Marcelo Bielsa: Leeds boss ‘top of the list’ – Pep Guardiola

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Marcelo Bielsa is “absolutely at the top of the list” as a manager, says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Argentine Bielsa guided Leeds back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence and his team have since been crowned Championship winners.

“He has done an exceptional job,” Guardiola said.

“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.”

Bielsa has managed Argentina and Chile at international level and clubs including Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille, before joining Leeds in 2018.

“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.”

‘I’m so excited on this two weeks we have ahead’

Meanwhile, with his team assured of second place in the Premier League, Guardiola plans to rotate his squad for the final two matches – on Tuesday at struggling Watford, who dismissed manager Nigel Pearson on Sunday, and home to relegated Norwich.

Pearson was appointed in December with Watford bottom of the Premier League with just one win in 15 matches.

He was dismissed on Sunday with Watford 17th, three points above the relegation zone.

“What Nigel had done was incredible, the points, the results they got, but after that I don’t know what happened,” Guardiola said.

After the league season is completed, City host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on 7 August, having secured a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.

Guardiola added: “After you win a lot you have difficulties but I’m so excited on this two weeks we have ahead, the Madrid game and excited for next season. The moment I lose this fire and excitement inside me to go after victories will be a problem.”

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