Leeds United landed a real coup by appointing Marcelo Bielsa this summer.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has told Le Journal du Dimanche in France that he has a special relationship with Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Bielsa took his first steps into English football this summer by surprisingly taking the Leeds job, replacing Paul Heckingbottom in a stunning move.

So far, Bielsa remains unbeaten in the Championship, with three wins and three draws from his six games, as Leeds top the table.

A number of players have talked up the Argentinian, known as ‘El Loco’ over the years, and Manchester City left back Mendy is the latest.

Mendy played under Bielsa at Marseille before earning a 2016 move to Monaco, and just one great season there saw him sign a big-money deal with City.

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Now one of the Premier League’s top left backs and a World Cup winner, much of Mendy’s development can be attributed to Bielsa – and he has now hailed the Leeds boss.

Mendy has told Le Journal du Dimanche, as translated by Get French Football News, that he has as special connection with Bielsa from their time at Marseille, as he gave him the belief to become one of the world’s best, whilst he even asked for Bielsa’s opinion on his move to City.

Mendy added some bizarre stories from his time with Bielsa, including training until the sun went down and talking to a football to inspire his players, noting that he ‘controls everything’. 

“I like mysterious characters, so I challenged myself to understand him,” said Mendy.” I did not hesitate to ask him questions, especially during the individual video sessions. And when he starts talking about football, he cannot stop. It was so thrilling listening to his stories that I would lose track of time. We have a very special connection now. He congratulated me when I became Champion with Monaco and I told him when I was on the verge of going to Manchester City. I needed his point of view. He believed in me. He once told me that I was going to become one of the best left-backs in the world in front of the whole team. Everyone was staring at me, I smiled but he was serious.”

“We experienced incredible moments with him. One day he said: “let’s train until the sun goes down”, and we did it. Another day, we were training poorly, so he took a ball and stared at it. He said: “Lads, all the work we are doing is for him. Video, diet, sleep, everything is for him. Why would you sacrifice your lives playing football if you do not even train correctly? When we were training our finishing against the goalkeeper, we only had two chances. Gignac thought it was not enough but Marcelo refused saying “During the match, you will probably just have one or two chances to put it into the back of the net.” So when the game started, we were all ready. He controls everything,” he added.

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