Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Two Chile internationals including a Liverpool midfielder have claimed Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa likes to get “completely naked” and lie on top of a table “for 30 minutes” when his side loses.
Former Liverpool midfielder Mark Gonzalez, 35, and Chile international Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, 34, made the comments during television programme ‘Abrazo de GOL’ broadcast by Chilean television channel ‘Canal de Futbol’ (CDF).
Gonzalez, who now works as a panellist for the programme, and Fuenzalida played together in the Chile international team between 2008 and 2016.
When speaking about their time on the pitch together, they spoke about their former Chile boss Bielsa, 64, who managed the side between 2007 and 2011.
When speaking about his coaching style Fuenzalida said: “He’s a football genius but he also has a madness that you have to know how to handle.
“The pressure he puts on you before football matches is not easy to deal with. A lot of players are affected by it and we all get nervous. He is very demanding.”
When asked for any stories the two share with Bielsa, Gonzalez remembered a strange incident after a loss to Ecuador saying: “Bielsa entered the dressing room.
“He was really hot, walking up and down, not speaking with anybody. There was another dressing room next to us and he was there.
“We walked in and he was completely naked, laying on top of a treatment table like someone was going to perform surgery on him. He was there for about 30 minutes totally naked.”
After some laughter, Fuenzalida said: “It happened to me several times. We lost a final 1-0 to Italy playing well and missing a lot of players. He even fought with the Italy manager.
“He went to the dressing room angry, and when we entered he was going mad walking around and taking off his clothes.”
Bielsa helped Chile qualify for the 2010 World Cup and went as far as the Round of 16 before being knocked out by Brazil.
He was offered to keep the post until 2015 after gaining popularity in Chile, however he resigned in 2011 and went on to manage other club giants such as Athletic Bilbao, Olympique de Marseille and Lazio.
Bielsa now manages Leeds United who are currently second in the Championship with 55 points.
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