Athletic Club

Here’s the thing about Athletic Club – they’re a lot more than just a football team. From the heart of Basque Country, they’ve been setting the pitch aflame in Spain’s LaLiga since its inception in 1929. Through the highs and lows, Athletic Club has stood strong, an unwavering symbol of Basque pride and passion.

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Estadio Benito Villamarin - Sevilla
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Estadio de Gran Canaria - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Estadio Santiago Bernabeu - Madrid
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Estadio de San Mamés - Bilbao
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Wanda Metropolitano - Madrid

Time Traveling with the Bilbao Boys

Our journey kicks off with a touch of nostalgia, tracing the roots of the Lions. Forged in Bilbao’s industrious spirit in 1898, Athletic Club became a key player in La Liga’s formation. The club’s unique Cantera policy, which favors homegrown talent from the Basque region, has added a special charm to its narrative.

A Galaxy of Soccer Stars

Athletic Club has been a cradle for numerous talents who have later starred in different clubs globally. Let’s roll the highlight reel, shall we? First on our list is the Basque titan, Andoni Zubizarreta. Starting as a goalkeeper for Athletic Club, Zubizarreta later flew the coop to grace Barcelona’s net and even saw action in the FIFA World Cup!

Next up, we have the fiery Fernando Llorente, whose stints with Juventus, Sevilla, and Tottenham have cemented his place in football’s annals. Lastly, the industrious Javi Martinez – a Bayern Munich stalwart and World Cup winner, was another gem mined from the Athletic Club’s prolific academy.

Pulse-Pounding Rivalries

Passion runs high when it comes to rivalries, and Athletic Club has had its share of electrifying duels. The Basque Derby, the clash with local rivals Real Sociedad, is a fierce display of regional pride. With matches known to raise the roof, the competition is steep and the atmosphere, intense.

In LaLiga, their matches against Real Madrid and Barcelona are always fixtures to look forward to. And who can forget their encounter with Manchester United in the 2011-2012 UEFA Europa League? Athletic Club emerged victorious, leaving a lasting impression on the European stage.

Welcome to San Mamés: The Lions’ Lair

Now, let’s turn our focus to the heart of the action – the illustrious San Mamés Stadium. Known as ‘La Catedral’, it’s been the Lions’ home since 1913 and a landmark of Bilbao. Offering a fantastic view from every angle, it’s a must-visit for any football lover.

For a real treat, try securing a spot in the Main Stand – this is the VIP area with the best sightlines. However, if you’re looking for a more economical choice, the North and South goals offer great value. You can find seats here at around 45 euros, while the Main Stand can set you back about 85 to 165 euros depending on the match.

For those who live for the thrilling atmosphere, the East and West stands are your best bets. The lively chants and ceaseless action create an experience like no other.

Final Whistle

Athletic Club is more than a century’s worth of rich history, steadfast passion, and unforgettable football. Whether you’re an ardent fan or a curious spectator, your journey is a vibrant part of the beautiful game’s tapestry. So, the next time you find yourself in Bilbao, be sure to immerse yourself in the unique experience that is Athletic Club.

More Than You Know

  • Unique Player Policy: Athletic Club is renowned for its “Basque-only” policy. The club recruits only players native to or trained in football within the greater Basque Country, which includes territories in both Spain and France.
  • Never Relegated: One of the unique feats of Athletic Club is that they have never been relegated from the top flight, LaLiga. They share this honor with just two other teams: Real Madrid and Barcelona.
  • Women’s Team Success: Athletic Club’s women’s team, Athletic Club Femenino, has been equally successful, winning five championships in Spain’s top women’s league, the Primera División Femenina.
  • Pichichi Trophy: Named after Athletic Club legend Rafael “Pichichi” Moreno, the Pichichi Trophy is awarded annually by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca to the top goal scorer of LaLiga.
  • Historical Kits: Athletic Club’s red-and-white striped jerseys are iconic, but did you know they were inspired by the colors of English team Sunderland? The story goes that in the early 1900s, a student from Bilbao returned from studying in England with Sunderland’s kit, and the colors were adopted by Athletic Club.
  • Stadium’s Athletic Track: The original San Mamés Stadium used to feature an athletic track around the football pitch, which was quite unusual for football-specific stadiums. The new San Mamés, inaugurated in 2013, however, does not have this feature.
  • Athletic Club Museum: The club runs a fantastic museum located at the San Mamés Stadium, showcasing a rich collection of trophies, historical kits, memorabilia, and interactive exhibitions. It’s a real trip down memory lane for any football fan.
  • Training Facilities: Athletic Club’s training facilities, Lezama, are renowned for their excellence. The club’s dedication to nurturing local talent is evident here, making it an important site in the development of Basque football.
  • Mascot: Athletic Club’s mascot, Rojiblancos, is a friendly lion character beloved by fans, particularly younger ones. The name ‘Rojiblancos’ translates to ‘red-and-whites’, referring to the club’s iconic kit colors.