Marcelo Bielsa gave thanks to the Leeds fans, players and staff after being named the LMA Championship Manager of the Year.
Bielsa ensured his cult hero status at Elland Road by leading them to promotion as league winners. Next season will be the first time Leeds have been in the Premier League since 2004.
Much of the credit for Leeds’ promotion has gone to the 65-year-old, who has been an inspiration in his two years in charge. And Bielsa received further recognition when he was named the LMA Championship Manager of the Year.
Upon receiving the honour, Bielsa – whose contract expires this summer, although Leeds will be hopeful of keeping him for their first season back in the top flight – gave the following video message.
“First of all, I wish to apologise for not delivering this message in English and for doing so in my own language.
“Secondly, I’d like to say thank you for this award. It’s of special importance to me because votes were cast by the coaches in the league that Leeds have won. The fact that my colleagues have decided to single out my contribution means so much to me.
“Awards are usually recognition of success achieved by a particular team, and in this case, it’s recognition of the title that Leeds have won.
“I know perfectly well how much help I’ve received along the path towards this achievement.
“I’d like to thank the club and the authorities who hired me and gave me the chance to work in English football; the fans for their support, contribution and the love that they’ve shown towards me; every member of staff who has worked alongside the players this year.
“In this regard, there are many unnamed people who perform key roles in the work that we do with the players on a daily basis.
“Finally, the biggest thank you is to the players themselves, because they’re the ones doing the most difficult job in football, which is playing, competing, and in this case, clinching success.
“Coaches are always the product of the players that we get to coach and I’d like to stress how grateful I am to them.
“I’d also like to thank the body in charge of the awards. Thank you very much, everyone.”
SIR ALEX FERGUSON PRAISES BIELSA
The overall award for LMA Manager of the Year was won by Jurgen Klopp, with Bielsa coming fourth in the voting.
The results were revealed by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who was keen to credit the “fantastic job” done by Bielsa.
“As everyone knows in the game, that Championship league is very, very difficult,” Sir Alex said.
“Some great teams have been there for many, many years – Nottingham Forest who won the league, the European Championships twice, Sheffield Wednesday, teams like that.
“Leeds United were in there for 16 years. So, Marcelo, you did a fantastic job. Welcome to the Premier Division.”