He speaks six languages ​​and was the “soul” of Bielsa’s Leeds locker room: Gjanni Alioski, one of Italy’s executioners

Ezgjan Alioski and a euphoric cry (REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane)

Gjanni Alioskikey piece for North Macedonia in the playoff against Italy on the way to Qatar 2022He speaks six languages, he was essential in Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United dressing room and at 30 years old he is at the peak of his sports career.

When Marcelo Bielsa took charge of Leeds United in the middle of 2018 he had to make two lists: one with the players who would continue and another with those who would not. Although many thought that Alioski I was going to have to pack the bags, the Locomotive relied on his qualities and confirmed it within a squad that was the protagonist throughout the second division season in which the West Yorkshire team was eliminated in the play off for the third promotion and, in addition, in the following campaign, in which he achieved the long-awaited promotion.

The Macedonian was a standard on the field but also for the group. That campus had four referents who acted as spokespersons in front of the members of the coaching staff: Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi. However, Bielsa’s former translator Salim Lamrani pointed him out as the soul of the locker room for his continued festive mood.

“He liked to be the life of the party and entertain his peers, but he was intelligent and fluent in no less than six languages”, revealed Lamrani in his book “Football according to Bielsa”that recounts the first campaign of the coach from Rosario at the head of the British team. That facet was exhibited in public after Leeds’ victory in a match that was played in the midst of a pandemic: the stadium Elland’s Way it looked empty and some cardboard figures pretended to be the public. Alioski walked around the green rectangle thanking the support as if they were flesh and blood fans. “He may be crazy, but he’s our crazy,” the officer’s account tweeted.

The man who left a groove on each field where he played with the Leeds shirt had already made a good impression on the former Bielsa interpreter for one reason: before the first day of work in the preseason, the Macedonian visited the employees of the training ground to greet them.

Alioski speaks perfectly in german and albanian (mother tongues), but he also makes himself understood when he appeals to the language French, Spanish, English and -paradoxically- Italianwith which they chose together with Lamrani to communicate when they had some free time to talk.

Alioski’s level was enhanced throughout the season in which Leeds faced the Premier League giants. For Bielsa he was a replacement on the entire left flank, but he established himself as a winger and rose to the occasion, like several players who took an exam in what is now the most competitive league in the world.

Completed his fourth year of bond, there was no agreement for his renewal and he decided to say goodbye to play for a lucrative contract in Al-Ahli from Saudi Arabia. “Dear Leeds United family, saying goodbye to you is one of the hardest things in my life. It took me some time to turn the page. I realize how lucky I am to feel something that makes it so hard to say goodbye. This message is for you, from the bottom of my heart. I love you,” he commented on social media. Before, he had praised Bielsa as “the best coach in the world” and thanked him for “everything he taught me.”

Alioski’s fantastic save against Berardi in Italy-Macedonia

Macedonia’s hero was Aleksandar Trajkovski, who sealed the ticket for next Tuesday’s play-off against Portugal. The author of the goal in stoppage time was joined, among others, by the good performance of a Alioski who was the protagonist of a providential save when Domenico Berardi was ready to overtake the Azure at minute 62.

The 8th of Macedonia and its particular history. The polyglot Gjanni Alioski dreams big and after having played the last European Championship he wants to put his country in a World Cup for the first time in history.


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