Athletic Bilbao

Since 1928, one team has held a steadfast presence in Laliga – Athletic Club, better known as Athletic Bilbao. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Real Madrid and Barcelona, these three are the only clubs that have never tasted relegation from Spain’s top-tier football league. The reason for Bilbao’s consistency? A firm commitment to the club’s identity, a love for the game, and Basque pride.

February 25
03:15 pm
February 25, Sun, 03:15 pm
Estadio Benito Villamarin - Sevilla
February 28
08:00 pm
February 28, Wed, 08:00 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
February 29
08:30 pm
February 29, Thu, 08:30 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
March 03
02:00 pm
March 03, Sun, 02:00 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
March 10
02:00 pm
March 10, Sun, 02:00 pm
Estadio de Gran Canaria - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
March 17
02:00 pm
March 17, Sun, 02:00 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
March 31
01:00 pm
March 31, Sun, 01:00 pm
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu - Madrid
April 14
01:00 pm
April 14, Sun, 01:00 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
April 21
01:00 pm
April 21, Sun, 01:00 pm
Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
April 28
01:00 pm
April 28, Sun, 01:00 pm
Wanda Metropolitano - Madrid

“Maroon Stripes and Golden Memories: Bilbao’s Notable Players”

If the walls of San Mamés could talk, they would sing praises of the many great players that graced the pitch wearing the iconic maroon and white stripes. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to revisit some of Bilbao’s most illustrious figures.

Andoni Zubizarreta is one such name, etched in gold in the annals of Bilbao’s history. The goalkeeper was a wall in front of the goal, serving Athletic Bilbao before earning a move to FC Barcelona, where he continued to impress.

Then we have the legendary Julen Guerrero, who dedicated his entire professional career to Athletic Bilbao. An emblem of loyalty and consistency, Guerrero’s name is often the first to come up in discussions about Bilbao’s greats.

In more recent times, Aritz Aduriz, who hung up his boots in 2020, was a talismanic striker known for his clutch performances against even the most formidable opponents. His stints with Mallorca and Valencia only refined him before he returned to Bilbao, his home.

“Red-Hot Rivalries: Competitors On and Off the Field”

The thrill of football lies not just in the play, but also in the rivalries that span decades. For Athletic Bilbao, three key rivals stand out.

The biggest and most deeply rooted in the Basque Derby with Real Sociedad. Rooted in the shared history and cultural identity of the Basque Country, these matches are an event in themselves. They’re about much more than football; they’re a celebration of the Basque people and their unwavering spirit.

Outside Laliga, Manchester United is a familiar foe, especially after their encounters in the UEFA Europa League. Matches between the two clubs have been fiercely contested, often serving up electrifying displays of football.

Last but not least, there’s the rivalry with FC Barcelona, particularly in the Copa del Rey. Their contests have seen some unforgettable battles, with Athletic Bilbao often proving a tough nut to crack for the Catalan giants.

“The Cathedral of Football: San Mamés”

San Mamés is an architectural marvel, embodying the spirit of Athletic Bilbao. Its curved, shining design is a beacon of modernity, while its heart beats with the rich tradition of Basque football. Named after a saint believed to have been thrown to lions, only to have tamed them, San Mamés fittingly hosts the Lions of Bilbao.

For the best seats in the house, try the Main Grandstand. Though it may be a bit heavy on the pocket, the view is unparalleled. Average prices hover around €75-€115, but they can rise for high-profile matches.

For a budget-friendly experience, the North and South ends of the stadium offer a great view at a more affordable price, typically around €45-€65. While these seats may be cheaper, the electric atmosphere remains the same.

Whether you’re an ardent supporter of Athletic Bilbao or a casual observer, a trip to San Mamés promises an experience steeped in history, filled with passionate football, and illuminated by the vibrant spirit of the Basque Country.

Keep it Going

  • Basque-only Policy: Athletic Bilbao is renowned for a unique recruitment policy, only fielding players born in the Basque Country or trained by a Basque club. This ‘Basque-only’ policy has been in place since the club’s early days and continues to the present, setting the team apart in an era of globalized player recruitment.
  • No Shirt Sponsorship Until 2008: Athletic Bilbao didn’t have a shirt sponsor until the 2008-2009 season. The team opted to retain a clean shirt design longer than most top-level clubs. Their first sponsor was the Basque Government, reinforcing their local identity.
  • Most Copa del Rey Final Appearances: Athletic Bilbao have reached the final of the Copa del Rey more times than any other team, aside from Barcelona. The Lions have clinched the trophy 23 times, a record only surpassed by Barcelona.
  • Athletic’s Pichichi Winners: Athletic Bilbao has seen several of its players win the ‘Pichichi Trophy’ – an award given to the top goal scorer of each La Liga season. Legendary players like Telmo Zarra and Dani have won this prestigious accolade while playing for Athletic.
  • Telmo Zarra’s Legacy: Telmo Zarra, who played for Athletic from 1940 to 1955, holds a remarkable record. He scored the most goals in Copa del Rey history, a record that stands to this day. His legacy at the club and his impact on Spanish football are commemorated with a statue outside San Mamés.