Marcelo Bielsa shows true colours with Leeds United gesture after Uruguay's Copa America win

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa of Uruguay looks on before a CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 quarterfinal match against Brazil at Allegiant Stadium
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)


Former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa showed his class in the immediate aftermath of Uruguay's stunning Copa America quarter-final win over Brazil.

La Celeste moved through to the final four of the competition overnight by beating Brazil in a penalty shootout at Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium.

Bielsa's side had to work hard to stay in the game after Nahitan Nandez was shown a red card in the 74th minute but they managed to grind out a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.

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And they then held their nerve to win the shootout 4-2 as Uruguay capitalised on missed penalties from Brazil's Eder Militao and Douglas Luiz to move through to the semi-finals.

But it was Bielsa's reaction at full-time which earned him the most plaudits and Leeds United fans would not have been surprised to have seen his latest touch of class.

Former Leeds winger Raphinha, who started for Brazil, sought out Bielsa at the start of the match and the pair embraced before kick-off.

The Brazil international's career took off at Leeds while working under Bielsa and he, of course, earned a £55million move to Barcelona from Elland Road two years ago.

Raphinha said before the game that he owes every recent success in his career to the work of Bielsa during their time working together at Leeds and Bielsa was keen to show his respect to his former colleague at full-time.

Despite the rest of the Uruguayan players and staff rushing to celebrate Manuel Ugarte's winning penalty, Bielsa immediately sought after Raphinha and consoled his former star player before going to congratulate his side on their progression.

Bielsa's Uruguay are now just two wins away from winning this summer's Copa America and they will take on Colombia at the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in Thursday's semi-final.