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'I admire the Premier League and Championship' - Crespo wants to follow Bielsa and manage in England

23:45 BST 28/07/2020
Marcelo Bielsa Leeds Hernan Crespo Chelsea
The former Chelsea, Milan and Inter striker is still making his way in management but wants to return to the UK at some stage

Hernan Crespo says he wants to return to England as a manager, possibly following in Marcelo Bielsa’s footsteps by cutting his teeth in the Championship.

Unlike his vastly experienced former boss Bielsa, Crespo is relatively new to the coaching game. His current side, Argentine outfit Defensa y Justicia, are the fourth team he has managed, following previous spells at Banfield, Modena and the youth team at Parma.

The former Chelsea, AC Milan and Inter forward is enjoying coaching and dreaming of a return to British shores.

“I was very happy playing in England, going to training, very happy with the fans,” Crespo told the Daily Mail. “That is why today as a manager I would like to be able to relive that. I admire the Premier League and even the Championship, too.

“Being a coach is beautiful. Being beside Jose [Mourinho] at Chelsea and Inter, I learned that the manager is 360 degrees.

“How to deal with journalists, doctors, players, backroom staff, the atmosphere, fans, with everything. These three [Mourinho, Bielsa and Carlo Ancelotti] opened up my mind to certain things.”

While Crespo played under his fair share of top managers, he is adamant that his coaching style will be his own – just as his playing style was.

“I admired Marco van Basten, Romario but I couldn’t be Van Basten or Romario, I had to be Hernan Crespo,” he said.

“I will simply try to put my name on the map without imitating anyone. For me it’s about identity. I like the managers who have identity like Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone or Jurgen Klopp.”

Away from his future in management, Crespo also spoke about his playing past, including his lowest moment. The then-forward scored twice in the first half of the 2005 Champions League final to give Milan a 3-0 lead at the break, before Liverpool executed their famous comeback in Istanbul.

“I don’t remember what you’re talking about,” he joked when asked about the game.

“The pain was so great, but that is why we love football, because it is not mathematics. Pain won over reason. Things simply happened which had to happen. It’s not something you could control.”