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Marcelo Bielsa

Published: Friday 4 May 2012, 11.04CET
Athletic Club
Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa, coach of Athletic Club ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 4 May 2012, 11.04CET

Marcelo Bielsa

Athletic Club

Date of birth: 21 July 1955
Nationality: Argentinian
Playing career: CA Newell's Old Boys, Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba, Club Atlético Argentino
Coaching career: CA Newell's Old Boys, Club Atlas, Club América, CA Vélez Sarsfield, RCD Espanyol, Argentina, Chile, Athletic Club

• Born into a family of intellectuals and politicians, he broke with tradition by becoming a professional footballer, joining hometown club Newell's Old Boys; his playing career ended at the age of 25, however, and he devoted himself to coaching. 

• Started out in charge of Newell's youth team before graduating to the top job in 1990 and enjoying immediate success, notably in taking the club to the final of the 1992 Copa Libertadores – which they lost on penalties to Brazilian club São Paulo FC – and to two domestic titles. 

• Had a three-year spell in Mexico, with Atlas (1992-94) and América (1995-96), and was offered the job of Mexico national coach but turned it down, returning instead to Argentina, where he led Vélez Sarsfield to the 1998 Torneo Clausura.

• Moved to Europe to take charge of Spanish club Espanyol but within a couple of months was appointed head coach of Argentina's national team. Led the Albiceleste through a brilliant qualifying campaign for the 2002 FIFA World Cup only to suffer a shock first-round exit at the finals following a 1-0 defeat by England; remained in charge for another two years, however, winning the 2004 Olympic Games football tournament in Athens. 

• Enjoyed further success at international level with Chile, qualifying the team impressively for the 2010 World Cup, where they were defeated in the round of 16 by Brazil; quit the team in February 2011 and became the new head coach at Athletic the following summer, leading the Bilbao club to the final of the UEFA Europa League in his debut campaign.

Last updated: 04/05/12 11.49CET

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