Bielsa dismisses Barca reports
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has dismissed speculation that he has been anointed successor to Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
The Argentine, formerly coach of Newell’s Old Boys and Argentina and Chile, was touted by Spanish media as the perfect man to take over at Barcelona should Guardiola decide to walk away from Camp Nou when his contract expires in June.
Guardiola is reportedly considering a one-year sabbatical from football at the end of the year or could move to a club in a different league.
But in his own inimitable style, Bielsa refused to feed speculation he could one day find himself on the bench of La Liga rivals Barca.
“Because of my own prudence, I never comment on hypothetical situations,” he said on Monday, reacting angrily when one journalist tried to press the issue.
“I have just given my answer. There are a lot of things that I would like to do and they will continue to be hypothetical situations and I will avoid talking about them. Aside from which this is not an innocent question that one can just answer freely.”
The 56-year-old Rosario native – who has led Bilbao to ninth after his appointment before the 2011/12 season – has gained respect across the football world for his innovative tactical approach and exhaustive knowledge of the game.
He was honoured in 2010 by hometown club Newell’s, who renamed their stadium after him.
Tue 3 January, 2012