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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
  • VIEWS248638


Athletic Bilbao has been drawn up against familiar foe Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.

The encounter sees a repeat of the 2012 Europa League final in which a certain Radamel Falcao led Atletico Madrid to a 3–0 win in Romania.

The two sides last met a month ago in La Liga when ‘Los Merengues’ cruised to a 4-2 home win but currently find themselves 5 points behind their opponents in 5th place.

Atletico Madrid overcome Roma with two narrow wins in the Last 32 whereas Bilbao relied on a storming 2nd leg performance to overcome a 1 goal deficit by Wolfsburg.

The two sides will play on 11th of March before facing each other again a week later for the 2nd leg at the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Ooooooooooh...., good luck, gonna be a close game but I'm sure you'll pull through :)
Good luck against Atleti, but you'll be okay with the team you got.

March 2015

Ath. Bilbao 1 – 1 Barcelona

Ath. Bilbao 1 – 1 R. Sociedad

Ath. Bilbao 1 – 2 Atl. Madrid

R. Valladolid 1 – 1 Ath. Bilbao

Atl. Madrid 0 – 0 Ath. Bilbao

La Liga Table

Annual Youth Intake

Endika Lopez

Our Player of the Month

Oscar De Marcos

There weren’t many players to choose from this month but I guess De Marcos is one that can consider himself happy with his performances. He’s an absolute workhorse and it always close to the ball, which is a quality I value a lot.

Oceano’s Verdict

It’s always disappointing not to get a win in a whole month and we cannot be happy with what we have achieved here. However, I do recognise that the month we had was tough but at least a win was expected.


Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe has launched an astonishing attack on his own manager Oceano Cruz regarding team talks.

Iturraspe blasted Oceano’s predictability and discipline in delivering his tactics, claiming they are failing to inspire the team and help them progress.

The holding midfielder makes the accusations after what was a painful 0-0 draw versus Atletico Madrid that eventually knocked out Bilbao on aggregate.

“It’s frustrating at times to hear the same thing over and over again. From a professional point of view, I simply feel things need to change if we want to take it to the next level.

“I just feel the team talks aren't working as they used too and it’s having a negative effect on our players. Sometimes it almost feels as if the lesser known of our squad get all the blame when we should be talked to as a unit.

“I can’t imagine how the younger players feel growing up in this ambient. Sure the talks could be much worse because the results we are attaining are decent but I had higher hopes for our team.

Iturraspe has been ever present in Oceano’s starting line-up since his arrival in 2012 but little is known of how much longer he will remain in the Portuguese manager’s plans.
I'll slam his face if he ever repeats those words.
Team talks is one thing that needs improving for FM14, it is not good enough on 13 :/ Anyway, nice update but what will happen to Iturraspe?
He's just jealous of Oceano Cruz's incredible management :P
Pauker: Easy! Easy! I got this ;)

Iwalter66: I'm not too sure yet. End of the season I'll reveal... Just to add a little saga into your life ;)

Madridista: Too Right! :)


Athletic Bilbao’s manager Oceano Cruz has rubbished the claims made by his own player Ander Iturraspe over his team talks.

Iturraspe reacted angrily regarding Oceano’s team talks, believing they were both predictable and costing Athletic Bilbao when it comes to progressing further.

However, Oceano blasted the comments as “out of order” meanwhile leaving a stance that he will not let anyone interfere with his own style of management.

“Iturraspe is just one of my players. He is not a coach, he is not part of the board or whatever has high power, so whatever he claims in my eyes will always be taken with a pinch of salt.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favour of constructive criticism, but I think it’s clear for all to see his comments were over board to which I deem it as out of order.

“I’m the manager and it’s partially thanks to my tactics and team talks that we have competed at a high level in La Liga and made it to three consecutive Copa Del Rey finals.”

Oceano did however guarantee Iturraspe would still remain a crucial part of his squad despite the apparent disagreement between the two.

“Ander is massively important to us. He’s crucial to the way we play and a quality player all round so it would be foolish to bench him.

“Of course I would have preferred him to approach me first and in a quiet manner rather than me finding out second hand from the media but if there’s any positive to take away from this is his love and ambition for the club.

“What’s important know is to settle down and get the results in April for what will be a tough and important month in our season. We must have everybody rowing in the same direction.”
Stupid Iturraspe being a bitch :P Hopefully his performances stay at a high level!

April 2015

Granada 1 – 2 Ath. Bilbao

Ath. Bilbao 2 – 2 Osasuna

R. Madrid 3 – 2 Ath. Bilbao

Ath. Bilbao 3 – 0 Levante

Barcelona 1 – 0 Ath. Bilbao

Ath. Bilbao 1 – 1 Las Palmas

La Liga Table

Our Player of the Month

Aritz Aduriz

The Golden Oldie takes the gong once again as he returns to his prolific self once more. A collection of six goals this month really made the choice easy for me.

Oceano’s Verdict

It didn’t quite happen for us this month. All in all we played well but we didn’t grab the results to reflect that. It was difficult however as we did play both Real Madrid and Barcelona. What annoyed me most was the inability to defeat Osasuna and a poor Las Palmas side but we are in a good position to take 3rd at the moment so let’s focus on that.
Really unlucky against Madrid, that must have been annoying! Anyway looks like you should be able to hold 3rd place.


Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes both his side and Athletic Bilbao can put on a show in the upcoming Copa Del Rey final.

The tie sees a repeat of last year’s final which was won by Real Madrid but Ancelotti, who is under pressure to secure the La Liga title, believes this year’s final can be unforgettable.

“We saw in our last game just how good we both are attacking wise. Both teams play very positive and that can only be a good thing for the spectacle that is the final.

“Of course I would settle for a boring win but I expect a very open game which will be good for the neutrals. I’m happy to come up against a team like Bilbao because of their willingness to put on a show.”

The Italian was quick to praise opposing manager Oceano Cruz for the manner in which he conducts his side, also noting that he’ll be expecting a much tougher encounter than the one we saw last year.

“I’ve been in La Liga for the same period of time as Oceano so I never knew much about Bilbao’s style of play before. What’s for sure is that it has become well known now under Oceano so he deserves credit for that.

“I expect the final to be much tougher this year. A lot can happen from now up until the final but Bilbao doesn’t have as many injuries and their team is considerably stronger.

“I think they are expecting some players back also but we are ready for whatever they throw at us and I’m relishing what could be a fantastic final.”


Athletic Bilbao star Mikel Arteta has backed his team to end up victorious in the Copa Del Rey final versus Real Madrid.

The midfielder, who has been in fine form this season, believes his side has enough quality to overcome ‘Los Galacticos’ who defeated them in the final last season.

Arteta acknowledges the fact that Real Madrid is favourites, but trusts that will have minimal effect on his teammates.

“Who doesn’t know Real Madrid is a fantastic team? We all know it so why waste time thinking about it? Of course they are favourites but we don’t care, we want the title.

“I’ve seen us beat them before, and quite comfortably too! We weren’t favourites that day either but we beat them. Now we have more than just three points to play for. We are in a final and we won’t let odds get in our way. I am here to win.”

The former Arsenal and Everton man is likely to lead the Bilbao side out versus Real Madrid as captain Benat and vice-captain Iker Muniain are both struggling with injuries.

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