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Over the course of last season, Athletic Bilbao turned heads worldwide with their entertaining and admirable style of play.
Similarities were drawn to Barcelona's pass-and-move philosophy, and rightly so—Marcelo Bielsa's side displayed many of the characteristics encouraged by Pep Guardiola.
Los Leones were fond of keeping the ball on the deck, bringing the very best out of Javi Martinez, Ander Herrera and Andoni Iraola et al. The Argentinian coach even taught Fernando Llorente to chest it backward rather than flick it forward in an attempt to retain the ball.
They also utilised the high-pressing strategy la Blaugrana are famed for, nullifying notable teams such as Sporting and Manchester United. It should be said, however, that Bielsa used this aspect of the game long before Guardiola did.
The unfortunate setback was that they weren't quite as good as Barca using this tactic, and the mistakes they made in possession saw them chasing the ball more than Bielsa would have liked.
Fatigue took over, and they limped to the end of the season.