An Argentinian manager that does not won the World Cup, UEFA Champion League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Copa America, Copa Libertadores, Club World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, and any domestic European league competition. He is currently having a lawsuit with Lazio where he had quit after 2 days been appointed as a manager of Lazio. He does not win any of the competition mentioned above but have been an influential figure for manager like Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettina,Jorge Sampaoli,Matias Almeyda and many more. He is the man they called as “El Loco” or the madman and his name is Marcelo Bielsa.
He is ardent lover of the formation 3-3-3-1 where with this formation his team can make a quick transition from defend to attack and vice versa. With 3 at back and nearly 6 players at the midfield his team can overcame the opponent by superior number in the midfield and his team had a good stamina where they need to press the opponent once they had lost the possession and once in a counter attack. His style was physically and mentally demanding for the players but at the sometime improve their tactical awareness and stamina. His influence on Guardiola can be noted as during his Barcelona managerial day, his player will press vigorously for the ball when they had lost the possession and also for Mauricio Pochettino where his Tottenham Hotspur will press and run for every ball in the Premier League that had led to the 3rd place finish in the 2015-2016 season.
He has a unique method of preparing the team where he will measure the width of the field, giving different positional player a different time in training. Roberta Ayala the Argentinian player as said “sometime we wouldn’t see any of the striker and midfielders during training as they have different time”. He also like to make the press conference a footballing session as he likes the media ask about football than for his player. Simple he lives and breath football all the time.
With this style, his first managerial stint starts with Argentinian club Newells Old Boys where he make them to progress to the final of the Copa Libertadores where they had been beaten by Tele Santana’s Sao Paolo team on penalties. After Newells Old Boys he had managed Velez Sarfield, and taking his first managerial position outside Argentina by leading Espanyol.
After Danial Pasarella had resigned from the Argentina national football team managerial position in 1998 and under the recommendation from Jose Nestor Pekermann, “El Loco” was appointed as the Argentina National Team manager. Under his managerial and with the player like Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Claudio Lopes, Ariel Ortega, Roberto Ayala and many more, Argentina had impressed in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier 2002 as they had performed excellently with 13 win , 4 draw and only 1 losses that against the Brazil team and scoring 45 goals and conceded only 15 goals.
This had led Argentina to become the hot favourites to won the World Cup in 2002. In that World Cup they had been drawn against Nigeria, England and Sweden. Things started well as they had beaten Nigeria 1-0 but in the subsequent game against England and Sweden they had lost and were knocked out from the group stages for the first time since 1962. A crushing blow for the Argentina football team players and fans where they had come in the tournament with a high hope.
So severe the blow for the Marcelo Bielsa that he wanted to resign but persuaded by Argentinian FA to stay in the position. With him in charge of the team again, Argentina nearly won his first major trophy since 1993 as they had reached the 2004 Copa America and were leading the Brazilian 2-1 with a goal from Delgado in 87th minute but they hope were dashed when Brazil had equalized in 3rd minute of the injury time and Argentine from being a champion were beaten by Brazil on penalties.
However, he will finally have the winning medal with Argentina as he had lead the team to won the gold medal in 2004 Olympic Games and marks for the first time since 1928 that a Latin America team had won a football gold medal in Olympics. He had resigned after this win due to working pressure and overload of working with the Argentina football team.
El Loco then appointed as the manager of the Chile national team and laid a foundation for Chile for their later success in the future. He had achieved many first time in term of good and bad in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Chile for the first time had beaten Uruguay in Montevideo, suffered worst defeat ever at home against Paraguay with a scoreline of 3-0 , lost in home to Brazil 3-0 for the first time in 50 years, first time winning against Argentina 1-0 , beating Peru 3-1 since 1985 in Lima, winning away at Paraguay 2-0 in 30 years, and lastly first time defeating Colombia 4-2 away.
After absent for the 2 tournament Chile had qualified for 2010 World Cup since their last appearance in 1998 World Cup. They had performed well in in the group stages but were knocked out by Brazil in second round with a 3-0 win. He had resigned after this tournament but with the foundation laid by him Chile had reached 2014 World Cup, more attacking mindset when the team is playing away and most importantly their had won their first major title by lifting the Copa America in 2015 and also the Copa America Centenario in 2016.
After Chile, he moved abroad to Spain again but this time managing Athletic Bilbao team and make them perform magnificently in La Liga where they had managed a credible draw against the might Barcelona and Valencia. His managerial style had gained attention in 2011-2012 UEFA Europa League where they had been drawn against Alex Ferguson Manchester United in quarter final. Nobody had given any hope for Bilbao but they had outrun and outplayed Manchester United in the first leg at Old Trafford and had won 3-2 and in the second leg in Bilbao they had beaten team 2-1. Manchester United were clueless on Bielsa team pressuring, fast transition, and outrun them on every ball.
His magnificent ran did not end with trophy however as his Bilbao team were beaten by Atletico Madrid in the final and after Bilbao impressive run many of the Bilbao key players like Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente had moved to another club that had led the team faltered and finished 11th in the following season and Bielsa had resigned from his job due to this.
His managerial style does not reward him with any trophy yet except for the Olympic 2004 gold medal but his philosophy had laid a great foundation, influence many manager and created a golden era for the team like Athletic Bilbao and Chile. Maybe in the future he will win a trophy but his legacy as one of the greatest mind in the footballing world and one of the best manager from Argentina is still not been affected.