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Pep Guardiola praises ‘inspirational’ Marcelo Bielsa before trip to face Leeds

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Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on Leeds rival Marcelo Bielsa and described him as 'inspirational'.

Guardiola will lock horns with his close friend and opposite number tomorrow when Manchester City travel to Elland Road to take on top flight newcomers Leeds.

Bielsa is regarded as a god by Leeds fans after taking the Yorkshire club back to the top flight for the first time in 16 years.

The Argentine has followed this up with two wins from his first three league games to see Leeds sitting in the top half of the table. Guardiola spent time with Bielsa in South America to study his coaching methods and tactics.

The Spaniard has gone on to become one of the greatest managers of all time – but Guardiola still regards Bielsa as someone he has the most admiration for in the game.

Guardiola said: "He is probably the person I admire the most in world football – as a manager and as a person.

“I think he is the most authentic manager all the time, in terms of how he conducts his teams, like he is unique.

”Nobody can imitate him, it's impossible, especially his behaviour as a person off the pitch and related to the media.

"I was fortunate sometimes – I don't see him quite as much – now, when I get the pleasure to spend time with him, it's always inspirational for me.

"The value of the manager does not depend on how many titles as him.

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"My teams won more titles than him, but in terms of knowledge of the game, I am still away from him.

"His teams are always a joy to watch, how honest they are, they always want to attack and produce good football for spectators."

Guardiola, meanwhile, has revealed that new £64m signing Ruben Dias has settled into training well, while injured striker Gabriel Jesus could be back in contention following the international break.

  • Leeds United FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Pep Guardiola
  • Premier League

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