Marcelo Bielsa on the beauty of his 'idol' Diego Maradona

Marcelo Bielsa.Marcelo Bielsa.
Marcelo Bielsa.
LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa has paid tribute to his compatriot and 'idol' Diego Maradona following his passing at the age of sixty and says he possessed a footballing beauty 'which cannot be matched.'

Influential football figures across the globe have all lauded the seismic contribution of the Argentine in the history of the sport and Bielsa says that his legend will live on.

Bielsa said: "He could not be better. He was for us and will continue to be an idol.

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"Given the fact he is not here with us anymore, it brings us great sadness. To lose an idol for us is something that makes us feel weak.

"Everything he did as a footballer was a beauty which cannot be matched.

"Maradona was an artist. The dimensions of the repercussions of his art has infinite recognitions.

"To give one example, that stands out, the songs that have been written about him are extraordinary.

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"I have read ten texts after his death that have been emotional and it is a recognition of what he gave the spectators in beauty.

"In terms of what he signifies to us (Argentines) in particular, Diego made us feel like it was a fantasy; like an idol makes you feel."

Meanwhile, Bielsa believes the credit should be shared after he was named on the five-man shortlist for FIFA's prestigious men's coach of the year accolade.

World football's governing body has released the shortlist for its seven individual awards to be presented at The Best FIFA Football Awards on December 17 and the Argentine will be competing with the likes of Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp and Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, who both won domestic top-flight titles in England and Spain respectively.

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Also named on the short-list are Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick - who won the Champions League with the Bavarians and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui, who helped the Andalucian side win the Europa League for a sixth time.

Bielsa, who confirmed that Jamie Shackleton, Pablo Hernandez and Diego Llorente will miss Saturday's Premier League game at Everton, said: "To be nominated is always a distinction. I appreciate it.

"Every time a manager is signalled out, the players are involved in this signalling out.

"The coach is always an appendix of the players and also the technical staff for the construction of a football team. It is not solely the responsibility of the one in charge.

"This nomination is also for the technical staff and this happening in a sphere of a club like Leeds also recognises the result of this."

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