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Athletic Bilbao: Basque-ing in Glory

Started on 18 July 2013 by Verdinho
Latest Reply on 4 September 2013 by Rablador
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Verdinho's avatar Group Verdinho
11 yearsEdited

Athletic Bilbao: Basque-ing in Glory

(A special thanks to Harrison17 & Nick who created some of the banners you will see in this story. Thank you very much guys!!!)

Please don’t ask me why I have a new story. I’m a confused child who is lost in the world but I vow before you all that this is my LAST!!!

In this story I will take on the challenge that is managing…


I’ve chosen this story first and foremost because it is one of the unconquered challenges of FM (I think :/). Obviously Bilbao are a decent side and my task with them will be to compete for European qualification against the likes of Sevilla, Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

Ultimately, I want to make Bilbao one of the greatest teams in Europe and to do so I have the gigantic challenge of breaking the Barcelona and Real Madrid dominance.

Doable in theory but it gets even harder. I’ll have to do it using ONLY BASQUE PLAYERS!!!

Yep, that’s right! Athletic Bilbao only buys players from the Basque region which mainly resides in northern Spain and certain parts of the France near the border.

This immediately makes everything the more difficult as I’ll be entirely dependent on a narrow pool of players in order to compete nationally or even globally.

Now, there is a loophole which you can buy players who are just Spanish at a very young age (16 and below I think) and I may use that to my advantage if I desperately need to.

But the challenge has been set, it’s not an easy one but it is one I hope you guys will enjoy seeing me overcome.
Good luck with Bilbao, after playing with them you will appreciate the ability to sign a player whenever you think you need one :P Your only half decent striker is Aduriz now that Llorente is gone, going 4-6-0 perhaps? ;)
I'll be following this, never used Muniain on FM13 so it'd be interesting to see how he performs for you. Also try and loan some Spanish 16 year olds so that they keep their Basque nationality! e.g Alex Grimaldo. Good luck :)
Class name, class start, good luck with this! :D
Good luck this will be tough

Meet Athletic Bilbao



San Mames

Soon to be…

San Mames Barria
In September 2013

Key Players

Iker Muniain

The Spanish wizkid is destined for bigger things. He’s clearly the diamond of the pack so I’ll fight nail and tooth to keep him at Bilbao

Ander Herrera

Herrera is one of the most coveted young Spanish midfielders boasting interest from Real Madrid in the past. His Band wagon has died down since then but he still remains one of Bilbao’s most exciting players

Mikel San Jose

While Herrera and Muniain play their pretty Latino football further up the field, San Jose does all the dirty work. Not only that, he also has a mean penalty on him.


Joseba Exteberria

The Spaniard was Bilbao’s hero throughout the 2000’s with 445 league games and 88 goals.

Telmo Zarra

The late Telmo Zarra spent 15 seasons at Bilbao from 1940 to 1955. The striker scored a whopping 252 league goals for the Basque outfit with 333 goals in all competitions. Zarra won the league’s top goalscorer award on 6 occasions.

Rafael ‘Pichichi’ Moreno

The Little Duck as he was known only ever represented one club; Athletic Bilbao. The 5ft 1’ forward score 200 league goals in 170 league appearances in the early years of the 20th century. Moreno was also part of the 1st ever Spanish National team before he sadly passed away in 1922 at just 29. Moreno now has the La Liga top goalscorer named in his honour.

Andoni Zubizaretta

The now Barcelona Director of Football played 169 times as Bilbao’s number one. The Basque born keeper then went on to play another 301 times for Barcelona and appearing 126 times for Spain before ending his career at Valencia.


Ibai Gomez

The winger has hit 22 years of age but has a bright future ahead of him. Known for his close ball control and corners, Ibai may have what it takes to break through the Bilbao team this season.

Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta

At 18, the young midfielder is another Bilbao will be wanting to keep a close eye on as the years go on. A typical Spanish midfielder with great passing and creativity.

Jonas Ramalho

Half Angolan, half Spanish. Ramalho possesses one clear weakness and that is that he is a little too small for a centre back but he is however quite pacey and can also play left back. He has potential and luckily, Spanish strikers aren’t the tallest either.


Osasuna & Real Sociedad
Andoni Zubizaretta forgot about this guy lol what a keeper he was !!!
Nice update and good to see an Athletico Bilboa save i will follow :D


Atheltic Bilbao will today begin to search for a new manager following the departure of their manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The Chilean failed to agree a new deal with the Bilbao hierarchy and subsequently walks out of the job after just one season.

Bielsa guided Bilbao to both the UEFA Europa League final and the Copa Del Rey final, losing both to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Along the way, Bielsa was praised by many colleagues of profession such as Bayern Munich and then Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola who branded him “the world’s best manager” after the 2012 Copa Del Rey final.

The 57 year old admits he doesn’t regret leaving Bilbao and that his memories with the club will stay with him forever.

“We had a great time last year. The season was rich with memorable games and moments I nor the players and fans will ever forget.

“I felt the time for me leave was now. I don’t regret my decision at all and I’ll be looking to get back into management soon.

“I’d like to thank all the Bilbao fans and staff for their support and kind words of encouragement and maybe who knows one day we’ll meet again.”

Former Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde is a hot favourite to take the Bilbao job after being replaced by Unai Emery meanwhile coach and fan favourite Joseba Exteberria is also linked.


Athletic Bilbao has shocked their fans after appointing Portuguese manager Oceano Cruz as their new boss.

Oceano’s recruitment comes as a huge surprise given his managerial stature and the fact Ernesto Valverde seemed set to clinch the job.

The former Portuguese international will replace the well-respected Marcelo Bielsa, having only managed Portugal Under 21’s and Sporting B.

The 50 year old played 54 times for Portugal and 202 times for Sporting before moving to Bilbao rivals Real Sociedad in 1991.

Oceano who also represented Toulouse then returned to Sporting where he would play another 106 times.

The Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent becomes the first black manager in La Liga after signing a one year deal.
You gotta love Biela's granny-glasses ;) This is great so far, keep it up! :D


Didn't expect that! keep it up
You must sign
Arvind - I'm using a Transfer update so Benat already is a Bilbao player :D I shall show the squad soon...

Thank you all for commenting


Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has warned compatriot Oceano Cruz he will be targeted by the Spanish media just hours after being revealed as Athletic Bilbao’s new manager.

Oceano joined Bilbao as a complete surprise to all after former boss Ernesto Valverde had been odds on favourite to replace Marcelo Bielsa.

Now Mourinho believes Oceano will be the victim of media attacks just like he was when in charge of Real Madrid.

“First of all, Oceano will be picked on for being inexperienced. That is a universal thing the media will pick up which is normal. He will have to prove himself.

“The main problem, which here in England you are not aware of is he will be picked on because he is Portuguese. It’s ridiculous, I know but unfortunately in Spain they take the Iberian rivalry very seriously.

“The moment he makes a simple and normal mistake, the media will kill him. That’s just how it is. It happened to me and Cristiano Ronaldo and we are two of the biggest names in football.”

Mourinho boycotted many press conferences in his 3 year tenure at Real Madrid due to this very issue and hopes Oceano can deal with the pressure in a different manner.

“It’s a difficult situation for all Portuguese in Spain but I hope Oceano can do the talking on the pitch. I don’t know much about his capabilities but that will be his best answer.

“He needs to get on with his work and get the fans and players on his side which is the most important thing. As for the media, they will be waiting always. I have no doubts about that.”

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