Bielsa's Backroom Staff

Last updated : 18 June 2018 By .

Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment as Leeds United’s head coach will bring substantial change to Thorp Arch, and not least amongst the club’s backroom staff.

Bielsa, who flies into England later this week, will replenish the dug-out with five appointments, including men who have worked with him regularly over the past decade.

Here is a look at the staff who will be joining him at Leeds: 

Pablo Quiroga

Quiroga, a fellow Argentinian who was born near Buenos Aires, has been a long-time ally of Bielsa’s in club football. Having worked with him initially with Chile’s national team, he was part of the coaching team at Athletic Bilbao, Marseille and Lille and was a guaranteed inclusion in Bielsa’s staff at Leeds United. Now 36, he started out as a PE teacher and had only minor experience with an amateur club before Bielsa first enlisted him as his “virtual blackboard”, to quote one South American journalist. His talent is in video analysis.

Diego Reyes

Chilean Reyes, 37, is an out-and-out coach and the man who took the initial training sessions at Lille after Bielsa took charge. The pair have been together since 2008, when Bielsa drafted him into the fold with Chile, and he is arguably Bielsa’s most trusted lieutenant. The story went that an unknown Reyes turned up at the complex where Chile were training and asked for work. Bielsa gave him video clips to edit and their relationship developed quickly to the point where Reyes became part of Bielsa’s ‘iron circle’ of assistants. He has followed the 62-year-old to every job since.

Diego Flores

A technical coach who has been on the scene for a considerably shorter time than Quiroga or Reyes. Flores, also 37, first linked up with Bielsa at Marseille after leaving Argentina to study in Ireland. Bielsa kept him in tow when he took the head coach’s job at Lille and is bringing him to England.

Salim Lamrani

Lamrani is not, or was not, a football man by trade. A multilingual university lecturer specialising in Iberian and Latin American Studies, he has written at length about relations between Cuba and the United States and was described in one newspaper as being “one of France’s best connoisseurs on Cuba”.He came onto the scene with Bielsa at Lille, accompanying the Argentinian to every press conference and working as his translator. Lamrani is a lifelong Marseille supporter and took a keen interest in Bielsa’s work during his time as head coach there, writing once how Bielsa had “offered the French championship the most beautiful football of the last 20 years.” The pair met in South America while Lamrani was lecturing there and Bielsa invited the Frenchman to join him at Lille where he provided translation for both Bielsa and some of the players.Bielsa has a certain way with the media, refusing all one-on-one interviews in the belief that no individual writer deserves to hear more from him than any other. Bielsa has already started the process of learning English but Lamrani, on Bielsa’s first appointment in this country, will have the job of getting his message across.

Fitness coach

Bielsa entrusted the conditioning of his squad at Lille to Gabriel Macaya, a fitness specialist with a CV stretching back years in the Argentinian game. He and Bielsa have been close for some time but the YEP understands that Macaya will not be joining him at Elland Road. A different fitness coach is expected to complete a backroom team of five.



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