Any mention to Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa in the Argentine media is usually enough for many local websites to cover it.
So as former Velez Sarsfield player Lucas Castroman spoke to Como Te Vá radio show this week, a little story he had with the manager is highlighted by Infobae today.
The 40-year-old is working on the start of his coaching career, and explained that he’d lost contact with Marcelo Bielsa, despite the great work they did together at the end of the 90s.
Now when Castroman finally got to speak to El Loco this year, he found out that his name was being used in Leeds United’s line-ups as a way of remembering his style of playing back then.
“It was at the beginning of the year. I was trying to communicate with Bielsa for a long time, like ten years ago I wanted to speak to thank him for everything he gave me as a professional and as a person. Things that when you are as a footballer-coach that dialogue of going down to the personal is complicated”, said Castroman.
“Through a mutual friend, I was able to pass my phone on to Marcelo Bielsa. We were here at home working on a Saturday with Fede Aria, preparing and watching some games. He rings the phone and my wife answers, who usually filters me, and she says ‘Marcelo’. ‘What Marcelo?’, I ask her. ‘Bielsa’, she tells me.”
“I pick up the phone and the most beautiful thing about the anecdote is that he told me that he was putting together the Leeds team and that he put me as a starter because they have a footballer from their squad, I don’t remember the name, who had very characteristics similar to mine.
He told me ‘you came to mind. It wasn’t on my call list today. I wanted to call you. ‘A phenomenon Marcelo, as always. It was a beautiful talk of more than 40 minutes talking about football where I was able to tell him a lot of things that I experienced that today I can tell him and that I do not have the need to take it the wrong way, because in the football environment when you call someone is to ask for work and nothing else. What I wanted to talk to him about was personal issues and thanks more than anything to a career that I was able to build thanks to everything he gave me.”
Infobae points out that the player who Bielsa saw as Castroman was Jack Harrison. And to prove that, the manager sent him a picture of Leeds United’s line-up with his name on it.
“Then he sent me a photo of the team where he showed me that he had made me the starter. ‘It was to show you I’m not lying to you,” he told me. Then we don’t talk anymore because I’m very respectful, but surely there will be a message.”