Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Marcelo Bielsa “wins you over” with his personality and “makes you passionate”. The Tottenham manager says he “owes everything” to the Leeds United boss for all the help and advice he gave earlier in his career while calling Bielsa “a second father”.
The 46-year-old was a centre-back before he retired, playing for the likes of Newell’s, Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Girondins Bordeaux. He played under Bielsa at Newell’s, Espanyol and Argentina and has credited his success in playing and management to the experienced coach.
Pochettino said to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Sport Witness): “I was 13 when Bielsa and Jorge Griffa took me from a small town called Murphy and brought me to Newell’s. He gave me my debut. He’s like my second father. We were also together at Espanyol and in the national team. I owe him everything.”
“When I was still young, he asked me if I wanted to become a manager, and I answered yes. He then told me ‘Mauricio, you need to manage your career and if you want to become a manager, you have to do it the way you want to, and never copy someone else or do what others do.
“You have to always find your own path, through your emotions and how you feel’. Bielsa wins you over with what he does. and knows how to make you passionate. That’s the best thing he gave me.”
After his playing days came to an end, Pochettino took charge of Espanyol and presided over 160 games between January 2009 and November 2012. He came to the Premier League in January 2013 as manager of Southampton for 60 games and left 18 months later for Tottenham.
The Argentine has gone on to manage 237 games for Tottenham, leading the club to second in the Premier League in 2016/17. Spurs have finished in the top-four in each of their last three seasons and are hoping to make it four consecutive campaigns come May.