One of the most sought after photos before the start of Athletic-Rayo last night. The hug between Ernesto Valverde and Andoni Iraola in the moments before the clash was star-studded. The master and student face each other, one as the coach of Atletico and the Gipuzkoan as Mr. Vallecano.
Txingurri coached Usurbil to the Juvenile de Honor and made his debut in the First Division on August 30, 2003 in a match that also marked the Gasteiz player’s debut as a coach in the First Division. The game against Barça ended in defeat, but that remained in the background to always be the first match in the league in the highest category of the two men who marked a season in Bilbao. Valverde has started his third period in charge of the rojiblancos and Iraola played 510 games in his twelve seasons as a lion before saying goodbye on May 23, 2015, with Txingurri also as coach.
He continued his professional career in New York City (2015-16) and from there he began a successful career on the bench, first with the youth team of Antiguoko, the club from which he left, and then with AEK Larnaca (2018-19). ), Mirandés (2019-20) and since then in Vallecas, where he is in his third season. With the team from Burgos, he reached the semifinals of the Cup after eliminating three Primeras, Celta, Sevilla and Villarreal, and in Madrid he did the same in 2021-22.
Yesterday he was one of the great stars of the San Mamés night. Four lions who were in his farewell campaign are still in the team, De Marcos, Balenziaga, Muniain and Iñaki Williams. Exactly, Laguardia was chatting with his former teammate an hour before starting the clash on the green of the field. Iñigo Pérez also joined the conversation, another former lion who now ranks second to Usurbil after hanging up his boots as an Osasuna footballer.
The minutes passed and when the game was about to start, the long-awaited image arrived, just after the whistle that San Mamés gave to Mateu Lahoz. Valverde and Iraola joined in a hug and chatted for a few seconds. Txingurri also came to congratulate Iñigo Pérez. From there, each to himself, to the “war”, as the Gasteiztarra called it in the previous one.
It was then that the teacher won over the student thanks to a great first half from his team. Rayo took the lead through Trejo after a strong foul by Iñigo Martínez, but the Williams brothers and Sancet reversed the score in just fifteen minutes. Iñaki and Nico were well defined before Dimitrievski left and the ‘8’ sent the ball to the far post, out of reach of the goalkeeper. The advantage of rest seems insurmountable. This was despite Falcao’s goal, a black beast for Athletic
Source: La Verdad