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Leagues: Ligue Un

Lille lure Bielsa back to France


Lille (France) (AFP) – Iconic Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, known as ‘el Loco’ for his intense ‘all in’ style, will be back in France as manager of Lille as of July, the newly bought out Ligue 1 club said on Sunday.

“Lille and the Argentine coach have signed a two years deal which comes into effect in July,” Lille announced.

Rumours had been ripe that Bielsa, who handled Argentina and Chile before succesful stints at Atletico Bilbao and Marseille, would join the struggling northerners who were French champions in 2011.

Bielsa is known for cranking up the pressure and squeezing the most out of modest formations, taking Athletic Bilbao to a Europa League final in 2012, and coming close to a French title with Marseille. 

He left Marseille in a blaze of fury one game into the 2015-2016 season, before a two day stint at Italian side Lazio.

Lille are 14th in Ligue 1, and were taken over three weeks ago by Luxembourg-Spanish businessman Gerard Lopez, a colourful tycoon and former owner of Formula One team Lotus.

Earlier this week Lopez recruited Franck Passi who was Bielsa’s assistant at Marseille, to oversee the rest of the season.

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