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‘Scandalous’ that Bielsa has been nominated for The Best FIFA Coach award – Villas-Boas

According to the Portuguese coach, rival Thomas Tuchel of PSG deserved to be included in the five-man shortlist

Marseille boss Andre-Villas Boas has taken a swipe at Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa’s nomination for The Best FIFA Coach Award.

The Argentine has joined a five-match shortlist that also includes Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Bayern Munich’s Champions League-winning coach Hansi Flick.

Bielsa was at the helm as Leeds returned to the top flight of the English game for the first time in 2004, but Villas-Boas has suggested that these achievements pale into comparison with other coaches who have been overlooked.

“Bielsa? Bielsa has to win a prestigious trophy,” he told the media on Friday. “But he’s not among the best five coaches in the world in 2020. It’s a scandal. He won the Championship!”

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Villas-Boas, who risks provoking the Marseille fans, where Bielsa is a cult hero, after a one-season stint at the club in 2014-15 will further frustrate the OM support by suggesting that Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel would have been a worthier nominee.

The club’s have had a fiery relationship for decades and when they met earlier this season there were five red cards.

“That Tuchel’s not in the top five coach is a scandal,” he said. “FIFA are sleeping… Tuchel won four trophies and then got to the final of the Champions League.”

Villas-Boas is having a rough ride at Stade Velodrome this season due to poor European performances from Marseille.

In four Champions League matches, they have failed to pick up a single point and have not even scored a goal yet. Wednesday’s pitiful 2-0 home loss against Porto consigned them to a 13th-straight defeat in the competition, which is a new record.

Bielsa, meanwhile, has won praise for the solid start that Leeds have made in the Premier League and has won a hoard of new fans for his idiosyncratic brand of expansive football.

The Elland Road side were 14th in the standings before the weekend’s matches kicked off, having won three of their nine fixtures. With 14 goals scored, meanwhile, they have netted more frequently than any other team in the bottom half of the standings, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City.

His side travel to face Everton on Saturday.


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