Athletic Club Bilbao – Basque Heritage

13456
bounceFM
123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
edited October 2018
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Hello everyone. In this thread you can follow my adventure with the Basque club Athletic Club Bilbao on FIFA 19 career mode. I play every match, five or six minutes per halves, on legendary.

~ Introduction ~

I'm soon to be halfway into my second season in charge of Athletic Club under the pseudonym Leandro Lima. The club's philosophy shines through every decision I make in this career. Although, I'm a bit more lenient than in real life when it comes to foreigners. I'm open to signing South-American players with Basque heritage, and this is something Athletic have done only once in their recent history when they signed the Venezuelan Fernando Amorebieta.


At least one of these criterias needs to be furfilled to play for Athletic Club:
- born or raised in Basque County (e.g. Iñaki Williams)
- born or raised in Navarre (e.g. Raúl García)
- born or raised in french Basque County (e.g. Stéphane Ruffier)
- Basque parents or grandparents (e.g. Marco Asensio)
- product of a Basque academy (Real Sociedad, Alavés, Eibar, Osasuna) from they were 16 or younger (e.g. Antoine Griezmann)
- have a Basque name (e.g. Iker, Iago, Iñigo, Xabi, Mikel) – note: this only applies to regens


In addition to these, I also have some guidelines for the career. I will try to sign as few established players from Real Sociedad as realistically possible (because of the rivalry). I will also have relatively low buy-out clauses on my players to keep a realistic 'flow' of good players in and out of the club. At last, I will only scout in Spain with a mediocre (three star) scout to keep it challenging. At one point in the career I might scout for three months in France/Venezuela/Uruguay.


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The beautiful San Mamés

~ About the club ~

Founded: 1898
Also known as: Rojiblancos (the red–whites), Los Leones (the lions)
Ground: San Mamés (also known as La Catedral (The Cathedral))
Capacity: 53 289
President: Josu Urrutia
League titles as of 2018: 8 (last one in 1983–84)
Cup titles as of 2018: 24 (last one in 1983–84)
Main rivals: Real Sociedad, Real Madrid

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Home and away kit for the 2018–19 season


Bilbao, the city, have a population of 351 141 (2015), and is the 10th largest city in Spain. The Basque County have ten times as many with approximately 3 150 000 inhabitants (2017).

With their eight league titles Athletic is the fourth most successful club in league context, and there is only one club with more cup titles than their 24. Historically, Athletic is the third largest club in Spain. They are also one of four professional clubs who is owned and drifted by members. Athletic is alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona the only clubs to never have been relegated from the highest division.

~ Statistics ~

Best result in Champions League: quarter finals (1957)
Best result in Europa League: runner up (1977, 2012)
Most goals in one game: 12 – 1 v Barcelona (1930–31)
Most goals in an away game: 8 – 1 v Osasuna (1958–59)
Most goals in an European game: 7 – 1 v Standard Liège (2004–05)

Most goals in club history: Telmo Zarra – 366
Most matches: José Ángel Iribar – 614
Most titles: Guillermo Gorostiza – 15
Youngest debutant: Iker Muniaín – 16 years, 16 days
Youngest goalscorer: Iker Muniaín – 16 years, 35 days
Oldest goalscorer: Aritz Aduriz – 38 years, 42 days *
Most expensive signing: Iñigo Martínez – €32M from Real Sociedad
Most expensive sale: Kepa Arrizabalaga – €80M to Chelsea

* as of October 2019 in the career mode


Updates will follow on my first season. Stay tuned!
Post edited by bounceFM on

Comments

  • Danimal5981
    2083 posts Fans' Favourite
    Nice one, good luck!
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Season one is, as stated above, finished, but here are the updates.

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  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
    First half of the season.

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    – Excellent start to my Athletic spell. Still undefeated at San Mamés, but it's hard to not be disappointed after the Atléti and Barca trashings. As you can see, Iñaki Williams is simply an attack by himself.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
    Second half.

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    – The new year was an absolute disaster for the Bilbao club and me. Let in 24 goals in seven games, and the 'undefeated' notion was ripped away from San Mamés. Things started looking better when we beat rivals Real Sociedad at Anoeta, and a month later we beat league leaders at home 1–0, which is my greatest achievment so far. Then followed by a poor first half of April, and an excellent end of the season...
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Squad statistics at the end of the season.

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    – Look at Muniaín and Williams! Would've been mid-table, at best, without them.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    La Liga table.


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    – 75 points would result in a fourth place in every season back to 15/16, and sixth place in 14/15.


    Top scorers.


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    – Iñaki Williams is the first 'pichichi' winner from Athletic since 1974–75 (Carlos, with 19 goals). Tremendous achievement!


    Other tournaments.


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  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    Susaeta's goal.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
    Some Athletic records updated after the first season. Note that Aritz Aduriz retired after the last game.


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    – Markel Susaeta was on eight place before this season, and 33 games later he is just four games away from being third place in Athletic's history!


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    – Aritz Aduriz' eight goals sees him climb one place, and the legendary Basque is now our third greatest goalscorer of all time. Massive!!
    Post edited by bounceFM on
  • JoshDFC
    2001 posts Fans' Favourite
    Wow you know a lot about Bilbao are you a fan of them or is it just the research you have done either way great start good luck :)
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    Wow you know a lot about Bilbao are you a fan of them or is it just the research you have done either way great start good luck :)

    Thank you! I've been playing with Athletic for the last ~four FIFAs, and to sign players I need to do some research. I've learned a lot doing this, but I did look up the stats on Wikipedia. I'm very fascinated by the club, but my heart belongs to Real Madrid :-).
  • Stlducks
    1341 posts Professional
    Stories that teach the readers about the club are the best in my opinion. I'm be following for sure!
  • Ashy
    8711 posts League Winner
    Lots of info here, very good start to the story and I was always hoping someone would do a Bilbao story so here it is!

    I'm also keeping track of all time scorers on my story like you have in your last post it's just adds the realism to it, good job and good luck
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    Nice to see another LaLiga story. :)

    Good and interesting information about the season (fantastic 3rd position) and the history of the club.

    bounceFM wrote: »

    At least one of these criterias needs to be furfilled to play for Athletic Club:
    - born or raised in Basque County (e.g. Iñaki Williams)
    - born or raised in Navarre (e.g. Raúl García)
    - born or raised in french Basque County (e.g. Stéphane Ruffier)
    - Basque parents or grandparents (e.g. Marco Asensio)
    - product of a Basque academy (Real Sociedad, Alavés, Eibar, Osasuna) from they were 16 or younger (e.g. Antoine Griezmann)
    - have a Basque name (e.g. Iker, Iago, Iñigo, Xabi, Mikel) – note: this only applies to regens


    In addition to these, I also have some guidelines for the career. I will try to sign as few established players from Real Sociedad as realistically possible (because of the rivalry). I will also have relatively low buy-out clauses on my players to keep a realistic 'flow' of good players in and out of the club. At last, I will only scout in Spain with a mediocre (three star) scout to keep it challenging. At one point in the career I might scout for three months in France/Venezuela/Uruguay.
    [/center]

    This is a fact that makes me laugh about Athletic Club. Traditionally, they always speak about Lezama (their academy) and the "team of eleven peasants". Initially, the idea was to play with Biscay players, but they've been twisting their own principles to adapt to whatever makes them comfortable. Their economic power allowed them to steal talent from other Basque clubs to the point that, recentely, they even fielded an XI without any player of Lezama.

    I even remember the case of Enric Saborit, a Catalan player of Espanyol, who made a residence change being 16 and joined Athletic. Given this case, anyone can be a "Basque" at a certain point of their career. I find ironic that they complain when Kepa, Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente or Laporte leave their club for "money" and they didn't have any problem to sign Iñigo Martinez, Javi Martínez, Etxberria, Alkiza, Loren and many others from other clubs, paying buyout clauses.

    I don't care at all, really. I even believe that it's a plus for them to keep this unique policy, but I believe they fool themselves a bit with these supposed "all Basque" rule that they twist depending on the circusmtances.


    Anyway, this is something I just wanted to say and has absolutely nothing to do with the story. You have a reader here and I wish you all the best!! :)
  • Danimal5981
    2083 posts Fans' Favourite
    @Subpop Club Identity is a very flexible term and bends anyway the one controlling identity politics wants to.

    Whether it's Ajax, Barcelona, Arsenal or even Manchester United who take pride in certain philosophies, attach them to strengthen the label of the club and before you blink, it's already in the trash bin. But the point is not about it being according to a certain identity or not, it's that there's being talk about it. It's a bit like politics really: the most controversial, outspoken en firm quotes make the headlines which is good enough for the one expressing it, whether you agree or not. And the same goes for the identity of a certain club.
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    @Subpop Club Identity is a very flexible term and bends anyway the one controlling identity politics wants to.

    Whether it's Ajax, Barcelona, Arsenal or even Manchester United who take pride in certain philosophies, attach them to strengthen the label of the club and before you blink, it's already in the trash bin. But the point is not about it being according to a certain identity or not, it's that there's being talk about it. It's a bit like politics really: the most controversial, outspoken en firm quotes make the headlines which is good enough for the one expressing it, whether you agree or not. And the same goes for the identity of a certain club.

    Sure. In this sense, Athletic have had times of big debates, especially in the years after Bosman. At the end, as I said before, I think that keeping the "all Basque" policy has been a plus for them. In certain seasons, when they were fighting to avoid relegation (they're the only ones along with Madrid and Barça who have always been in the top division), those players gave their lifes for the club. You feel there's something different.

    I'm an outsider. Athletic and Barça respect each other, but they've been huge rivals since the first day in Spanish football history. As a rival, I am aware that their present and future depend on them. But from outside, I find a bit they lie to themselves, because they constantly refer to themselves as an Academy club, with homegrown players, but they can't stop stealing talent from poorer Basque clubs. And they can't stop attacking players who left paying their buyout clauses, as Kepa, Laporte, Fernando Llorente or Javi Martínez.

    As anecdote, last Friday, San Mamés hosted the Basque derby. Oyarzábal, Real Sociedad player who was tempted by Athletic last summer (they had prepared Kepa's transfer money for him), scored two goals and kissed the badge of his club in the 1-3 away victory for the "Txuri-Urdin". This celebration has been seen as a message to Iñigo Martínez and all Athletic. No, not every Basque player grow up loving to play for Athletic.


    Anyway, I don't want to spoil the story, which I believe it's nice to have here. But I thought it was a good moment to comment the less-romantic side of this extraordinary and unique football club.
  • Wyojasond
    9918 posts League Winner
    Bilbao is a team I’ve looked at in the past about doing a story with so look forward to see where this takes off at B)
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Thank you all for the replies here, glad that you find this appealing.

    Grateful for the informative debate as well!

  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Season two.
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    – Fair league objective from my board in my opinion. Media is, once again, underestimating me (in my opinion, of course).


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    – Future objectives. You can see that the first season met my expectations.


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    – Transfers this season. As stated in the opening post, I'm about halfway through my second season, so I figured I'd include the january signing(s).


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    – Here you see my preferred eleven alongside my 'secondary' team. It's been this way the whole season, except Lucas Pérez who joined in january when I sent Villalibre (attacker, 72 overall, 22 y/o) on loan.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    The Champions League group drawings were the following:

    A – Juventus, PSG, Shakhtar, Celtic
    B – Barcelona, Leverkusen, Lokomotiv, Monaco
    C – Real Madrid, Lazio, Kyiv, Basel
    D – Bayern, Roma, Besiktas, PSV
    E – Inter, Arsenal, Lyon, Spartak
    F – Man United, Schalke, Porto, Fenerbahce
    G – Liverpool, Atlético, Dortmund, Genk
    H – Man City, Milan, Athletic Club, Dinamo Zagreb

    – Tough group, but so are the rest. Admittedly, I would be happy if I managed third place and a chance in the Europa League.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    The first months of the season.

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    – Not that I care much about the pre-season tournaments, but losing on penalties is a bitter one. Over to the competitive games; things were looking bright at the beginning. Excellent August with 3–0–0, and by the end of September I'd only lost points to AC Milan and Villarreal. The latter was hard to swallow for me, seeing as it was at San Mamés. October came next, and surprisingly I wound up with 1–4–1. Lost against Madrid, won against Manchester City after being 2–0 down, and the rest draws.

    At this point, this is what the table looked like.

    1. Atlético, 23 points
    2. Villarreal, 22 p
    3. Athletic Club, 20 p
    4. Real Sociedad, 20 p
    5. Real Madrid, 17 p
    6. Valencia, 16 p
    7. Barcelona, 15 p
    ---
    18. Málaga, 9 p
    19. Rayo, 9 p
    20. Deportivo, 0p
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    With one game left in the Champions League group stages, I was facing Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, while Milan hosted Manchester City at San Siro. This is what the group table looked like...

    Man City, 10 points
    Athletic Club, 7 points
    AC Milan, 6 points
    Zagreb, 5 points

    I can't get first place, seeing as City got me on goal difference. If Milan wins, I also need to win. If I lose and Milan draw, the latter go through (same situation as with City (goal difference between the clubs)). In the reversed fixture I drew 0–0 against Zagreb in Spain.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Champions League
    Sixth group stage game
    Dinamo Zagreb 0–0 Athletic Club

    Man of the Match: Iñigo Lekue (7,9)

    4-4-2: Simón - de Marcos, Ramalho, Nolaskoain, Lekue - Susaeta, Iturraspe, San José, Manu García - Córdoba, Muniaín

    – 180 minutes played against the Croats with no goals either way.

    Manchester City managed to get a point at San Siro, and that means...

    1. Man City, 11p
    2. Athletic Club, 8p
    3. AC Milan, 7p
    4. Zagreb, 6p

    – We are through!! Really proud of this achievement!
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    And the round of 16 draw is completed...

    Arsenal – Barcelona
    Manchester United – Lazio
    Liverpool – Paris Saint-Germain
    Real Madrid – Manchester City
    Monaco – Schalke
    Juventus – Atlético Madrid
    Besiktas – Inter Milan
    Athletic Club – Bayern München

    – Yikes. This one will be a challenge.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    The rest of the games I've played in the second season.

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    – A little trivia here. I've played 11 games in January when combining the first and second season. I have won one game. One! Four draws and six losses.
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
    Champions League
    Round of 16, first leg
    Athletic Club 3–0 Bayern München

    Williams '31, Lekue '38, Williams '89

    Assists: Muniaín, Muñoz
    MoM: Williams (9,2)

    4-4-1-1: Simón - de Marcos, Yeray, Nolaskoain, Capa - Lekue, Iturraspe, López, Córdoba - Muniaín - Williams

    4-3-3: Neuer - Trippier, Marquinhos, Hummels, Rose - Tolisso, Kroos, Balanta - Bernadeschi, Lewandowski, Coman


    – I can't believe my own eyes. We were being absolutely picked apart the first 20 minutes. Bayern managed three shots to the woodwork in this period, and it's worth mentioning that Iñaki Williams missed a 1v1 versus Neuer. I was gutted, thought it would be my only chance. A little later – in the 30. minute – Muniaín had the ball in an advanced position. The German defence jogging back, and Iker finds Williams between the lines, who confidently shoots it into the far corner. Seven minutes later Iñigo Lekue manages to find the back of the net after some bizarre stuff from Neuer and Hummels. Over in the second half I do some defensive changes and I start taking precautions. Right before the 90. minute Iñaki strikes again on a counter. Athletic Club Bilbao 3, Bayern München 0.
    Post edited by bounceFM on
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    And there goes that...

    Iker Muniaín out with ACL injury for seven months. Expected return is October 2020. A lot of responsability rests on Manu García and Lucas Pérez now.
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Just catched up to it all. A warm welcome from me as well! (:
    I do appreciate on how you kept track on every single game. It was indeed a great first season with the team doing better than everybody expected.
    Now they started off well again in the league and what an achievement it is to go through the CL group stage by leaving Milan behind. Great one. But then the January was polluted. Unfortunate run of games and losing one of the best players due to an injury. Lives comes at you fast sometimes. But out of nothing a huge win against Munich. 3-0? Holy...well done.

    Looking forward following this story. Especially on how the team will deal with the loss of Muniain.
  • JoshDFC
    2001 posts Fans' Favourite
    Be interesting to see if Manu is given the chance to step up and take Iker's place on will you drop Perez deeper and play him off Inaki Williams either way a massive loss for the rest of the season
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Champions League
    Round of 16, second leg
    Bayern München 0–1 Athletic Club
    Vesga '79

    Assist: Berenguer
    MoM: Berenguer

    4-3-3: Neuer - Kimmich, Marquinhos, Hummels, Rose - Tolisso, Bender, Kroos - Bernadeschi, Lewandowski, Coman
    4-3-1-2: Simón - de Marcos, Yeray, Nolaskoain, Capa - Lekue, Iturraspe, López - Manu García - Ibai, Williams


    – What a display... Once again I'm speechless. First of all, I can't understand that Unai Simón with eight saves don't get the Man of the Match award. This save when it was 0–0 can't be mentioned enough. Other than that, I have to say that my game plan worked out perfectly. The trio in midfield (plus Manu García between the MF and ATT) completely shut down the dangerous space in front of the centerbacks. Unai López and Iñigo Lekue with great games. Also, the substitutes (Berenguer, Vesga, Lucas Pérez) were bullseye. Vesga's goal came from a corner.

    We're actually through to the quarter finals — equalling the club's best ever run in the tournament (quarter finals, 1957).
  • bounceFM
    123 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Quarter final draw.

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    – It will be tough, but we believe! The Lions aren't here to participate.
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