Marcelo Bielsa has described Tottenham boss Antonio Conte as “a master” at getting his players to perform at their best.
Bielsa, whose Leeds side face Tottenham in Conte’s first home game in charge on Sunday, said the Italian stands out as one of the world’s leading managers.
“What does unify all the coaches is the virtues they extract from the players they coach,” Bielsa said.
“That demands how you prepare them and to convince them. In those two aspects, to prepare them and convince them, he is a master.”
Former Juventus Chelsea and Inter Milan head coach Conte signed a two-year deal to replace the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham before the international break.
The 52-year-old guided Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in 11 years before leaving the club in May and won the Premier League in his first season in charge of Chelsea in 2016/17.
“He’s a genuine representative in his country of managers,” Bielsa said. “He has triumphed in every team he has managed.
“He’s a reference in world football, not only in the league he participates in. He’s a coach who gets very high performances from his players.”
Conte won three Serie A titles with former club Juventus and twice led them to Coppa Italia glory, and spent two years in charge of Italy before becoming Chelsea manager in 2016.
When asked about Conte’s style of management, Bielsa said: “Intensity. The collective sense. Teams that attack with a lot of players, but not because of this do they defend with less players.
“That’s a virtue that’s very hard to get in a team. That’s very marked out in the teams he’s managed. Something that stands out and is difficult to achieve.”
Tottenham lost five of their first 10 league games this season under Nuno and sit ninth in the table, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, after drawing 0-0 at Everton in Conte’s first game in charge.
They are bidding for their first league win in four matches against Leeds, who have won only two of their first 11 this season.
Bielsa’s side turned in one of their best displays of the season in a 1-1 home draw against Leicester before the international break.
But they failed to convert a string of chances against the Foxes and will still be without striker Patrick Bamford again on Sunday.
Bamford has missed Leeds’ last eight games in all competitions due to an ankle injury.
Summer signing Junior Firpo is still not ready to return after a muscle strain and fellow defenders Robin Koch and Luke Ayling both remain sidelined after knee surgery.
Jamie Shackleton and teenage striker Joe Gelhardt remain doubtful, with the latter having withdrawn from the England Under-20 squad after missing out against Leicester through injury.
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