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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
  • POSTS423
  • VIEWS248823


Athletic Bilbao midfielder David Zurutuza has joined Saint Etienne just a season after having signed from rivals Real Sociedad.

Zurutuza follows Andoni Iraola to France after signing for former French powerhouse Saint Etienne for a fee of £7 million.

The Frenchman failed to secure a spot in Athletic Bilbao’s first team and Bilbao manager Oceano Cruz felt it was necessary to shift Zurutuza in order to free up funds.

Zurutuza admitted ex-teammate Stephane Ruffier was the catalyst to his move as he recommended ‘Les Verts’.

“I spoke a lot recently to Ruffier who used to play for Saint Etienne. He had nothing but good memories to share and assured me it was a great club.

“Ruffier spoke very highly of his old team and it was enough to convince to make the switch. I’m very excited to be here at Saint Etienne and hope I can succeed.”

The former Real Sociedad player appeared a total of 35 times for Athletic Bilbao last season, of which 12 were as a substitute.


Athletic Bilbao has broken their transfer record with a £37 million deal for Manchester United winger Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann signs a new bumper deal with Bilbao of £170,000 a week for the next five seasons, becoming the highest paid player and most expensive signing in Athletic Bilbao’s history

The Frenchman who had two impressive seasons at Old Trafford has denied the fact his move was money motivated and feels the current crop of players at Bilbao are capable of competing for the best prizes.

“Athletic Bilbao has shown a lot of ambition in forking out for me so I plan on delivering the goods on the pitch. I’m not interested in the money but more on the commitment they are showing towards me.

“I left Manchester United simply because I want to make a team a bigger and better. Bilbao is perfect for me at the moment and I believe we can achieve a lot of success here in order to become one of the biggest teams in Spain.”

Griezmann, whose fee eclipses the sum of £21 million paid for compatriot Stephane Ruffier, played 81 times for Manchester United after moving in 2012 for £25 million, scoring 21 goals.
If I earned 170k per week, the things I would do.. *memories flood in* oh no..
2013-08-10 23:26#126873 Pauker : If I earned 170k per week, the things I would do.. *memories flood in* oh no..

Haha! A lot of cash isn't it? I'm trusting he'll be worth it though. Hitting his peak after a good spell with Man. United
OOOO Nice signing. You have done some great transfer deals :P
Some interesting transfer deals there man...a lot of money for Griezmann which I wouldnt have done :P but you made a lot from some good sales! Keep up the story
What a signing! The fee was hefty but I am sure he will come up with the goods :D
Thanks guys. As you say, your top quality Basque players like Javi Martinez & Azpilicueta are all very expensive and tough to get, which is why I opted to gamble on Griezmann as he was at least availbable despite being overpriced. Basque players have that whole British player value for some reason. Fingers crossed however, who knows, Griezmann may pay off ;)

2014/15 Pre-Season

Zalla 0 – 7 Ath. Bilbao

Baskonia 0 – 5 Ath. Bilbao

Player To Watch

Aritzol Angulo

The youngster looked very sharp this pre-season and convinced me along with his performances last year that he has a part to play already in our squad.

Oceano’s Verdict

We managed two great results for us in which the new players seemed to have gelled quickly. It is still difficult to realise any faults in our game this season but all should become apparent as the season begins. That being said, I’m confident we can get off to a good start this year as we look very objective in our play.
Good win in that second game, you could even say you're Baskon-ing in Glory....I'll show myself out ;)

August 2014

Sp. Gijon 1 – 3 Ath. Bilbao

Ath. Bilbao 0 – 0 Getafe

Real Betis 0 – 2 Ath. Bilbao

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Borja Ekiza

The centre back has started the season brilliantly with two Man of the Match awards in three games. He’s taken over the Mikel San Jose role perfectly and began a solid pairing with new boy Inigo Martinez. I expect to see more of this from the Spaniard.

Oceano’s Verdict

We have had a decent start to our season. We’ve looked dominant in all our games and got 7 points out of 9 which is good. Our play is connecting and we can only get better I feel. It was a shame we never managed to beat Getafe but it is forgiven considering the fact it’s early on in the season.
I love the Athletic Bilbao stories, I like to see how the people manages to bring good young players to the club and make them BEEEAAAASTTTSSSS. Nice month, you can still reach RM.

PD: You need more possession :P
Great start to the season, maybe this season will be the one where you get the better of Barça and Real!

Group G

The UEFA Europa League group stage draw has thrown up some of the most highly rated teams together for the 2014/2015 edition as Athletic Bilbao joins Anzhi Makhachkala, Fenerbahce and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Group G.

Group favourites Fenerbahce will feel they have what it takes to blow their opponents away after marginally missing out on the Turkish Superlig title last season to Galatasaray. The Istanbul giant was last season’s highest scorers with Senagalese hotshot Moussa Sow collecting 34 of the 97 league goals scored.

The club lead by Ersun Yanal have started the season flying with 4 wins out of 4 although they will have to overcome their opposition without star Raul Meireles who made the move to Montpellier.

Also favourites to go through will be Anzhi Makhachkala, captained by Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto’o who amassed 30 goals in all competitions last season at the age of 33.

The Russian moneybags are predicted to have more in the locker than direct group rivals Athletic Bilbao, having kept hold of stars Willian, Alex Teixeira and Alexandr Kokorin but currently witness the draw still without a manager.

This season’s wild cards will be the Ukrainians Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk who was last season’s surprise package in the Ukrainian Premier League, finishing 2nd ahead of Dynamo Kiev and Metalist Kharkiv.

However, the club led by former Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur boss Juande Ramos will need to rely on the likes of Nikola Kalinic, Geraldo and Vitaliy Mandzyuk if they are to progress.
Awesome group you've been paired with, if you're to progress it would mean you deserved it!

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