Sniff…Whimper…Sniff…Bielsa’s out at Lille.
Bielsa, a man of impeccable personal integrity, flew to Chile to visit Luis Bonini a former assistant suffering with cancer. Strange, Lille’s official position was that Bielsa was “suspended”. I haven’t heard that one before. Is that the football version of “creative differences”?
The break up was inevitable, but this time Bielsa seemed set for success.
He showed up.
He got his requested transfers.
And he received a blessing to coach Lille from a prominent Marseille ultra.
It wasn’t enough.
To further the Bielsa legend Julien Laurens tweeted a picture (via @MaryPatrux) a few days ago of Bielsa watching a Lille match on his laptop:
Are we sure it was the Lille match? Or was he logging into his Steam account?
I’ll take Julien’s word.
P.S. Where to next for Bielsa? My only Christmas wish, the US mens national team.
Embed from Getty Images
At the end of a memorable football tournament wonderful feelings can well up. Feelings similar to the end of summer vacation. Or a best friend moving away. Bitter, sweet. Not all tournaments feel like this. Euro 2004 for example. But Copa America 2015 did. This Copa was special. Like that crush at summer camp. You plan your day around seeing them. You double check the network site for local kick off times. You mentally mark off which matches are must see, and the others you’ll have on in the background while making dinner.
Chile are champions, but also makers of memories. Whether it was a thumb in the bum, or lining up with three center backs, *ahem* three central midfielders in defense for the final. They were a footballing polaroid camera, small, determined winners creating instant feelings of nostalgia.
This was a team of pleasure and wonderful symmetry. A team inspiring the future of the international game. Hopefully her footballing ideals will spread far beyond her shores.