Marcelo Bielsa paid an emotional to his fellow countryman Diego Maradona, who tragically passed away at the age of just 60 on Wednesday.
The Argentina legend’s death sent shockwaves across the world, with three days of national mourning declared in his homeland beginning from today.
He inspired his country to World Cup glory in 1986, and also helped Napoli win the Italian league title in 1987 and 1990.
Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, suffered a cardiac arrest in his home in Tigre, near Buenos Aires.
He had only recently left hospital where he had undergone successful surgery on a blood clot in his brain and had battled numerous health issues in recent years.
Leeds manager Bielsa, like most Argentinians, was struggling to process the loss of a national hero on Thursday.
“He was for us, and will continue to be, an idol,” Bielsa, who managed the Argentina national side from 1998 to 2004, said.
“Given the fact he is not with us any more brings great sadness. We have lost an idol and it makes us feel weak.
“What really stood out was his relationship with the public. Everything he did as a footballer was of a beauty which cannot be matched.
“Maradona was an artist. The dimension of the repercussion of his art has infinite recognition. To give one example which stands out, the songs that have been written about him are extraordinary.
“And I’ve read ten texts after his death that have been emotional and there’s a recognition of what he gave to the spectators in beauty.
“In terms of what he signifies to us in particular, Diego made us feel the fantasy that an idol makes you feel. The myth that is that person that makes us belief that what he does, we are all capable of doing it.
“That’s why the loss of an idol always hurts the people who are excluded the most. They are the ones who most need someone to show that they can triumph.”