Marcelo Bielsa is a coach who has transformed the theory and practice of those who influenced him, not least two of the great figures of Argentinian football, Carlos Bilardo and Cesar Luis Menotti, and, in turn, gone on to influence a huge number of managers and coaches himself. Bielsa’s synthesis of preparation, hard work, rigid training techniques, fast, vertical football, and pressing, can be seen across the modern game.
Indeed, as Jonathan Wilson said in an article in 8by8: “Since the back four spread from Brazil in the late 1950s and early ’60s, no South American has had such an influence on how the world played as Bielsa…has had in the first decade of the 21st century.”
So what is his influence? And who is it on?