Every football manager will have dreams of being immortalised for their work – but a gnome may not be what many have in mind.
Then again, it's never been Marcelo Bielsa's way to do things the 'normal' way. So it's perhaps fitting that the former Leeds chief gets his own special commemoration in Manchester's National Football Museum.
That's after the site recently unveiled its Bielsa figurine in tribute to the South American icon, showing Bielsa in signature fashion hunched over while sat on a stool. Not one to take up roots on the dugout bench, the 68-year-old routinely preferred a seat considerably closer to the action.
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It's been a little more than 18 months since the Argentinian departed his post at Elland Road, having taken Leeds back to the Premier League during his four-and-a-half-year spell with the club. Many an English football fan developed an appreciation for Bielsa during his eventful time in the top two tiers – and that includes his peculiar pick of pews.
"The King on his throne," commented one Leeds supporter pleased to see 'El Loco' getting the respect he deserves. "We miss him."
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"Now that is cool," remarked another admirer on social media, while others referred to the statuette as 'iconic'. There aren't many figures in the sport whose choice of chair has received quite as much attention as that of Bielsa, but there are sure to be other tacticians who may have considered a sideline stool due to the example he's set.
El Loco found new employment in May when he was unveiled as the new coach of Uruguay, who beat Chile in his competitive debut last month. Bielsa is hoping to guide La Celeste to qualification for the 2026 World Cup, with Uruguay having featured in the last four editions of the tournament.
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A change of CV isn't enough to make the veteran change his ways, however, as fans have once again seen Bielsa perched on the touchline since returning to football. And there may yet be more career highlights to come for the journeyman mastermind in his 13th senior managing post.
But even after one of the sport's most famous figures inevitably departs, his visage will live on for all to see. Those in Leeds may be just slightly miffed they have to go to Manchester to bear witness.
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