The world of English soccer got a huge bit of news on Friday afternoon. Leeds United, once regarded as one of the top clubs in all of European football, completed a 16-year journey back to the Premier League on Friday afternoon. Thanks to West Brom failing to get a result against Huddersfield Town, Leeds secured a top-2 finish in the EFL Championship, which means they earned automatic promotion to the English top flight.
Leeds is quite the story — the gist of it is that due to financial issues that led to an all-out implosion, they fell all the way down to the English third division, League One, and have spent 16 years trying to get back to the Prem. The club opted to hire Marcelo Bielsa, viewed as one of the most innovative and influential minds in all of football, as manager in 2018, and after coming excruciatingly close in 2018-19, managed to get over the hump this year.
The club also has some of the most proud and passionate supporters in the world, so the reaction to Leeds’ promotion was a sight to behold. Among these supporters is former Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who recorded a video for BBC in which he thanked Bielsa — who Coster-Waldau says became “immortal” with the accomplishment — and celebrated the club’s promotion with a quick poem.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 17, 2020
Coster-Waldau also retweeted a video from an appearance he did on Jimmy Kimmel Live! ahead of the Game of Thrones finale in which he said the chosen one is not Jon Snow, but rather, “a guy called Bielsa.”
— 💙💛 the best emojis (@rockandmirty) July 17, 2020
We still need to figure out who will join Leeds in the top flight, which should happen sometime soon. Regardless, Friday was a day Leeds supporters have been counting down the days until, and while we do not know when next season will begin or whether fans will be allowed into stadiums or not, it is probably safe to assume that Coster-Waldau will make his way to the club’s revered ground, Elland Road, for a Premier League match as soon as he can get in.