What is Marcelo Bielsa's net worth and how much does the Leeds boss earn?

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United 2019-20Getty

Marcelo Bielsa is one of the most recognisable football coaches in the world and his philosophy on the game has influenced a long line of household names.

The Argentina native's playing career was shortlived, but his coaching odyssey has brought him to the helm of Newell's Old Boys, Argentina, Athletic Club, Marseille and Leeds United among others.

He is famed for his low-key lifestyle, eschewing grandiosity and he enjoys living among the community in which the club he works for is based.

However, his reputation and ability ensures that he is well remunerated for his services. Goal takes a look at Bielsa's net worth and how much he earns.


  1. What is Marcelo Bielsa's net worth?
  2. What is Marcelo Bielsa's salary?
  3. What charity work does Marcelo Bielsa do?
  4. What is Marcelo Bielsa's nickname?
  5. Why does Marcelo Bielsa sit on a bucket?

What is Marcelo Bielsa's net worth?

Net worth: Unknown
Source of wealth: Football contracts, investments
Date of Birth: July 21, 1955
Country of birth: Argentina

Bielsa's net worth is not widely known but we can be sure that he has earned millions during the course of his career, having agreed reportedly lucrative contracts at a number of high-profile clubs. 

The Argentine did not enjoy a long and successful playing career, so the bulk of his earning has come through his work as a coach, which has taken him from South America to North America and Europe.

Bielsa was a professional footballer in the 1970s, plying his trade solely in Argentina, and has coached since the early 1980s, meaning he has over four decades of work in that realm under his belt.

He does not appear to lead a flashy lifestyle, seemingly preferring a more austere way of living, but he has certainly shown generosity in the form of sizeable charitable donations over the years.

What is Marcelo Bielsa's salary?

Bielsa agreed an extension to his contract with Leeds in 2020, which secured his future at Elland Road for another season.

While the details of Bielsa's salary are not publicised, the Daily Star reports that he was earning £6 million ($8m) a year, which works out at £3m ($4m) after tax.

Such a salary would put the Argentine at a higher level of earning than England boss Gareth Southgate and slightly lower level than Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is on a reported £10m ($12m) a year.

It is significantly less than that earned by Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, though, with the Catalan and Portuguese each being paid a reported £15m ($19m) a year.

While we do not know what Bielsa's net worth is, such a salary suggests that it is certainly in the millions.

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What charity work does Marcelo Bielsa do?

Bielsa is known for his generosity and in 2018, it was reported that he donated around £2m ($2.5m) to his former club Newell's in order to fund the development of a players' centre.

According to Ole, the architect of the centre, which comprises a hotel, a games room, offices and an auditorium, was Bielsa's sister Maria Eugenia.

In 2020, Bielsa was supportive of the donation of a bronze statue depicting him sitting on his famous bucket to a raffle among Leeds fans. The proceeds of the raffle would go to a mental health charity.

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What is Marcelo Bielsa's nickname?

Bielsa's nickname is 'El Loco', which is Spanish for 'The Madman' or 'The Crazy One'. In some translations, it also means 'The Fool'.

The moniker was bestowed on him because of his eccentric personality, which has led to a number of unusual or 'crazy' scenarios during the course of his career.

One such example is when he visited the home of the teenage Mauricio Pochettino at 1am in order to inspect his legs and persuade his parents to let him come to Rosario - 150km away - to play for Newell's.

Another legend tells of Bielsa allegedly threatening to pull the pin on a grenade as a way to disperse a group of disgruntled fans, who had reportedly descended on his home after a bad result.

His unpredictability is a big part of the perception of him as El Loco, as Lazio can attest, having seen the Argentine walk out of the job after just two days.

Indeed, there have been plenty of examples of his unusual personality during his time in England too.

The infamous 'Spygate' controversy in 2019, when Bielsa took heat for sending a 'spy' to observe the training of rivals Derby County, prompted him to stage a 70-minute presentation in order to illustrate how he already knew everything about the Rams, so the 'spy' made no material difference. He took full responsibility nonetheless and paid the £200,000 fine out of his own pocket.

Prior to that, the Argentine made headlines across the world when he ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to walk the ball into the net after complaints from the opposition bench that his team had scored a goal with undue advantage after a Villa player was down injured. FIFA awarded Bielsa and Leeds its Fair Play award in 2019 in response.

Minor perceived eccentricities include showing up to 'black tie' dinners wearing a tracksuit and insisting on a no-fuss lifestyle, which sees him walk through the community to his work, while also working in local coffee shops.

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Why does Marcelo Bielsa sit on a bucket?

The reasons for Bielsa's preference for sitting on a bucket instead of his seat in the dugout are not clear and he has dismissed inquiries about it, suggesting it is merely a comfort thing.

"You want me to tell you more than what it is? It's just a bucket," he told reporters when asked about the bucket. “I have nothing to add. It's a comfortable bucket.”

Read more about Bielsa's bucket in Goal's explainer

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