Marcelo Bielsa trophies: How many titles has the Leeds United manager won?

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United
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The Argentine is considered one of the best innovators in football and commands respect for his methods, but what silverware has he earned?

Marcelo Bielsa has been coaching in football for more than three decades, forging a reputation as a deep thinker about the game and earning the moniker 'El Loco' in the process.

His methods and, indeed, madness have had a profound impact on many footballers who have played under him, as well as his contemporaries who have crossed swords on the touchline.

However, while Bielsa is admired by some of the most respected personalities in football, his trophy count does not seem to stack up with the legendary status that he enjoys.

Goal takes a look at the titles Bielsa has won in his career, as well as the individual awards he has earned.

How many titles has Marcelo Bielsa won?

Bielsa has won six titles over the course of his managerial career, which stretches across 30 years.

His title successes have been achieved on two continents (South America and Europe) and in two countries (Argentina and England).

His first title was the 1991 Primera Division Apertura with Newell's, which was followed by the Primera Division Clausura in 1992.

He won the Primera Division Clausura again in 1998 as head coach of Velez.

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United 2019-20

Bielsa enjoyed success on the international stage with Argentina when he won the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic tournament in 2004 before securing gold in Athens.

Having come close to achieving promotion from the notoriously competitive Championship in 2018-19 with Leeds, Bielsa managed to do so the following season by winning the division.

Competition Times won Year(s) won
Olympics 1 2004
CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic tournament 1 2004
Primera Division Argentina 3 1991, 1992, 1998
English Championship 1 2019-20
Total 6 -

The Argentine's trophy cabinet is relatively bare compared with that of Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, but it should be noted that he has endured a number of disappointments in cup finals.

For example, his impressive Argentina team lost the 2004 Copa America final on penalties to Brazil, and before that he experienced further spot-kick heartache with Newell's in the 1992 Copa Libertadores final.

His Athletic Club team reached the final of the Copa del Rey and the Europa League in 2011-12, losing heavily in each to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively, in a case of suspected 'Bielsa Burnout'.

You can see a breakdown of the clubs Bielsa has managed to glory and the trophies he has won in the table below.

Years Team Title(s)
1990-92 Newell's Old Boys Primera Division (1991 Apertura, 1992 Clausura)
1997-98 Velez Primera Division (1998 Clausura)
1998-2004 Argentina Olympics (2004), CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic tournament (2004)
2018- Leeds United Championship (2019-20)

Bielsa failed to win titles during his time in Mexico as manager of Atlas and then Club America, while his first experience in Europe with Espanyol was shortlived, lasting just three months.

After managing Argentina, Bielsa took the Chile job in 2007 and remained in the post for just over three years, but could not deliver success. He did qualify for the 2010 World Cup and brought La Roja to the last-16 stage, where they lost to Brazil.

As noted, he reached two finals with Athletic, but left the club without winning a title. He has had two brief and barren stints in France (with Marseille and Lille).

What individual awards has Marcelo Bielsa won?

  • IFFHS World's Best National Coach (2001)
  • South American Coach of the Year (2009)
  • Championship Manager of the Month (August 2018, November 2019)
  • FIFA Fair Play Award (2019)

Bielsa has had his talents recognised with a handful of individual awards over the course of his career.

He was named IFFHS World's Best National Coach in 2001 while at the helm of Argentina, and crowned South American Coach of the Year in 2009 after finishing second in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualification section, one point behind Brazil.

Since joining Leeds, Bielsa has been well received and he won the Championship Manager of the Month twice before earning promotion to the Premier League.

One of the most memorable awards he received was the FIFA  Fair Play Award in 2019 following a wholly unusual situation during a game against Aston Villawhen he ordered his players to let Villa score a goal after Leeds were perceived to have taken the lead in bad faith.

In keeping with the custom of good sportsmanship, the Yorkshire side were expected to stop play to allow an apparently injured Villa player to receive treatment, but played on and found the net. Despite the fact that the goal could have helped Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League, Bielsa commanded his players to stand down and level the playing field.

In the aftermath of the remarkable moment, Bielsa explained: "We just gave the goal back. Everyone saw the facts. We expressed our interpretation of the facts by doing what we did.

"English football is known for this. I don't have to comment on this kind of thing, which is common in England."