A voice note from Marcelo Bielsa has emerged which demonstrates the huge respect and admiration he had for his compatriot Diego Maradona.
The passing of Maradona at the age of 60 was announced last Wednesday and Argentina has been in mourning ever since.
Tributes have been paid from high-profile figures from around the world, and Bielsa himself spoke about how the world has lost a footballer whose “beauty cannot be matched” last week.
“He could not be better,” Bielsa said ahead of Leeds’ game against Everton. “He was for us and will continue to be an idol.
“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.”
Spanish outlet Marca have also published an audio message Bielsa sent to a friend in which he speaks candidly about Maradona.
In it, he says: “What great sadness that Maradona has gone. He has gone too soon.
“He meant so much, even now, after his playing career.”
Another Argentinean great, Lionel Messi, provided one of the most poignant tributes to Maradona by revealing the shirt of one of his former clubs, Newell’s Old Boys, following his goal for Barcelona in the 4-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday.
And Bielsa, who both played for and managed Newell’s, added in the voice note: “What a brilliant tribute from Messi, uniting Diego and Newell’s.”
Investigations are continuing into the circumstances of Maradona’s death, with tests ongoing to pinpoint precisely what caused his fatal heart attack and to discern whether or not he had consumed any drugs or alcohol beforehand.