Guardiola & Conte pay tribute to 'spectacular' Bielsa after Leeds departure

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds UnitedGetty

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Tottenham's Antonio Conte joined forces to deliver glowing tributes to Marcelo Bielsa following his departure from Leeds United on Sunday.

The Argentine left Elland Road after suffering four consecutive heavy defeats in the Premier League, the last of which came on Saturday at the hands of Conte's Spurs.

Nevertheless, Conte is sad to see him leave English football, while Pep also had warm words for a coach whom he has admired for years.

What was said?

"Honestly I’m very disappointed because we’re talking about an important manager and we are talking about a person that is a master for many managers, for many coaches in the past and in the present," Conte told reporters on Monday.

"I think, yesterday when I read the news, this news hurt me. We’re talking, I repeat, about not only a manager with a great idea and vision of football and taught a lot to other people, especially people in this job, but at the same time I have great respect for him as a person and as a man.

"In every situation he showed great integrity and honestly in football it’s not always you can find this type of person. I’m really disappointed for this but on the other hand, I understand that the club has to make a decision and I know very well the owner and chairman.

"[Leeds owner] Andrea Radrizzani, he’s my friend and it was nice to read the words he used yesterday about Marcelo. He spoke about the mentality he brought to the club because he worked for three and a half years.

"After the first season when they lost the promotion in the semi-final they had a promotion and then a fantastic season and also this season they were out of the relegation zone, but I understand the club has to try to change a situation and the first person you can change at this moment is the coach. But for sure Andrea knows very well the value of Marcelo and what he did for this club in this three and a half years."

'I wish him all the best'

Speaking ahead of City's FA Cup clash with Peterborough on Tuesday, Pep added his voice to the growing number of tributes which have poured in for the eccentric Rosario native, both from Leeds and football in general.

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"His legacy is there in Leeds’ city and the club and I am pretty sure with the players," he told reporters.

"Unfortunately as managers we are subject to results and lately they were not good. But in the four seasons, he was spectacular to watch and I wish him all the best."

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