Salim Lamrani was Marcelo Bielsa’s translator at Leeds United and Lille.
Salim Lamrani has explained why he is no longer employed by Leeds United.
Lamrani arrived at Leeds as part of Marcelo Bielsa’s entourage at the start of last season, and acted a translator for the Argentine coach.
That role is now occupied by Diego Flores, who also serves one of Bielsa’s assistants.
And no official explanation for Lamrani’s exit has ever been given.
But in an interview with La Nacion, the Frenchman said: “My main job is teaching and research. The interpreter work was only a parenthesis in my professional life.
“I am a university professor at the University of La Reunion [a French island in the Indian Ocean] and I teach Latin American history classes.”
He added: “I discovered the profession of interpreter in 2017 when I worked with him in Lille.
“It is a very demanding task and I have a great admiration for professional interpreters and translators, because I know that it is difficult to faithfully restore the words of another person.
“In Lille, the advantage was that I translated from Spanish to French and from French to Spanish, thus using my mother tongue, but I had prepared before and had seen and translated all the press conferences he gave during the two years he was at Athletic Bilbao, with a list of soccer vocabulary that he used to use and that I had memorized.
“In Leeds, the task was more complex: I had to translate from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English, which were not my mother tongues.
“The experience in France had accustomed my brain to the intellectual gymnastics that interpretation entails.
“I was also more familiar with Marcelo’s way of thinking.
“But I needed adaptation time to refresh my English.
“In fact, I made several mistakes during the press conferences.”
According to Lamrani, he and Bielsa were first united by a book of his on Cuba, in which the Leeds coach was interested.
Asked if Bielsa is difficult to work with, Lamrani replied: “He is very demanding at work because he is always looking for excellence and perfection.
“But, by definition, human beings are imperfect and that can sometimes generate some friction.
“He fully gives himself to his passion that is football and expects those who work with him the same level of dedication.
“He has an obsession with detail because it is what marks differences in high-level competition.
“He is convinced that you can always do more and better to achieve the ideal football.”
The Leeds midfielder Adam Forshaw recently told BBC Radio Five Live that Bielsa continues to speak to his players through a translator.
But the 64-year-old has let slip that his grasp of the English language is better than he is given credit for, with Flores having at times felt his wrath in press conferences this season.