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Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa ‘more than deserves’ to be on Best FIFA Men’s Coach shortlist, says selection panellist

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa ‘more than deserves’ his place on the 2020 Best FIFA Men’s Coach shortlist, according to legendary Columbia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón.

A panel of footballing legends, including Cafu, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Touré and Hristo Stoichkov, put together the five-man shortlist that placed Bielsa alongside Bayern Munic manager Hans-Dieter Flick, Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid.

Bielsa’s inclusion has sparked debate in England but 51-times capped former Columbia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón, a member of the selection panel, told the YEP that the values shown by the Whites head coach and his historic achievement in ending the club’s 16-year exile from the top flight made him a worthy candidate for the award.

“It is more than well deserved,” he said.

“A gaffer, coach who not only has shown during his career that he has been an exceptionally great professional, he has changed, in some points of view, in a positive way the game.

“He has a lot of values on the pitch and outside the pitch.

“To bring Leeds to the position that their fans and the history of this club deserves and be in the elite of the Premier League as a South American coach showing and demonstrating and transmitting all these values and ideas in a different culture, it is exceptional.

“I consider Marcelo Bielsa’s position on this list more than well deserved.”

Fellow panellist Diego Forlan has tipped either Flick, Klopp or Lopetegui to take the prize.

He said: “It’s difficult. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool did a great season in the Premier League, they are doing really well.

“Flick won the Champions League and German Cup. Julen Lopetegui won the Europa League which is not an easy title to win. I think it can be between those three.”

The shortlist will be shortened to a final three on December 11.