Football

Marcelo Bielsa suspended by Lille ‘for visiting former Chile assistant Luis Bonini who has stomach cancer’ without club’s permission

LILLE confirm they have provisionally suspended manager Marcelo Bielsa “pending an investigation”.

The 2010-11 Ligue 1 champions are fighting a surprise relegation battle this season — and the notorious Argentinian boss is fighting to save his job.

 Marcelo Bielsa has been suspended by Lille, pending an investigation

AFP

Marcelo Bielsa has been suspended by Lille, pending an investigation
 Marcelo Bielsa returned to Chile to visit cancer-stricken former assistant

AP:Associated Press

Marcelo Bielsa returned to Chile to visit cancer-stricken former assistant

However, it has emerged he travelled to Chile to visit his former assistant Luis Bonini, who is battling stomach cancer, without the club’s permission.

And is reportedly the reason for the suspension — though it has not been officially confirmed.

Bielsa was Chile manager from 2007 to 2011.

His former assistant Bonini is reported to be under heavy sedation and another of Bielsa’s former assistants Gabriel Aravena is quoted as saying: “He is closer to God than us right now.”

 Marcelo Bielsa led Athletic Bilbao to win at Old Trafford in Europa League in 2012

Mark Robinson – The Sun

Marcelo Bielsa led Athletic Bilbao to win at Old Trafford in Europa League in 2012
 Marcelo Bielsa with Gabriel Batistuta during period as manager of Argentina

AP:Associated Press

Marcelo Bielsa with Gabriel Batistuta during period as manager of Argentina

Bielsa — nicknamed El Loco (The Crazy One) — is well-known for his flamboyant style of management.

Pep Guardiola once labelled him the “best manager in the world”, while also crediting him as his tactical inspiration.


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And Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has also been full of praise for Bielsa.

The Argentine led Athletic Bilbao to the 2011-12 Europa League final — impressively knocking out Manchester United en route.

While he was manager of the Argentina side which knocked England out of the 1998 World Cup — and lost 1-0 in the 2002 group stage.

In 2016, following a season with Marseille, he was named Lazio manager.

However, he stepped down after just one day before Lille hired him in the summer.

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