Speaking to Argentinian news publication Toda Pasion, former Argentina international Lucho Gonzalez he was inspired to get a tattoo of Marcelo Bielsa after he ordered Leeds United to let Aston Villa score in their infamous 1-1 draw at Elland Road last season.
In Leeds United’s hotly contested clash with Aston Villa in April of last year, the Whites took the lead in controversial fashion. Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia was left on the floor after a tackle by Liam Cooper and when it appeared Tyler Roberts was set to put the ball out of play, he instead played in Mateusz Klich, who went on to curl it home to put his side 1-0 up.
Tempers flared afterwards and upon the restart, Marcelo Bielsa ordered his side to let Aston Villa score, much to the dismay of Pontus Jansson. The game finished 1-1 and it will go down as one of the most remarkable Elland Road moments.
Shortly after the controversial encounter, Argentinian midfielder Lucho Gonzalez – who was given his international debut by Bielsa – got a cartoon of Bielsa tattooed on his leg. Now, the 39-year-old has revealed the reasons behind his decision.
While Bielsa was a key figure in Gonzalez’s development, the midfielder says that it was Bielsa’s decision to allow Aston Villa to equalise that persuaded him to get a tattoo of the Leeds United boss.
“I am eternally grateful to Marcelo because he was the one who gave me the opportunity to play for the National Team, who taught me many things not only tactically but also about the values of life, of always wanting to compete but without losing the amateur spirit that is often lost and after what happened with Leeds United, when he ordered the team to let them tie because they had scored a goal with a downed player, it was a true demonstration of what it is.
“It goes far beyond football. He could ascend with those three points but the game ended 1 to 1, they could not win and it was a whole year lost for not getting promotion but at the same time he respected the values and the rules of football. There I made the decision to do it, I found a photo in the form of a cartoon and I did it to myself. “
The tattoo just goes to show how important Bielsa is to so many players. El Loco is seen as a footballing hero in his home nation and Gonzalez’s tattoo just encapsulates what the Leeds United boss means to so many people in football.