Leeds United & their fans, among other clubs in England, have a history of creating murals, statues, and other such symbols to honour and immortalize their legendary players & managers. Their current boss Marcelo Bielsa, was instrumental in bringing the Yorkshire club back to the Premier League after 16 long & harrowing years. The club was a powerhouse in the early 2000s but a slew of poor financial decisions meant they ended up getting relegated to the second tier.
Success has been elusive for the Leeds faithful and when Bielsa reinvigorated the side, got them playing a swashbuckling brand of football, they started loving him instantly. This is quite evident if one decides to take a walk through the streets of Leeds.
There are several murals of the Argentinian, the latest of which is a beautiful one on the side of the Yorkshire Rose Pub in the Guiseley neighbourhood. It features Bielsa alongside Howard Wilkinson & Don Revie – two of the greatest managers in Leeds United’s history. There is also a Championship trophy next to the trio.
Bielsa, who is seen as a visionary in football circles, is one of the most respected managers in the world. His teams always seem to play fearlessly and the man’s own antiques and methods have earned him the nickname ‘ El Loco’.
Following Leeds’s long-awaited return to the Premier League at the start of last season, a massive 90 sq. m mural was unveiled at the Hyde Park corner. Created by street artist Irez Jasutowicz, it features Bielsa’s face, and next to it is a famous quote by the man himself –
A man with new ideas is a madman, until his ideas triumph.
🎨 Marcelo Bielsa has been immortalised on Hyde Park corner in Leeds by street artist Irek Jasutowicz.— SPORF (@Sporf) September 15, 2020
🗣 "A man with new ideas is a madman, until his ideas triumph."
👑 Iconic. pic.twitter.com/8t97kCG02y
Another famous mural of the Leeds manager was done by Nicolas Dixon and Andy McVeigh. It is a rendition of Bielsa as the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio. This is apt because the man certainly has redeemed the club.
A graffiti mural of Marcelo Bielsa as Christ the Redeemer has been created in Leeds 📸 pic.twitter.com/mA3DLArwMF— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 16, 2020
The same pair of artists did another artwork on the back of an electrical box, depicting Bielsa sitting on his famous blue bucket. The message next to it reads, ‘In Bielsa we trust’.
Leeds have looked off the pace at the start of this season, but the Elland Road faithful have taken their manager in like one of their own and remain optimistic about a strong second season back in the top flight. The Argentine could be on the path of becoming a club icon like their legendary managers Don Revie and Howard Wilkinson.