Marcelo Bielsa launched an enormous tirade at the media yesterday in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with AS Monaco.
Journalist #1: Hello Marcelo, you said earlier that – not even for the slightest of reasons – would you resign from your position in Lille. That is also what you did at Marseille.
Marcelo Bielsa: The problem is that, since you know nothing, you just read to say that there is a rumour to begin with. The other day, a former Marseille president said that I left Marseille because I could not cope with the pressure of being the coach. I will always remember the name of this president. When I resigned from Marseille, this person, who was a head of the club, who after the game was under the influence of alcohol, began yelling at my colleagues “Mexico, Mexico, Mexico, Mexico!”
Him alluding to me coaching the Mexican national team, was the reason I resigned. The president of the Mexican football federation did call me. And he took offense because I did not respond to his phone call. And I did not respond to his phone call, just so that there would not be the slightest possibility, for anyone to link my departure from Marseille to another job opportunity.
I resigned from Olympique de Marseille, everyone knows that, but you deny it because you do not want it to be a true fact. If I resigned from Marseille three days before the beginning of the league, it is because Marseille’s owner’s lawyer, a Russian man, and another man named Philippe Perez, came to tell me that I would have a 10% salary reduction, without providing any argument for it.
“But do not take it personally, because it is not against you. We will take away 10% from your colleagues.” So I responded with the following question: “Are you sure about what you are doing? You represent the president and owner of the club?” They responded, “Yes sir.”
Very well then, thank you very much. So I left. This came two days before the game, so I resigned. And I put this in writing. And now you are telling me that since I resigned from Olympique de Marseille, how can I tell you that I will not resign? You are relating a resignation which has an ethical justification to it, to a person that needs to sell a headline, and say what happened.
But what is important in this, is that all this was known prior. But you are still asking your question, while ignoring this reality. And secondly, you will see, which is why I am saying this publicly, I will not leave this club, even if we have to fight relegation till the last day of the championship. Unless, I am relieved of my responsibilities in the club. But I can not guarantee that. To make such a statement, means that I am ready to deal with whatever I will be faced with. Because I know what it means to suffer in defeat.
I have fought relegation, I was the protagonist of the worst moment in the Argentinean national team’s history. I am a specialist in taking my responsibility in difficult times.
This question is being asked after six match days, and it leaves me outraged because I do not have the patience necessary. Know that, I am well aware of how to avoid any conflicts or tensions with you.
Journalist #2: Sorry Marcelo, I will do my best to avoid any conflict with you. But, from memory, the Marseille incident –
Marcelo Bielsa: There is no conflict between us. Do you think that we are in conflict? In order for there to be a conflict, I have to attribute to any one of you, the capability to confront me. I do this to reveal your true nature to the public. Obviously not all of you because there are exceptions, but I do this so that the general public knows who you are. I am speaking in general, not necessarily about you (Journalist #2) specifically. Similarly to our line of work, there are also those who are good and those who are not so good in your field.
In regards to the journalist from L’Equipe, everyone knows that when I arrived, he was described exactly how he is turning out to be. And you know who described him to me? Your colleagues.
Which is why, when some say that they do not discern themselves from the rest of their colleagues, this bothers me, because you know very well who is whom.
Journalist #2: Marcelo, we do not have to go into any detail, but you will never criticise, a great globally renowned coach –
Marcelo Bielsa: You say what you want, I say what I want. I have no agreement with anyone.
Journalist #2: My question is about why you never expressed the genuine reasons for your departure from Marseille. Why are you doing it today in Lille?
Marcelo Bielsa: What you are saying is a lie. I wrote it in a letter. If you were to ask for the letter tomorrow, I would give it to you. But that is not necessary. Seeing as you are not rigorous, and insulting people’s prestige, you are able to say whatever you please. What you are saying is a lie.
I wrote a letter, and read it publicly, and I explained, what I just explained. And I really regret not remembering the name of the person who yelled Mexico at me.