If Leeds United get promotion to the Premier League in May, we should see a pretty nice encounter between two Argentine managers next season.
Mauricio Pochettino and Marcelo Bielsa have known each other for a long time. It was ‘El Loco’ who recruited the Tottenham boss to play for Newell’s Old Boys when he was still a teenager.
Interviewed by ESPN Brasil this week, Pochettino has told this story, saying he was sleeping when Marcelo Bielsa went to his house and changed his life.
“One night at one in the morning they came to my house, knocked on the door and wanted to see a 13-year-old boy,” Mauricio Pochettino told ESPN Brasil’s Natali Gedra. “They tried to convince my parents to let me travel 200km, to Rosario, which was the distance from my city, Murphy.
“They wanted to see my legs! At this time of the morning, they would have to be a little… they had to make my parents dream. Then they said: ‘these legs look like those of a very good player’. That was a good lie, no bad intentions.”
Pochettino also played under the current Leeds United manager in the Argentine national team, for whom he featured in the 1999 Copa America and the 2002 World Cup.
Now with the chance to face his old boss once again, Pochettino also talked about how great it would be in case Leeds get to the Premier League next season.
“I already faced him in Spain. And it’s a pleasure to see him, to greet him, and to play against his teams is always a beautiful challenge. For me, he’s a person I always say, people call him ‘El Loco Bielsa’, but for me he has nothing of crazy. For me he’s a genius, a person with a charisma and a personality very different from us normal coaches. And that makes him special.”