A fascinating tale.
Former Tottenham and Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, has opened up on his relationship with Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa and what makes him so special.
Bielsa’s side have taken the Premier League by storm having gone up from the Championship last season and could go second in the table with a victory over Leicester on Monday.
The pair have known each other for many years, since Bielsa first saw and signed Pochettino for Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys as a 13-year-old.
Bielsa and Pochettino also worked together with the Argentine national team and have maintained a close relationship over their respective careers.
Pochettino was a guest on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, and told a brilliant story about what makes Bielsa a truly special coach.
“I remember arriving to the training ground on the first day and he was preparing XI vs XI and I was desperate to play like any 13 or 14 year old. He said to me, ‘You are going to play as a striker and I said, ‘No no no, I am a centre-back.’
🗣 "He has a different brain"
Mauricio Pochettino shares his experiences playing under Marcelo Bielsa when he was 14 years old pic.twitter.com/5FdDtI7lFy
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 2, 2020
‘(He said) ‘Yes but my scouts say you play as a striker in your hometown,’ and I said, ‘Yes, because I was the best player there.’ In a small town you play in every single position if you are the best player.
“And he said, ‘Ok you are going to play centre-back’. After five minutes he called me and said, ‘Sit next to me.’ He said, ‘Mauricio, I want to sign you, you need to be a Newell’s Old Boys player, now go and take a shower.’ I said, ‘Why am I taking a shower I have been playing for only five minutes?’
“He said, ‘No no no, you take a shower, go to the office of the club in your hometown and tell your Dad you are going to sign for Newell’s Old Boys.’
“That was when I was 13 years old, a kid! That explains how he was and how he has an unbelievable perception and intuition. He has a different brain to all the people that I know.