ENGLAND

Pep Guardiola to Bielsa in 2012: "You know more about Barça than I do!"

Marcelo Bielsa y Pep Guardiola en un partido de Liga durante un partido de Liga entre el Barcelona y el Athletic en el Camp Nou.

ALBERT GEA

REUTERS

The Leeds boss revealed how the Manchester City manager reacted when he saw the detailed analysis Bielsa had put together for the Cup final between Athletic and Barça.

Yesterday in Leeds, Marcelo Bielsa gave one of the kind of idiosyncratic press conferences which have earned him the nickname El Loco. The Argentine coach admitted that he was respionsible for sending a club employee to spy on Derby County's training session last week and spent the rest of a very long, drawn-out press meeting (over an hour) to demonstrate to reporters his meticulous and comprehensive method of analyzing opponents.

Every last detail noted in Bielsa's pre-match analysis

As an example, Bielsa cited an incident during his spell in Bilbao at Athletic Club. In the run-up to the Copa del Rey final meeting with Barcelona in 2012, the Argentinean pieced together an extensive, detailed dossier on Athletic's opponents - so in depth that it left Pep Guardiola stunned.

Marcelo Bielsa pictured during his time at Athletic Club

"I'm going to tell you a story", Bielsa began. "When I was coach at Athletic, we played the Cup final against Barcelona, which they won 3-0. They were generous with us because after the third goal, they stopped playing. I was very sad about losing that game. At the end of the match, I sent Guardiola my pre-match analysis as a present to express my admiration for him. He replied: 'You know more about Barcelona than I do'".

Bielsa admitted that he was sorry that all of his hard work served for nothing in the end: "It was useless because they put three goals past us" but went on to add: "I did it so that I would feel good about myself. I realize that having all of that information doesn't automatically make you win games".