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Athletic Bilbao - Los Leones Rugientes

Read how Quique Flores battles with the Basque ruling in his endeavor to take Bilbao to new heights!
Started on 16 December 2014 by Zap
Latest Reply on 8 October 2015 by InvertedWingbacks
Nice start, love the table, it looks sweeet
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9 yearsEdited


Bilbao head coach Quique Flores has brought in his second signing with Tarsi set to join Athletic with move from Real Zaragoza for £100k

Tarsi is a deep midfielder that has shown a lot of promise in the Liga Adelante with Real Zaragoza. The 19 year-old was handed his official Zaragoza debut aged just 17 and has developed well since then. This signing, as with Iker Hernandez earlier this window, has been a move to bring in young-talent and it is clear that Quique wants to build his team for the future.

This move has come at a surprisingly low £100,000 Real Zaragoza fans are generally annoyed at their club for selling a future star at such a low price. Athletic fans are excited by the prospect off Tarsi developing with them, however they will have to wait until next-season for Tarsi to be in with a chance of making his debut for the Basque giants. This is because the midfielder has been handed back to Zaragoza on-loan until the end of the season, so that he can grab as much game time as possible.

"I am incredibly excited for my future," spoke an enthusiastic Tarsi. "I have dreamed of joining a club like Bilbao all my life and I am so excited. However, I know that I will be playing for Real Zaragoza this season and I will give 100% for the Zaragoza fans and also to show Quique Flores that I can fight for a first team spot."

Tarsi will join up with Bilbao next season after a season-long loan with Real Zaragoza and hopes to push for a first-team spot.

Tarsi is Flores' third move this summer and despite the window closing in a few days, it may unlikely to be his last. There have been many rumours flying around in mind off the future of Ander Itturaspe. Sources from Spain say that he is on the verge of signing a new contract, however other sources say that a Chelsea move is imminent. For now, however, Bilbao can enjoy their new singing and hope that Tarsi can develop into a star.

Tarsi started off his career at third division side Gramenet before moving to Badalona in 2011, he only lasted a season there before joining Real Zaragoza and he made 31 appearances in his debut season for Zaragoza "B". Aswell as his 31 appearences he also made his first start for the full team and had a solid game. Last season saw the youngster start 22 games for the B team and 9 games for the full team, where he impressed enough for Quique Flores to decide to make a move.

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Zap's avatar Group Zap
9 yearsEdited


After his first bunch of competitive games have gone his way, Quique Flores has spoke about his the highs and the lows from his first couple of month as Bilbao boss.

Interviewer: Hi Quique, thanks for talking to us today and may I just say well done on the way you have started your Bilbao reign.

Flores: Thank you but I have to say that it's the players that have gone out and won games, not me. The majority of the lads put in fantastic effort in training and on the pitch and that really has shown.

Interviewer: Are you surprised by the effort that they have put in?

Flores: Not at all. I demand that they put in the effort and the majority of the players want to succeed enough to follow my demands. In training I like to pull 110% out of my players at all times and most of them give it to me. Sadly not all, but most.

Interviewer: When you say that some players don't put in enough effort, who would be the one's who you think aren't giving enough?

Flores: There are players who I have spoke to, they know who they are. I don't need to put their names into the media circulation.

Interviewer: Ok moving on from that then, Ander Itturaspe has had a lot of interest around him and has admitted to holding talks with two clubs. How does it make you feel?

Flores: What do you mean by that? I gave him the permission to talk to the clubs, it's not as if he's gone off behind my back. That hasn't happened and that would never happen. If it did then there would be serious consequences, however that is not what Ander is like. I have gave him permission as I want the best for him and the best for the club.

Interviewer: Have you received offers for him?

Flores: Obviously rumours have to start from somewhere and I can now openly say that it is true that we have received a few offers from certain clubs that have been linked with Ander. However, this is only because the transfers are off.

Interviewer: Wow, this is big news! How come the transfer has fallen through?

Flores: It isn't so much as a deal falling through, as much as the deal not happening. I have held many conversations with Ander to see how he feels about the possibility of moving away from Spain and he has come to the conclusion that he wants to stay with the club, and he doesn't want to move his family.

Interviewer: You must be very pleased with this.

Flores: Definitly. I think Ander is a massive player for the club and I am so glad that he has decided to stay at the club, he will be crucial for this season.

Interviewer: So will there be a new contract on the horizon for Ander?

Flores: Probably not, Ander still has 2 years left on his contract and I will hopefully have those 2 seasons to wait. However, there are currently contract offers on the table for other players who I see as a big part of the team, or a big part of the future. Hopefully next time we are in the news then it shall be because off a large player accepting a new contract.

Interviewer: Does that mean that you are finished this transfer window?

Flores: Yes, I am finished. I am very happy with the squad I am and firmly believe that they can challenge at the top. I am happy with the players I brought in, Iker (Hernandez) has been showing good signs in training. And I am very much hoping that, with Iago (Herrerin) moving on, Kepa (Arrizabalaga) can show what he has made of in-goal. I am sure you will be seeing a lot more of him in the coming months.

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I <3 you Zap. BTW nice cheap signing
Very nice interview, the layout on this story is just sublime!
Tallery: I definitely feel that I can qualify out of this group!
JasonRM: We had a great start to the season yes, but we have to continue our form.
Tallery II: Thanks! It took a while for me to decide how to do it and I'm really glad you like it.
Dellman: I <3 Zap aswell. Hopefully Tarsi shall do well with us.
Tallery III: Thanks again! I really want the presentation to stand out.
Was told to comment. So I did.
A contract? You need to give the boy a medal for staying with you! :D
Good job on the interview, loved it.
So much detail! Very good writer and I hope you keep it up, well done and have a cookie :P
Never heard of Tarsi...any chance we could get a screenshot? ;)
Tallery: Wasn't told to reply but I will anyway.
Oz96: Don't worry, I rewarded him in a very 'personal' way ;)
KTWaisselFan01: Thanks mate and OMG COOKIE!
Neal: Can't, read my Notice. But I can tell you he is decent.

I'm sorry I haven't been able to update lately as I haven't been able to access my desktop that has the save on. I am missing writing updates for this, however I am hoping to get back with this story in the next few days!
Zap's avatar Group Zap
9 yearsEdited


Athletic have continued their decent start to the league season despite head coach Flores pushing out the need for ruthlessness. Two victories and a draw this month means that, despite a defeat at Camp Nou, Los Leones are still staking an early claim for the Champions League spot that the club so dearly want.


Barcelona were, like Bilbao, unbeaten in their first two games when they met for an early clash between the two Champions League teams at the Camp Nou. Everyone expected Barcelona to grab a result at home and despite Bilbao's best efforts to keep hold of the ball, the Catalonia teams quality was clear for all to see. Barcelona created most of the chances in the first half, however they couldn't break down Athletic's solid defence. It took until just before half-time for Barcelona to take the lead with a moment of magic from Brazilian winger Neymar. A curling and dipping shot from a wide angle flew through the box and Iraizoz could not do anything about it. Shortly after the break Neymar struck again with a placed shot in the near post. After this goal Athletic managed to show a bit more intensity, however the game was put to bed when Pedro found himself rounding the keeper and putting the ball into an empty net to secure the three points for Barcelona.


The Basque boys bounced back from defeat at Barcelona with a victory over Granada. It was clear from the start that Athletic were back to their controlling play. They could have been three or four nil up by the time that they grabbed their first and only goal of this game, with their keeper pulling out some fantastic saves. However, when Markel Susaeta boomed into the box there was only going to be one outcome. A low shot powered past the keeper and gave Bilbao their deserved lead. Dominance continued throughout the second-half however Granada's defence stayed resolute and they managed to keep the score down. Quique Flores stated after the game that they needed to take more chances.


Rayo Vallecano had a decent start to their season, however Athletic found themselves travelling to Rayo after they were beaten by Villareal a mere three days before, Flores and Bilbao had a right to be optimistic. It took just 15 minutes for Aritz Aduriz to open his account for this season with a fine header looping over the keeper and into the roof of the net. Athletic looked confident on the ball, however they could not find the second goal to count for their dominance and they were punished for this just before half-time when Lass Bangoura struck in Rayo's equaliser with a powerful hit from just inside the box. After half-time it seemed that Bilbao's confidence was deflated heavily and they suddenly found themselves behind after a shot from Leo was deflected heavily by captain Gurpegi into the opposite side of the goal that Iraizoz was diving to and this sent the head coach loopy. Athletic pushed more to get back into the game and were handed a lifeline late in the game when Markel Susaeta was hacked down inside the box to win a penalty. Iraola managed to convert the spot-kick, however the celebrations were hindered when Susaeta collapsed back to the floor needing medical help.


After the Rayo game, Quique Flores really expressed his opinion on the need to be more ruthless and what better way to display a confident performance than against the whipping boys at home. Eibar came to Bilbao with only three points and rock-bottom of the league and Athletic managed to show their quality. They managed to dominate the early parts, as they did against Rayo, and only managed to grab the single goal before the break with Ibai Gomez powering home from close range. Flores must have done something during half-time, because Athletic came out for the second half full of life and they Gomez grabbed both the team, and his, second goal of the afternoon with a placed shot of which curled into the top corner. They finished off the game soon after with their third when Muniain found himself clear on goal, and he was never going to squander that opportunity.


Name: Pts - GD
1. BARCELONA: 14 - +11
2. VILLAREAL: 14 - +5
3. ATHLETIC: 13 - +6
4. ESPANYOL: 13 - +5
5. R MADRID: 11 - +6
6. DEPORTIVO: 11 - +2

7. ALMERIA: 9 - +1


Aymeric Laporte has shown that he will be a massive part to Athletic's season. His solid partnership with Gurpegi has looked hard to break down and at only 20 years-old, he looks as if he can become a world class defender. Laporte looks as if he has mostly been in the right place at the right time and, despite being outclassed at Nou Camp, he has looked like an experienced centre-back.

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Mixed results but 3rd place is a great place to be right now, good luck :)
Not a bad start, really nice update. The Barcelona result can be excused :P but Rayo was slightly disappointing?
A strong start, keep it up!

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