From captain to Athletic captain


Iker Muniain and Óscar de Marcos are two of the heavyweights in the Athletic dressing room. Both will begin their fifteenth consecutive season as rojiblanca first team players. It is true that at certain moments in their beginnings as lions, one and the other had to go down at some point to defend the Bilbao Athletic shirt.

The trajectory maintained by both in the last campaign is quite surprising. The numbers sing. De Marcos has participated more than ever in what defines League matches. In fact, Valverde lined up the Gasteiz player on a total of 37 out of 38 possible days. Muniain, on the other hand, remained at 30 participations in the regularity tournament, which is the ninth-worst record at league level since he jumped to Athletic.

Iñaki Williams is the only lion to finish the 2022-23 League with more minutes (2,851) than De Marcos (2,820). Navarrese, meanwhile, is eleventh in the ranking with 1688 minutes. Despite the fact that Valverde’s midfield commitment initially included Muniain ahead of the tandem formed by Sancet-Vesga or Sancet-Dani García, his presence in the starting lineup decreased as the season progressed and even had specific encounters where he again had to join a band.

termination of the contract

It happens that both lions have concluded a contract at the end of the campaign that is about to start. De Marcos, 34, struggled to decide whether to renew for the 2023-24 season, although he eventually did so when he was in the right physical condition to face the challenge.

Muniain, for his part, renewed for the last time as an Athletic footballer in the final weeks of Josu Urrutia’s mandate as president. That agreement sealed at the end of 2018 envisaged a player-club relationship for five more seasons from June 30, 2019 and included as a great novelty the elimination of the termination clause, a practice that was later repeated among some football players. rojiblancos more. Unai Simón, Raúl García and De Marcos himself, for example.

Jon Uriarte, therefore, has to face from now on the issue of renewing the captain of Athletic. Muniain, 30, has made it clear that it is his intention to end his career as a footballer at the club of his whole life. At the moment he will start a new campaign knowing that he has lost a presence in the eleven since Valverde returned to the bench.

Source: La Verdad


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