Why does Marcelo Bielsa sit on a bucket on the sidelines?


After 16 long years away, Leeds have at long last returned to the Premier League through the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa.

The Argentina coach - who has been nicknamed El Loco - has now had his name etched permanently into the folklore of Leeds.

Those watching Leeds games will notice the eclectic coach bizzarely sitting on a bucket on the sidelines, instead of simply just standing up like other coaches - but why does he do so? Goal takes a look.

Why does Marcelo Bielsa sit on a bucket during games?

There are a few possible explanations as to why Bielsa decides to sit on a bucket during Leeds matches.

One of the theories, which is applied to games played at Leeds' home of Elland Road, is that Bielsa sits on a bucket because it allows him a better view of the ground's dugouts - which are deeper than the level of the pitch.

During his time at Marseille, the Argentine sat on an ice cooler box before getting upgraded to a bucket upon his arrival at Leeds.

The Midlands club even gave him a customised placket bucket to sit on, complete with a cushioned seat and the Leeds logo. 

When Bielsa was quizzed about his bucket-sitting tendencies early in his Leeds tenure, he told reporters coyly: "You want me to tell you more than what it is? It's just a bucket.

“I have nothing to add. It's a comfortable bucket.”

It's understandable that Bielsa would want to keep his real reasons for the bucket a secret.

Another reason why Bielsa might sit on a bucket is that he has to deal with back pain.

According to Guillem Balague, who spoke in a BBC documentary about Bielsa, the Argentine sits on the bucket for comfort following a gruelling daily walk to work.

“He [Bielsa] walks the four miles from his home to the training ground," said Balague.

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds 2019-20

“His intense walking during games and his moments of crouching down on what looks like a plastic bucket is his way of dealing with constant back pain that has not left him since his time as a player.”

Rotherham manager Paul Warne was slightly alarmed himself when he first came face to face with Bielsa and his bucket.

"Sitting down on that thing's a bit weird," Warne had said.

Article continues below

“To be honest, when it started, I can't lie, I was a little bit nervy and I'm thinking, 'ohh, how's it going to go today?’"

Bielsa's bucket has since become such a phenomenon at Leeds that the official club shop even started selling replica versions.