Marcelo Bielsa has poured praise on Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich, while also reacting to his own nomination for Best FIFA Men’s Coach.
Klich has started all nine games in the Premier League so far this season, establishing himself as a key player for Bielsa.
As the Leeds boss prepares to face Everton at the weekend, he reflected on the Polish international’s success – as well as his own.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Bielsa claimed that Klich is good enough to play for any team in the world.
“Klich, for me, can play in all the best teams in the world,” he said. “So, he is in Leeds by chance.
“It doesn’t have to do with the fact I decided he continued at Leeds. In the first pre-season I asked him if he would consider playing at centre-back, but it so happened in the game before the season started, against Las Palmas, the candidates for the player to play as the eight started falling away.
“Ronaldo, Forshaw and their absences allowed him to play. Never absent since.
“In all cases, all the praise should go to him and Orta who brought him here.”
Bielsa has been receiving a lot of praise for his own work overall, though. He recently received a nomination for the Coach of the Year award at FIFA’s The Best awards.
The Leeds boss already claimed the Championship Manager of the Year title last season after guiding Leeds to promotion out of the second division. However, some pundits have criticised the decision to class him among the five best coaches in the whole world.
Bielsa admits that it is an honour to be put forward for such an award. However, he also accepts that his presence on the shortlist will face criticism.
“To be nominated is always a distinction,” he said. “I appreciate it.
“Every time a manager is singled out, the players are involved in this singling out because the coach is always an appendix of the players.
“Also, the technical staff because of their construction of the football team. It’s not solely responsible for the one in charge.
“This is for the technical staff and this happened with the despair of a club like Leeds is recognised too.
“It can be considered as excessive, the nomination. Any labour generating a repercussion can have its praise or criticism. So I appreciate all the recognition and I accept all the criticism.”
Bielsa reveals respect for Ancelotti
Saturday’s game will see two of the most respected managers in the world go face to face, as Bielsa will come up against Carlo Ancelotti.
The Leeds boss highlighted four reasons why he has a lot of respect for his Everton counterpart.
“I have respect and admiration for Ancelotti,” he said. “First of all, because he has been wanted by all the best teams in the world. He has been chosen by some of the most powerful institutions, which shows how good he is.
“Secondly, he has triumphed everywhere he has been.
“The third thing is he is well respected by the players as well as his other colleagues. The last thing is he has never been criticised.
“His tactics are always unselfish and it is always valuable to have all of this in one manager is not very frequent.”