Jurgen Klopp believes Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is an inspiration to the football world as the fabled coach prepares to make his Premier League bow.
Former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao boss Bielsa has transformed Leeds’ fortunes since arriving at Elland Road in 2018, leading them to the Championship title last season after falling short in the 2018-19 play-offs.
His famed high-pressing style has earned admirers across the globe and Klopp certainly counts himself among them ahead of Leeds’ trip to Anfield on the opening Saturday of the new season.
“I admire him, but I was never close enough to him to really follow up,” he said. “I’ve watched his teams playing and that’s pretty exceptional. The rest I got from newspapers and the rest.
“We have a different approach. There are similarities but there are big differences as well. “I like him, without knowing him, as a proper character. Maybe the hardest working of all of us. I don’t think we can compete with him in that area.”
Klopp chuckled when he recalled the dossier of tactical information Bielsa presented from Leeds’ preparations to host Derby County last year – a move he felt forced into after a member of his staff was caught spying at the Midlands club’s training ground.
“When I think about the analysis around the Derby game… there was some information about the opponent. We have a lot of information, I’m not sure we have the same amount,” Klopp recalled.
“We didn’t see any kind of suspicious people around our training ground this week, so it’s all fine.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting him. He’s an inspiration for all coaches because what he does, he sticks with it, pushes it through and is successful with it.
“That makes him really interesting in this business.”
The intensity Leeds are expected to bring to Anfield is something Klopp also wants to see in his own team’s bid for back-to-back Premier League crowns.
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