Athletic Club News

Athletic Club is a professional football club based in the city of Bilbao in the Basque Country of Spain. They play in La Liga and play their home games in the San Mames stadium. Athletic Club are also referred to as ‘Les Leones’ or ‘The Lions’ because their stadium was built near a church called San Mames, which was named after a saint who was thrown to lions by the Romans. Mames was able to pacify the lions and was later made a saint. 

Jump to Athletic Club’s next fixture.

Athletic Club History

Athletic Club has a rich and proud history, having been a dominant force in Spanish football for much of the early 20th century. The club won its first Spanish championship in 1902 and went on to win a total of eight championships before the Spanish Civil War interrupted football in the country. 

After the war, Athletic Club remained a strong presence in Spanish football, winning four more championships in the 1940s and 1950s. The club also enjoyed success in European competition, reaching the final of the European Cup in 1956 and the UEFA Cup final in 1977. 

In recent years, Athletic Club has continued to be a competitive team in La Liga, consistently finishing in the top half of the table and qualifying for European competition on several occasions. The club has also enjoyed success in domestic cup competitions, winning the Copa del rey 24 times, more than any other club except for Barcelona.

Who Owns Athletic Club?

Athletic Club is one of the 4 clubs in Spain that is owned by its members. For 50 euros a year if you are a fan of Athletic Club you can join the board of members. Then every 4 years these members elect a club president. Despite the president acting as the owner and handling budgets and so on, they have to act in accordance with the wishes of the members. The current president of Athletic Club is Jon Uriate. 

Athletic Club Manager

Athletic Club’s current manager is Ernesto Valverde having managed the club twice before. He is a very experienced manager who has won the league in Greece with Olympiacos 3 times as well as doing the double with Barcelona. At Athletic Club he has been able to win the Supercopa de Espana in 2015. Now returning to the club he aims to guide Athletic Club back into the Champions League and try to win some silverware along the way. 

Biggest Athletic Club Transfers

Athletic Bilbao have a club tradition of only signing players from the Basque region and therefore they have not made many big signings in their clubs history. The biggest signings they have made are:

  • Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad  for £32.00m
  • Yuri Berchiche from PSG for £24.00m
  • Alex Berenguer  from Torino for £12.00m
  • Roberto Rios from Real Betis for £12.00m
  • Raul Garcia from Atletico Madrid for £10.00m

However they have been able to develop a few talents and sell them on for profits. There biggest sales have been:

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for £80.00m
  • Aymeric Laporte to Manchester City for £65.00m
  • Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich for £40.00m
  • Ander Herrera to Manchester United for £36.00m
  • Asier Del Horno to Chelsea for £12.00m

Athletic Club Drama

Athletic Club have a policy where they only sign players from the basque region of Spain. Many people say this is great as it promotes local youth development. However it has also been labelled as discriminatory. The first black player to play for Athletic Club was Jonas Ramalho in 2011. Before him there was a black player in the youthsetup called Blanchard Moussayou who commented that it was ‘twice as hard’ for a black player to make an impact in the club. Their policy and strict following of Basque nationalism beliefs is a polarising feature within the club. 

Who Plays For Athletic Club Now?

Athletic Club has an entire, apart from Inaki Williams, squad of Spanish players. Their squad features a few national team players and overall many La Liga proven players. Their defence has many quality players such as Unai Simon, Yeray Alvarez, Dani Vivian, Aitor Paredes, Yuri Berchiche and Inigo Lekue. 

They then have a midfield consisting of Mikel Vesga, Ander Herrera, Dani Garcia, Iker Muniain and young talents Unai Vencedor and Oihan Sancet. In attack they then have Alex Berenguer, Jon Morcillo, Adu Ares, Asier Villalibre, Raul Garcia, Gorka Guruzeta and brothers Inkaki Williams and Nico Williams as well as exciting talent Nico Serrano. 

What Have Athletic Club Won?

Athletic Club is one of the most successful clubs in Spain outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona. They have won the 2 most Copa Del Reys with 23 and have won the 4th most La Liga titles with 8. Granted they havent won the La Liga, or any trophy except the Spanish Super Cup since 1984. In total they have won 8 La Ligas, 3 Spanish Super Cups, 24 Copa Del Reys and 1 Copa Eva Duartes.

Athletic Club 2023/24 Season Prediction

Last season Athletic Club finished 8th with no European football. This season we predict they will finish with Europa League or Europa Conference League football. They will have no European football to worry about and this will help them focus on the league however the quality of their squad isn’t good enough and with a specific policy they won’t be able to strengthen like other clubs.  

Atletic Club Next Match