'You helped me grow' – Leeds stars post emotional goodbyes to Marcelo Bielsa as fans pay tribute to axed boss at ground

LEEDS stars led powerful tributes to axed boss Marcelo Bielsa as fans thronged to pay homage at Elland Road.

Players like England duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford posted glowing messages to the 2019-20 Championship-winning Argentine, 66.

Midfielder Phillips claimed Bielsa 'saw in me what I didn’t even see in myself'.

And striker Bamford labelled him 'the man who changed everything for everyone'.

Bielsa was sacked as Leeds went fifth bottom after just one point from their last six games.

Saturday's 4-0 home loss to Tottenham sealed the fate of the former Argentina, Lazio and Lille manager after four years in charge.

Leeds are tipped to swiftly name a replacement, with ex-RB Leipzig chief Jesse Marsch the favourite.

But as sudden as Bielsa's decline was, his memory will live long – judging by the response from players and supporters.

Phillips posted on Twitter: "Thank you Marcelo for everything you have done for me.

"You saw in me what I didn’t even see in myself. You helped me grow as a player but most importantly as a person.

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"Wishing you all the best in your next chapter."

And on Instagram Bamford wrote: "Thank you. The man who changed everything for everyone."

Skipper Liam Cooper tweeted: "You united a club, a city & a team going nowhere. 

"I will be forever grateful for everything you and your staff did for me and my family. A club legend of our era. Gracias Marcelo."

Defender Pascal Struijk posted: "Thank you for everything Marcelo, in these past 4 years you’ve helped me grow into the player I am now.

"You have taught me so much and I will cherish that forever."

Left-back Junior Firpo added: "It's been an honour working with you and all your staff. A real club legend, Thank you."

Leeds' Germany defender Robin Koch said: "Gracias Marcelo. Glad I could work with and learn from you."

And Poland midfielder Mateusz Klich wrote: "Thank you Marcelo for everything."

Meanwhile, fans gathered at Elland Road to share their farewells to Bielsa.

Some had Argentina flags, others held banners acquired along the route back to the Premier League, with messages such as 'In Bielsa we trust'.

Sadly for the former Chile and Marseille chief, that faith died – at least from the Leeds hierarchy.

But supporters filled social media with their appreciation, including calls for a statue at Elland Road to honour Bielsa's achievements.

Many dubbed him a 'legend' – saying he 'restored' pride' to the club.

And others told the Leeds squad to uphold his legacy by staying up.

But one argued: "The players are broken, gonna take some getting over this."

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