There is also nothing like Athletic


The tune was repeated several times throughout the day on Saturday. “Iribar, Iribar, Iribar is great; There is nothing like Iribar,” chanted everyone present at the morning inauguration of the statue of the mythical Txopo outside San Mamés. Then, after the league clash against the colchoneros, it happened again on an individual level in the Athletic locker room and on a general level in the stadium stands.

Iribar, because in addition to being a good goalkeeper he is a better person, made it clear days before, at the same time as the presentation of the events planned for the closing of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Bilbao club, that “I’m not great, Athletic is great”. A way like no other to express the greatness of an institution that remains in the jungle of the football industry with a century-old and unique philosophy.

Saturday leaves many images and moments that can only be understood in a red and white key. On the esplanade where the Iribar statue is located, for example, all the living Athletic presidents appeared and posed together for posterity. An image that should be repeated more often, but that is harder to achieve than it seems. There are also a large number of former managers, former lions and former lions and former coaches.

Caparrós does not want to miss the event with his inseparable Luci. Mané also went there, the coach who saved the red and white team from relegation to the second League of the so-called ‘black biennium’. Also there was Pedro Mari Zabalza, who did not coach the lions but played with them in his time. The same as Bittor Alkiza and Orbaiz, now in the discipline of Osasuna. Athletic goes beyond Bilbao.

Clemente, who acted as coach alongside Iribar and said through the stadium’s public address system that he felt the new Athletic champion, returned to coach Manu Sarabia. Both shared a wardrobe and team many years later. The ‘pink panther’, as he was affectionately called when he was a lion, spent many days in the illusion of someone who would play in San Mamés wearing an Athletic shirt. The illusion as a flag. The red and white feel on the surface. Txato Nuñez, another of the team’s representatives, the same or similar.

During the match against Atlético, for its part, the intelligent reading of the match that the red and white fans usually do came to the fore again. Sancet overcame the penalty and a unanimous shout of encouragement arose, accompanied by applause. Morale is high.

Aduriz’s ‘Panenka’ penalty, Ibai’s outside home goal, Manolo Delgado warming up the lions, Athletic fans chanting for Aitor Zabaleta, Nico Williams beating Oblak… The red and white club knows the live up to the event. The call for unity had the expected effect. Now what is needed is for it to continue over time. Nothing like Iribar, but nothing like Athletic either.

Source: La Verdad


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