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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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2013-08-03 23:14#125139 NeaI : Ouch, huge losses for long periods of time. Unlucky to lose them but hopefully you can live without!

Yeah it's tough but could be a moment for the young and less used players to make a name for themselves. Thanks for commenting :)


Javier Lopez

The nationally known Lopez has the ability to not only become one of Bilbao’s best but one of La Liga’s leading goalkeepers in the future. He should provide some healthy competition for Ignacio Cidoncha who has already appeared a few times this season.

Inaki Martin

Martin like Lopez can become one of the best players in his position both at Bilbao and in Spain. However, he has a tendency to pick up injuries which can thwart his progress. He will be a player I’ll have to manage carefully but one that is fairly loyal.

Iker Gauna

We have our very own Libero in the making with Gauna. Also an accomplished central defender, Gauna could be the last of a dying breed in the type of player he is and is one that could fit in a 3 man defence which I plan to use in the future. Decent potential and one player that has a future at the club.
A great player and two solid players, not bad for youth intake, and it's nice to have the flexibility of getting a sweeper, even if it isn't in use much anymore.

March 2014

Celta de Vigo 0 – 2 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 2 – 0 Real Sociedad

Udinese 1 – 0 Athletic Bilbao

Malaga 3 – 2 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 0 Udinese

Sevilla 2 – 0 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 0 - 2 Osasuna

Athletic Bilbao 3 – 0 Sporting Gijon

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Jon Aurtenetxe

Nobody really caught the eye this month but if there was something positive to take from March it would be Jon Autenetxe’s consistency. The 22 year old has been an integral part of our squad since day one and become something of an unsung hero. This month, he was one of the few he managed to play as we’ve come to expect from him.

Oceano’s Verdict

March was well and truly a month to forget in my eyes and we must put it firmly behind us. Four defeats in total isn’t good enough as we struggled once again to cope with fatigue and injuries. We did however progress through to the next round of the Europa League where we will face Montpellier and we ended our month on a high with a win versus Sporting Gijon. Next month will be tough but we must try and kick on as we are two points behind Real Sociedad in 4th. We don’t want to finish behind our rivals.
6-5 in pk's, nobody wanted to miss!

April 2014

Montpellier 0 – 1 Athletic Bilbao

Real Betis 2 – 4Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 0 – 2 Montpellier

Barcelona 3 – 0 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 1 Granada

Athletic Bilbao 1 – 0 Atletico Madrid

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Ibai Gomez

Much like the last month, it was very hard to choose someone who delivered as expected but my choice would be Ibai Gomez. He continuously offered us a threat and although he’s not got the best end product, at least it was enough to create a danger to lift the spirits.

Oceano’s Verdict

April was an improvement but still not our best. We got some big wins like against Atletico Madrid but defeats such as against Montpellier rankle a bit. Anyway, we did what we could and it is very hard to play with the depleted squad that we had. We have slipped to 5th so we must win all our remaining games if we want Champions’ League football let alone finish above rivals Sociedad.
Not the best month, but I am sure you can improve! Still strong in fourth, keep it up :D
This season is quite a tough one but no doubt you will be back next season!

MB – Mark Bolton
GB – Guillem Balague
LF – Luis Figo
RP – Rob Palmer
GH – Graham Hunter

MB - Good Evening and welcome to today’s live coverage of the Copa Del Rey final in between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. We welcome you to the home of newly crowned La Liga champions and Madrid rivals Barcelona, the Nou Camp or Camp Nou as they call it where joining us is Spanish football expert Guillem Balague and none other than ex-Galactico Luis Figo.

MB – Luis, how different is this Bilbao side to the one you played almost 10 years ago?

LF – 10 years? Wow, I feel a bit old haha. It’s very different. I think all teams in La Liga have changed for the better. They were a lot more aggressive but now a good project is showing its true colours and we see many good Spanish players and teams playing good football. Athletic Bilbao is one of those teams and they have improved a lot in the last 3-4 seasons.

MB – You know Oceano well obviously having played with him in your Sporting and Portugal days. How is he as a character?

LF – He’s a leader. Oceano is a pure fighter and all he wants to do is win. He is not afraid to tell you if you aren’t doing what you can as he deems necessary so you I would expect a very well organised Bilbao team today ready to win a trophy.

MB – Can they do it Guillem?

GB – It’s going to be very tough. Bilbao has not been as good recently, especially this season. They are almost crawling to the finish line and have many injuries. Now that’s the complete opposite to Madrid, who have all their players available and of great quality as you will expect plus the fact that Real Madrid finally managed to beat Oceano’s men last time they met. That could be a massive ace in Real Madrid’s hands psychologically who are clear favourites for this one.

MB – Predictions gents before we head into the stadium?

GB – 3-1 to Real Madrid.

LF – I will go for Bilbao 0 – 2 Real Madrid.

MB – Thank you gentleman. Now over to your commentators for today, Rob Palmer and Graham Hunter.

RP – Thank you Mark and Bilbao are here in the final once again. Can they win Graham?

GH – I don’t think so. I’ll have to go along with the boys in the studio, of which Figo still owes me an autograph by the way, and say a win for the favourites Real Madrid. Nevertheless we should be handed a very entertaining game.

RP – Yes and I’m sure Mark will chase Figo up on the autograph. The team sheets are in so let’s take a look….

RP – Many changes from both sides and already we can see which team has made optional changes and forced ones Graham.

GH – Yes and Madrid has certainly been given all to choose from. They’ve gone for something a little more inventive which in the past hasn’t gone down too well versus Bilbao. Benzema starts out on the wide left but you can expect to see him working as an inside forward onto his favoured right foot. Mesut Ozil is much the same, only he will join the midfield duo of Illarramendi and Casemiro. Ronaldo starts as a striker which we have seen before from Carlo Ancelotti and you can expect him to be given the free role here today.

RP – A lot of injuries for Bilbao to deal with, mainly defensively. How will they manage today?

GH – It’s very worrying for Bilbao with Aurtenetxe, Ekiza, Iturraspe, Monreal and Ramalho all injured against this Real Madrid side known for their attacking prowess. Iraola only just returns fit and slots in an unfamiliar left back role, Oier continues out of position at right back and 17 year old Rodolfo from the academy is brought in for the biggest game of his life. Further forward, Muniain is playing in a number 10 role. We usually find him out wide but like Ronaldo so he too should be given the free role as Ibai Gomez starts on the left.

RP – Many changes made from both sides. Interesting to see Barcelona fans here, no doubt they will be supporting Bilbao. It should add to the entertainment as the referee times his watch….. he gets the OK from his officials and we are off here at the Camp Nou!!!

10 – Asier Riesgo with the long boot upfield, Aduriz takes it down well and turns Dede as he bears down on goal! Dede catches up as Aduriz runs out of options. His cross is cleared by Ramos all the way up to Ronaldo!!! RONALDO RUSHING THROUGH ON GOAL!!! WIDE!!!

GH – That’s the danger! Nobody quite knows who should pick up Ronaldo and he gets a chance out of it. Riesgo closes his angle well however.

11 – Morata plays a pass to Ozil who finds RONALDOOOOOOOO!!!!! THIS TIME HE DOES SCORE!!!! REAL MADRID LEAD IN THE FINAL!!!

GH – A great ball by Ozil! That is what it was all about and after Ronaldo missed just seconds earlier, he was never going to miss from a similar position inside the area. Riesgo was given no chance!

35 – Marcelo plays a long ball up to Ronaldo. Morata’s run confuses the Bilbao defence as Ronaldo SHOOOOTS!!! Wide of the target on his left peg.


45 – The 2nd half restarts here at the Camp Nou in a final largely dominated by Real Madrid.

56 – Ozil on the ball as he goes past Benat with ease, Still Ozil as he dribbles past another two and SHOOTS!!! TOP SAVE FROM RIESGO!!! Corner for Madrid.

58 – Ozil whips it in for BENZEMA!!!! OFF THE LINE BY OIER!!!

GH – Very alert from Oier there and if you remember, a similar thing happen to Bilbao last season in which they could have been 2-0 up if it wasn’t for a goal line clearance by Pique, much like Oier’s. Could it be for Bilbao?

63 – Aduriz wins the header for Muniain. A one two between the pair as Muniain plays through IBAI GOMEZ!!! Casillas rushes off his line brilliantly to deny Ibai Gomez.

68 – Two changes on the way for Athletic Bilbao. Benat is replaced by Jorge Espericueta as Kike Sola takes Aritz Aduriz’s position up front.

72 – Another substitution for Bilbao. The injured Susaeta is coming off for 17 year old striker Aritzol Angulo. Bilbao is going to give it their all in these final stages.

81 – Casemiro disposses Gomez, he plays a wonderful pass to Ozil! Ozil down the right flank he cuts in. OZIL!!!!! GAME OVER!!! REAL MADRID LEAD BY TWO!!!

GH – What a ball from Casemiro! Different class from Real Madrid and Ozil does very well to take on Iraola there and comfortably curl it into the bottom left corner.


Athletic Bilbao 0 – 2 Real Madrid

Unlucky mate, Real are tough but I'm sure in one or two seasons you will win it! Very nice update as usual :D
Unfortunate result, but Bilbao seemed to fight hard anyway. Nice writeup, I wish I could write something like that. You put a great amount of effort in!
Iwalter66 - Yeah we just weren't strong enough to play this amount of games this season and the final reflected that perfectly. Truth be told, Real Madrid are much better too but I still had hope having beaten them twice before.

ebEliminator - Thanks a lot for reading and I really appreciate your nice comments. I did put in a lot of effort but it was more than necessary for my readership :)

May 2014

Osasuna 2 – 1 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao 2 – 0 Real Zaragoza

Villarreal 1 – 1 Athletic Bilbao

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Aritz Aduriz

One of Aritz Aduriz’s better months who scored 28 goals in 43 appearances this season at the age of 33, including 2 this month. His form has been a bit sceptical at times but that is to be expected of a man his age. He still has a special aura about him and hopefully he can lend a similar contribution next season.

Oceano’s Verdict

Not the month nor season we expected for Athletic Bilbao. Champions’ League was our target but to finish 5th, missing out on Champions’ League football and behind Real Sociedad after finishing second is a big kick in the teeth. However, it was a difficult season and nobody in the league had the same amount of difficulties as we did. Bring on next season.
wow, barca more dominant than ever, 105 points?!?!!? lol

2013/14 Award Winners

Ballon D’Or

Lionel Messi

Golden Boy


La Liga Player of the Year

Lionel Messi

Spanish Player of the Year

Andres Iniesta

La Liga Young Player of the Year

Iker Muniain

La Liga Top Goalscorer

Robert Lewandowski

36 Goals

La Liga Spanish Top Goalscorer


20 Goals

La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year

Victor Valdes

La Liga Manager of the Year

Unai Emery

La Liga Team of the Year

Including Athletic Bilbao's Mikel San Jose, Iker Muniain & Benat

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