Marcelo Bielsa has described Diego Maradona as an artist whose “beauty cannot be matched”, with the Leeds boss adding his voice to the tributes which have poured in for the Argentine “idol”.
Maradona passed away on Wednesday at the age of 60. Three days of national mourning are being held in his homeland, while millions around the world have been rocked by the tragic news.
Bielsa is among those to have always held Maradona in the highest regard, with no doubt in his mind as who the greatest player of all time is.
A man currently plying his trade in the Premier League is deeply saddened to learn of Maradona’s death, but says the legacy of the 1986 World Cup winner will live on and be embraced by generations to come.
“He could not be better. He was for us and will continue to be an idol,” Bielsa said. “Given the fact he is not here with us anymore, it brings us great sadness. To lose an idol for us is something that makes us feel weak.
“Everything he did as a footballer was a beauty which cannot be matched.
“Maradona was an artist. The dimensions of the repercussions of his art has infinite recognitions. To give one example, that stands out, the songs that have been written about him are extraordinary.
“I have read texts after his death that have been emotional and it is a recognition of what he gave the spectators in beauty.
“In terms of what he signifies to us (Argentines) in particular, Diego made us feel like it was a fantasy; like an idol makes you feel.”
While saluting the remarkable career and life of Maradona, Bielsa continues to enhance his own reputation in England.
He guided Leeds to promotion last season, ending a 16-year absence for the club from the Premier League, and has seen his efforts recognised with a nomination for the Coach of the Year award at the FIFA Best ceremony.
“To be nominated is always a distinction. I appreciate it,” said the 65-year-old. “Every time a manager is singled out, the players are involved.
“The coach is always an appendix of the players and also the technical staff for the construction of a football team. It is not solely the responsibility of the one in charge. This nomination is also for the technical staff and this happening in a sphere of a club like Leeds also recognises the result of this.”