Leeds street named after Marcelo Bielsa following Premier League promotion

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Marcelo Bielsa has become the saviour of Leeds United fans
Image: Marcelo Bielsa has become the saviour of Leeds fans

A street has been named Marcelo Bielsa Way in honour of the manager who has helped to steer Leeds to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Signage will go up next week on the route - which links the Trinity Leeds shopping centre to Commercial Street in the city centre - in honour of the cult hero and football "professor" who has restored the famous club to the top division.

Trinity Leeds, which is behind the street renaming, has temporarily changed its name to Trinity Leeds United for the rest of the month to celebrate the promotion.

Centre director David Maddison said: "This is a fantastic moment for the city and we are delighted to be able to share in the celebrations as Leeds United return to the Premier League.

"The speed at which the manager has turned around the fortunes of this team and the manner in which he's done it - the Bielsa way - he deserves all the plaudits and we are absolutely delighted to rename this street Marcelo Bielsa Way.

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"The street renaming is a permanent reminder for fans, and any visitors from his native Argentina, of the team's incredible achievement."

There were wild scenes on Friday outside Elland Road after second-placed West Brom lost 2-1 at Huddersfield.

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Videos showed players partying inside the ground, as fans joined in the celebrations outside.

And the hugely popular Bielsa, hailed as a managerial genius and seen as a guru by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and many other managers, was filmed elbow-bumping fans near his home in Wetherby.

Leeds old boys celebrate

Members of the last Leeds side to play in the Premier League, as well as the likes of Jermaine Beckford and Josh Warrington, have hailed the club's achievement in returning to the top flight.

Leeds were relegated amid financial turmoil in 2004, and even dropped into League One for three seasons, but Bielsa has revitalised the club while capturing the imaginations of fans and ex-players.

Paul Robinson, who began his career at Leeds but was sold to Tottenham following their relegation in 2004, told Sky Sports News: "It's been a long, long time. It was a very special day yesterday for everyone involved with the club.

"I think the term 'sleeping giant' is far too overused when it comes to football clubs, but I think it's very, very apt when you're talking about a club of Leeds' size."

Marcelo Bielsa 0:41
Former Leeds defender Danny Mills says Marcelo Bielsa has done a phenomenal job

Klopp comparisons

Danny Mills, who spent five years at Leeds before joining Manchester City in 2004, believes Bielsa's achievement in guiding Leeds back to the Premier League is akin to the success enjoyed by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

He told Sky Sports News: "Bringing Bielsa in was a big gamble. It was an expensive gamble and no one quite knew which way it would go.

"Everybody hoped he would do what he's done. It's been tremendous, to take a team from 13th in the table - effectively the same group of players, with a few loanees - to third, and now promotion. It's simply phenomenal.

"Everybody lauds Jurgen Klopp and how great he's been over the last four or five seasons. Bielsa's achievement is not far off that."

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Leeds players celebrated their promotion to the Premier League in front of their fans at Elland Road

Lee Bowyer, who was part of the famous Leeds side that reached the 2001 Champions League semi-finals, says Bielsa has worked "miracles" at Elland Road.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Bowyer - now in charge at Leeds' Championship rivals Charlton - said: "Delighted for the club. It's a massive club, and the Premier League is going to be a better place with them in it.

"It's been too long for them not to be in the Premier League, so I'm really happy for the club, the fans and for the owners.

"They chose the right man in bringing in Bielsa. He's worked miracles there."

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