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Football Reporting


Raphinha answers claims about Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa’s management style

Raphinha has dismissed the notion that Marcelo Bielsa is cold, claiming he is a “caring father figure” for the Leeds players.

Bielsa does not give his players bear hugs like Jurgen Klopp and this can create the impression he is distant from them.

Raphinha insists this perception is wrong and says Bielsa is concerned for his players as human beings.

“It’s been great to work with Bielsa,” said the Brazilian winger. “He’s always trying to make things better and improve the standards of everything and everyone, and the only way to do that is through hard work.

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“Bielsa is a demanding manager, but that’s normal for top professionals. It’s important to mention his human side, too: he cares for everyone and tries to see how he can help every individual to get better.

Raphinha says Marcelo Bielsa cares for the Leeds players

“In a big squad, some guys naturally don’t get as much game time as they’d like, and it would be easy for them to feel a little bit down. But then Bielsa comes to talk to them, explains his reasons and keeps everyone motivated.

“Some people don’t appreciate the importance of that, but I do. Sometimes players need this attention and the support of their leader.

“In football, the coach is often a father figure for players. He wants to get the very best out of them, but cares as well. It’s not a cold relationship, and that’s definitely the case with Bielsa. It’s easy to work with him.”

Marcelo Bielsa will lead Leeds to their best finish since 2002

Bielsa is hugely respected by his players and this has been evident during their successful first season back in the Premier League.

Leeds’ landmark win at champions elect Manchester City was their third in succession and they are set to record their best finish since 2002.

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Raphinha has been a huge success under Bielsa, scoring six goals and contributing six assists, to attract attention from Liverpool and says he loves his attacking style of football.

“As an attacker, it’s always great to be as close to the other team’s goal as possible and that’s the case at Leeds,” he told FourFourTwo.

“We try to play football without fear, which is enjoyable. No matter the opponent or score, we want to put the pressure on and be aggressive. That approach helps every player to show their talent.”

“For me, the most beautiful thing in football is seeing both sides play with bravery and to try to win the match. That’s the bright side of football.”

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