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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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Gaizka Toquero has been granted his wish of a move away from San Mames Barria after Athletic Bilbao agreed to sell the forward to Espanyol.

The 29 year old had requested a transfer after a lack of game time which saw Aritz Aduriz and Kike Sola play ahead of him.

Bilbao acted swiftly as Espanyol completed the £4 million transfer, handing Toquero a bumper five year deal.

The striker said he was upset he didn’t manage to catch Oceano Cruz’s eye last season but is adamant to get back to regular football.

“It’s always sad of course not to be wanted by a club in a season, especially when that team does so well as Bilbao did.

“I tried my best but unfortunately I couldn’t compete with the boss’ preference of Sola and Aduriz. I completely respect that and move on with the knowledge I was graced with last season.

“I’m excited to get back out there onto the field now and show everyone what I’m capable of here at Espanyol.”

Toquero played a total of 128 games for Athletic Bilbao since 2008, scoring 23 times.
Nice job selling players not in your plan especially for a nice fee

Will be interesting to see how you invest. Good luck


Real Zaragoza has commenced their summer shopping by completing the loans of Enric Saborit and Markel Etxeberria from Athletic Bilbao.

Both full backs will join the newly promoted side until the end of the season as ‘Los Leones’ boss offers them vital first team experience away from Bilbao.

“The move will be good for both players primarily because they look set to be used often. There is a lot of experience for them to gain at Zaragoza which I simply cannot offer them at this time.

“We will take the opportunity to asses them from afar and I trust they will perform adequately when called upon as I have been promised both will be valued highly amongst Zaragoza’s managerial team.

“It helps that they will have two of our lads there; both very young players and you can expect both to create a strong bond together which again in return will be important for both clubs.

Saborit is relishing a possible fight for survival this season as he prepares to show all what he is capable of.

“You never know quite how the season will unfold but we are tipped to linger around the relegation spots so I will be savouring any challenge that comes our way.

“I’m hungry for minutes on the field so you can bet I will give it my all and try to show what I can do for the team.”

Enric Saborit only played four games last season meanwhile Markel Etxeberria appeared six times for the Basque outfit.


Athletic Bilbao has signed David Zurutuza from rival Real Sociedad after the Frenchman was transfer listed.

Bilbao slapped the required £5 million on the table to sign the central midfielder on a five year deal to take their season spending up to £46 million.

Zurutuza looks set to replace the void left by Ander Herrera in January as Oceano Cruz attempts to revert to a more relentless midfield.

“Zurutuza will have to earn his spot like anyone else firstly but he will initially do the job Herrera done before departing.

“We had three flat and hard working midfielders before Herrera left and when he moved, that somewhat stifled our play.

“I was really impressed by Zurutuza at Sociedad last season and I think he will have no problems moulding in this season”.
Nice Update! Don't know much about him to be honest but hopefully he performs for you

Pre-Season 2013/14

Portugalete 1 – 7 Athletic Bilbao

Baskonia 0 – 4 Atheltic Bilbao

Player To Watch

Aritz Aduriz

Aritz Aduriz looked very sharp again this pre-season and I’d be very happy with a similar season from him. At his age, it will be tougher when games begin to come thick and fast but I trust him to deliver for us.

Oceano’s Verdict

We only played two friendlies which I’m not best pleased about so I’ll be having a word with the assistant. Nevertheless, we got two big wins and dominated both so I’m happy to take that into the new season.
nice update here, I hope the signings lead you to LIGA BBVA glory
A good pre season. I dont know why but you will either win the league or not do as good as last year. I hope you win the league tho :P

August 2013

Supercopa Espana

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 0 Barcelona

Barcelona 3 – 1 Atheltic Bilbao

Valladolid 0 – 4 Atheltic Bilbao

Atheltic Bilbao 3 – 3 Getafe

Mallorca 3 – 2 Atheltic Bilbao

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Markel Susaeta

Markel Susaeta was one of the few that started as expected this month. He continues to look a threat out on the right wing and if the others had played to his standard, we would have won all our games this month.

Oceano’s Verdict

Not a good month if I may say so myself. We looked arrogant at times after beating Valladolid and Barcelona which is not the way we should have approached games. We conceded sloppy goals and were too relaxed. Hence why we conceded two leads already, throwing away 5 points just like that. It is only the start of our season but some players need to buck their ideas up.


Athletic Bilbao boss Oceano Cruz believes his side can produce many surprises in this season’s edition of the UEFA Champions’ League.

Bilbao has been drawn up against Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica and MSK Zilina with ‘Los Leones’ being ranked outsiders for progression.

Oceano however believes his team can produce the goods versus the big boys as they appear in their first Champions League campaign since 1999.

”It will be tough of course but there is no easy games in the Champions’ League. It has been a long time since we have qualified which makes this adventure all the more meaningful to us.

“We aren’t favourites to make the next round. I think people would rather look at the regulars such as PSG and Benfica but I can definitely see us getting results from both.

“PSG are a popular team now of course enriched with superstars but I see flaws in their play. We have the right players to hurt them and that’s what we will set out to do.

“With regards to Benfica, I know them very well from my time at Sporting so I know what they are capable of and I would trust us to beat Zilina too. The chances of making it through are more favourable than people think.”

Atheltic Bilbao will begin their task at home to PSG next month.


Real Madrid – Dede - £26,000,000
Athletic Bilbao – Stephane Ruffier - £21,000,000
Athletic Bilbao – Nacho Monreal - £17,000,000
Real Sociedad – Alexandre Lacazette - £15,500,000
Real Sociedad – Clement Grenier - £11,500,000
Granada – Andreu Fontas - £10,750,000
Real Sociedad – Emilio Nsue - £10,500,000
Atletico Madrid – Fernandinho - £10,250,000
Barcelona – Dante - £10,250,000
Espanyol – Carlos Bacca - £9,250,000
Espanyol – Nicolas Bertolo - £7,250,000
Sevilla – Erik Pieters - £7,000,000
Real Betis – Edgar Benitez - £7,000,000
Granada – Miguel Torres - £6,250,000

September 2013

Athletic Bilbao 3 – 0 Valencia

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 3 Paris Saint-Germain

Rayo Vallecano 1 – 6 Atheltic Bilbao

Atheltic Bilbao 1 – 0 Espanyol

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Iker Muniain

Iker Muniain brought his A game with him this month as he led the team back to consistent ways. He started finding the net more regularly and assisting others meanwhile terrorising defenders as he does. I find that whenever he feels confident, that transcends to other teammates and I certainly pleased to see him perform.

Oceano’s Verdict

This was a much better month for us. We booted out the slouching attitude of our first month and really dug in here. All wins in La Liga which I’m very pleased with. Valencia and Rayo results were special as was the 1-0 win v Espanyol as I feel they will be a very tricky team to beat this season. We were unlucky versus PSG but Ibrahimovic’s quality was too superior on the day. We face Zilina next month which will be a must win for us.
Seems your start lsat season was better than this :P but you'll turn it around I'm sure. I expected more transfers from Real and Barcelona
Good work getting into third, it's going to be hard to replicate the success from last year but I'm sure you can do it! Love the layout of this story easy on the eye :D
k1rups - Yeah it's been slow which is frustrating as I've kind of become accustomed to last season's results but we are getting there eventually :)

Iwalter66 - Yeah it will be tough for sure, but just like last year, anything is possible. Lots more games possibly this season with Champions League football so 4th and above would be acceptable for me.

Thanks for commenting :D

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