Pentland is definitely smiling from above when he sees Bielsas side playing these days.

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