Athletic Bilbao

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Athletic Club
Club Athletic Bilbao logo.svg
Full nameAthletic Club [1]
Nickname(s)Los Leones / Lehoiak
(The Lions)
Rojiblancos / Zuri-gorriak
Short nameATH
Founded1898;121 years ago (1898)
Ground San Mamés
Capacity53,289 [2]
President Aitor Elizegi
Head coach Gaizka Garitano
League La Liga
2017–18 La Liga, 16th
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic (Basque : Bilboko Athletic Kluba / Spanish : Athletic Club de Bilbao), is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, in the Basque Country (Spain).

Basque language language of the Basque people

Basque (; euskara[eus̺ˈkaɾa]) is a language spoken in the Basque Country, a region that straddles the westernmost Pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern Spain and southwestern France. Linguistically, Basque is unrelated to the other languages of Europe and is a language isolate to any other known living language. The Basques are indigenous to, and primarily inhabit, the Basque Country. The Basque language is spoken by 28.4% (751,500) of Basques in all territories. Of these, 93.2% (700,300) are in the Spanish area of the Basque Country and the remaining 6.8% (51,200) are in the French portion.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.


They are known as Los Leones (The Lions) because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés (Saint Mammes). Mammes was an early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was later made a saint.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–395 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome. The Roman Empire was then divided between a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople, and it was ruled by multiple emperors.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The club is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. Athletic have won La Liga on eight occasions, fourth most in the history of the league. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to Barcelona, having won it 23 times. [note 1] The club also has one of the most successful women's teams in Spain, which has won five championships in the Primera División Femenina .

The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, commonly known as La Liga, is the men's top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), La Liga is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top three teams in that division.

FC Barcelona association football club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Copa del Rey Spanish association football tournament

The Campeonato de España–Copa de Su Majestad el Rey, commonly known as Copa del Rey or simply La Copa, is an annual knockout football competition in Spanish football, organized by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

The club is known for its cantera policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks, as well as recruiting players from other Basque clubs like Joseba Etxeberria and Javi Martínez. Athletic's official policy is signing professional players native to or trained in football in the greater Basque Country, which includes Biscay, Gipuzkoa, Álava and Navarre (in Spain); and Labourd, Soule and Lower Navarre (in France). [3] Since 1912, Athletic has played exclusively with players meeting its own criteria to be deemed as Basque, and has been one of the most successful teams in La Liga. This can be seen as a unique case in European football; [4] it has gained Athletic both admirers and critics. The club has been praised for promoting home grown players and club loyalty. The Basque rule does not apply to coaching staff however, with several examples of non-Basque coaches both from Spain and abroad having coached the first team.

Cantera, literally meaning "quarry" in Spanish, is a term used in Spain to refer to youth academies and farm teams organized by sports clubs. It is also used to refer to the geographical area that clubs recruit players from. The term is widely used in football but is also applied to other sports, such as basketball. This article, however, is about the football canteras. Notable canteras include those of Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol, Sporting de Gijón, Celta de Vigo and Valencia.

The Basques are an indigenous ethnic group characterised by the Basque language, a common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitanians. Basques are indigenous to and primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country, a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.

Joseba Etxeberria Spanish footballer

Joseba Andoni Etxeberria Lizardi is a Spanish retired footballer who played mostly as a winger, and is a manager.

Athletic's main rivals are Real Sociedad, against whom it contests the Basque derby, and Real Madrid, due to sporting and political rivalry. At various points in the club's history, further Basque league derbies have been contested against Alavés, Eibar and Osasuna. Athletic is one of only four professional clubs in Spain (the others being Osasuna, Real Madrid and Barcelona) that is not a sports corporation; it is owned and operated by its club members.

Real Sociedad Spanish association football club

Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D., more commonly referred to as Real Sociedad or La Real, is a Spanish football club based in the city of San Sebastián, Basque Country, founded on 7 September 1909. It plays its home matches at the Anoeta Stadium. Real Sociedad won the Liga title in 1980–81 and 1981–82, and last finished runners-up in 2002–03. The club has also won the Copa del Rey twice, in 1909 and 1987. It contests the Basque derby against rivals Athletic Bilbao. Real Sociedad were founder members of La Liga in 1929, and its longest spell in the top flight was for 40 seasons, from 1967 to 2007.

Basque derby

The Basque derby is the name of the football local derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao. It embodies the inter-city rivalry between Bilbao and Donostia-San Sebastián, capitals of the neighbouring provinces of Gipuzkoa and Biscay (Bizkaia) in the Basque Country region of Spain. It is also occasionally referred to as the AP-8 derby, referring to the name of the highway which connects the cities.

El Viejo Clásico also known as El Otro Clásico is the name given to any football match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. Until 10 December 2011, this fixture was the most played in the history of Spanish football, when it was surpassed by El Clásico. However, it remains the most played game in the Copa del Rey.


Bilbao FC, Athletic Club and Club Bizcaya

Athletic Club with the first Copa del Rey in 1903. Athletic Club 1903.jpg
Athletic Club with the first Copa del Rey in 1903.

Football was introduced to Bilbao by two distinct groups with British connections; British workers and Basque students returning from schools in Britain. In the late 19th century, Bilbao was a leading industrial town and attracted many migrant workers, including miners from the north-east of England, and shipyard workers from Southampton, Portsmouth and Sunderland. They brought with them the game of football, and came together to form Bilbao Football Club. Meanwhile, sons of the Basque educated classes went to Britain to complete their studies, developed an interest in football and on their return began to arrange games with British workers. In 1898, students founded the Athletic Club, using the English spelling.

Bilbao Municipality in Basque Country, Spain

Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015. The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552 the comarca of Greater Bilbao is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. Bilbao is also the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region.

Southampton City and unitary authority area in England

Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 15 miles (24 km) west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, which is a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651. The city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", and a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.

Portsmouth City & unitary authority area in England

Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, with a total population of 205,400 residents. The city of Portsmouth is nicknamed Pompey and is mainly built on Portsea Island, a flat, low-lying island measuring 24 square kilometres in area, just off the south-east coast of Hampshire. Uniquely, Portsmouth is the only island city in the United Kingdom, and is the only city whose population density exceeds that of London.

In 1901, a meeting held in the Café García established more formal rules and regulations. In 1902, the two clubs formed a combined team, known as Bizcaya , in the first Copa del Rey and won the competition. This led to the eventual merger of the two clubs as Athletic Club in 1903. In the same year, Basque students also formed Athletic Club Madrid which later evolved into Atlético Madrid. The club itself declares 1898 as its foundation date.

Copa del Rey

The team which won the 1911 Copa del Rey Ath 1911.JPG
The team which won the 1911 Copa del Rey

The club featured prominently in early Copas del Rey. Following the inaugural win by Club Bizcaya, the newly formed Athletic Bilbao won it again in 1903. In 1904, they were declared winners after their opponents failed to turn up. In 1907, they revived the name Club Vizcaya after entering a combined team with Union Vizcaino. After a brief lull, they won again in 1911 and then three times in a row between 1914 and 1916. The star was Pichichi, who scored the first goal at the San Mamés stadium in 1913 and a hat-trick in the 1915 cup final. The La Liga top scorer award is named in his honour.

The first La Liga

Other Basque clubs such as Real Unión, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Sociedad were also founding members of La Liga in 1928 and by 1930 they were joined by CD Alavés; five of the ten clubs in the Primera División were from the Basque Country. The saying "Con cantera y afición, no hace falta importación", translated as "With home-grown teams and support, there is no need for import", made sense during these early days.

The Fred Pentland Era

1930-31 La Liga winner team Athletic 1931.jpg
1930-31 La Liga winner team

In 1921, a new British coach, Fred Pentland, arrived; In 1923, he led the club to victory in the Copa del Rey. He revolutionised the way Athletic played, favouring the short-passing game. In 1927, Pentland left Athletic but returned in 1929 and led the club to La Liga/Copa del Rey doubles in 1930 and 1931. The club won the Copa del Rey four times in a row between 1930 and 1933 and they were also La Liga runners-up in 1932 and 1933. In 1931, Athletic defeated Barcelona 12–1, the latter's worst-ever defeat.

The league title under Garbutt

Athletic's success under British coaches continued with William Garbutt. His first season in Spain was a massive success as he managed to win the Liga [5] that year. He had inherited a talented squad which included strikers Guillermo Gorostiza and Bata.

Garbutt promoted the young Ángel Zubieta to the first team, a player who at 17 years of age went on to become the youngest ever to play for the Spanish national team [5] at the time. In the final game of the season, the title was decided when Athletic defeated Oviedo 2–0 at home on 19 April 1936, winning the title just two points clear of Real Madrid. [5] In July 1936, football halted due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The league did not restart until the 1939–40 season. Athletic Club did not win the title again until 1943 and by that time Garbutt had been exiled. [5]

Atlético Bilbao

Basque derby of 1944, Real Sociedad vs. Atletico Bilbao in the Atotxa stadium. Partido de futbol entre la Real Sociedad y el Atletic de Bilbao en el campo de Atotxa (1 de 5) - Fondo Car-Kutxa Fototeka.jpg
Basque derby of 1944, Real Sociedad vs. Atlético Bilbao in the Atotxa stadium.

In 1941, the club changed its name to Atlético Bilbao, following a decree issued by Franco. The same year Telmo Zarra made his debut. He went on to score 294 goals in all competitions for Atlético. His 38 goals in the 1950–51 season stood as a record for 60 years.

In 1943, the club won a double and retained the Copa in both 1944 and 1945. During the early 1950s, the club featured the legendary forward line of Zarra, Panizo, Rafa Iriondo, Venancio and Agustín Gaínza. They helped the club win another Copa del Generalisimo in 1950. Coach Ferdinand Daučík led the team to another double in 1956 and to more Copa victories in 1955 and 1958. In 1956 the club also made their debut in the European Cup.

The 1960s were dominated by Real Madrid, and Atlético only had a single Copa del Rey win in 1969, although the decade saw the emergence of a club legend, José Ángel Iribar.

Important 1970s-era players Dani (L) and Iribar (R) along with coach Aguirre (C) Aankomst Atletico Bilbao op Schiphol vlnr Dani, trainer Aguirre en doelman , Bestanddeelnr 929-9172.jpg
Important 1970s-era players Dani (L) and Iribar (R) along with coach Aguirre (C)

The 1970s were not much better, with only another single Copa del Rey win in 1973. In December 1976, before a game against Real Sociedad, Iribar and Sociedad captain Inaxio Kortabarria carried out the Ikurriña, the Basque flag, and placed it ceremonially on the centre-circle – this was the first public display of the flag since the death of Francisco Franco. In 1977, the club reached the final of the UEFA Cup, only losing on away goals to Juventus. By then the Franco regime also ended and the club reverted to using the name Athletic.

The Clemente years

In 1981, Javier Clemente became manager. He put together one of the most successful teams in the club's history. In 1983 the club won La Liga, and in 1984 they won a La Liga/Copa del Rey double. In 1985 and 1986, Athletic finished third and fourth respectively. Clemente's Athletic acquired notoriety for its aggressive style of play. The club has failed to win a major trophy since the success of the era. A succession of coaches that included José Ángel Iribar, Howard Kendall, Jupp Heynckes and Javier Irureta and even a returning Clemente failed to reproduce his success.

The Fernández Era

In 1998, coach Luis Fernández led the club to second in La Liga and UEFA Champions League qualification. Fernández benefited from the club adopting a more flexible approach to the cantera . In 1995, Athletic had signed Joseba Etxeberria from regional rivals Real Sociedad, causing considerable bad feeling between the two clubs. [6] Etxeberria was a prominent member of the 1997–98 squad, along with Rafael Alkorta and Julen Guerrero.

21st century

The club narrowly avoided relegation during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, [7] the latter being the worst in the club's history. In the Copa del Rey, they reached their first final in 24 years, losing 4–1 to Barcelona. [8]

Athletic Bilbao fans in Bucharest before the Europa League final Bilbao fans.JPG
Athletic Bilbao fans in Bucharest before the Europa League final

Prior to the 2011–12 season, Athletic's new president, former player Josu Urrutia, brought in coach Marcelo Bielsa; [9] [10] Athletic advanced to their first European final since 1977, losing 3–0 to Spanish rivals Atlético Madrid on 9 May in the 2012 UEFA Europa League Final at the Arena Națională in Bucharest. [11] They also reached the 2012 Copa del Rey Final, losing again to Barcelona. [12]

After star midfielder Javi Martínez moved to FC Bayern Munich, Athletic were eliminated from the 2012–13 Europa League group stage, and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Basque club Eibar of the third tier. Relegation was a threat until the end of the season, and the final league game at the "old" San Mamés ended in defeat to Levante. Athletic would soon move to a new stadium, albeit in a partially completed state. Bielsa promoted young French defender Aymeric Laporte into the side, while striker Fernando Llorente completed a free transfer to Juventus. [13] [14]

'old' San Mames in 2007 Estadio San Mames.PNG
'old' San Mamés in 2007
The 'new' San Mames in a partially completed state in 2013 San Mames 00, Euskal Herria.jpg
The 'new' San Mamés in a partially completed state in 2013

After Bielsa, Ernesto Valverde returned for a second spell as manager, and he signed or brought through several new players as Athletic came fourth in the league, meaning a UEFA Champions League campaign. Ander Herrera transferred to Manchester United for €36 million deal at the end of the season. [15] [16]

Athletic had a triumphant first full-capacity match in the new San Mamés as they defeated Napoli to qualify for the Champions League group stage, [17] however they could only finish 3rd in the group. [18] Athletic reached the 2015 Copa del Rey Final, but once again lost to Barcelona, 3–1. [19]

In the first leg of the 2015 Supercopa de España at San Mamés, Athletic defeated Barcelona 4–0, with Aritz Aduriz scoring a hat-trick. In the return leg at Camp Nou, Athletic hung on with a 1–1 draw to win their first trophy since 1984. [20] [21] Aduriz finished with 36 goals in all competitions. Athletic advanced to the quarter-finals in the Europa League where they were only defeated on penalties by the holders and eventual repeat winners Sevilla FC.

Ernesto Valverde left his position at the end of the 2016–17 season after four years. [22] It was confirmed that his successor would be former player José Ángel Ziganda, moving up from Bilbao Athletic. [23] On 29 November the club suffered a shock defeat to SD Formentera in the domestic cup. [24] [25] At the conclusion of a poor season overall, Ziganda was dismissed and Eduardo Berizzo was appointed. However, his spell was even less fruitful [26] and on 4 December 2018, having won just two of his fifteen matched at the helm and with the team in the relegation zone, Berizzo was dismissed; B-team coach Gaizka Garitano took over. [27]

Club colours

Athletic's 1921 Copa del Rey team Ath 1921.JPG
Athletic's 1921 Copa del Rey team

Athletic began playing in an improvised white kit, but in the 1902–03 season, the club's first official strip became half-blue, half-white shirts similar to those worn by Blackburn Rovers, [28] which were donated by Juan Moser. Later, a young student from Bilbao named Juan Elorduy, who was spending Christmas 1909 in London, was charged by the club to buy 25 new shirts, but was unable to find enough. Waiting for the ship back to Bilbao and empty handed, Elorduy realised that the colours of the local team Southampton [29] matched the colours of the City of Bilbao, and bought 50 shirts to take with him. Upon arriving in Bilbao, the club's directors decided almost immediately to change the team's strip to the new colours, and since 1910, Athletic Club have played in red and white stripes. Of the 50 shirts bought by Elorduy, half were then sent to Atlético Madrid, where Elorduy was a committee member and a former player; it had originally begun as a youth branch of Athletic Bilbao. [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] Before the switch from blue and white to red and white, only one other team wore red and white, Sporting de Gijón, since 1905.

Athletic centenary logo Athleticclublogo.png
Athletic centenary logo

Athletic were one of the last major clubs who did not have the logo of an official sponsor emblazoned on their kit. In the UEFA Cup and the Copa del Rey of 2004–05, the shirt sported the word "Euskadi" in green in exchange for hundreds of thousands of euros from the Basque Government [35] (Red, white and green are the Basque colours). This policy was changed in 2008, when Athletic made a deal with the Biscay-based Petronor oil company [36] to wear their logo in exchange for over €2 million. In 2011, Athletic revealed a new away kit that was inspired by the Basque flag. The Kutxabank logo now adorns the front of Athletic's kits.

Between 2001 and 2009 Athletic also manufactured their own playing kit, under the brand 100% Athletic and utilising the small design from their centenary celebrations as a manufacturer's logo.


1903 AC crest Atmadrid1903.png
1903 AC crest

Athletic's shield has incorporated the escutcheons of Bilbao and Biscay. From the shield of Bilbao, it takes the bridge and the church of San Anton, and the wolves from the powerful Haro family, who were lords of Biscay and founders of Bilbao in 1300. From the shield of Biscay it takes Guernica's tree and the cross of San Andrés. Its first documentary record dates from 1922.

1913 flag Athletic Club crest 1913.png
1913 flag

Among its history, the shield of the club has been developing and changing in form. So, the first official shield was a blue circle with the letters A and C in the middle. The second one was from 1910, that was a red and white flag with a white square in the left side, in which there are the initials of the club. The third one, from 1913, was also a red and white flag, but in this case surrounding a platoon (this is similar to the Real Sociedad crest still in use today).

1922 shield Athletic Club crest 1922.png
1922 shield

The first version of the actual shield is from 1922, it still was a really simple version that was changing of form with the years until having three different versions. Finally, in 1941 the first version of the current shield was created, but the name "Atlético Bilbao" was used when Generalissimo Francisco Franco outlawed all non-Spanish names during his fascist reign. In 1970, the club added colors to the shield and recovered the original English "Athletic Club" name. In 2008, the shape of the shield was slightly altered and a new "Athletic Club" typeface was introduced.


Current squad

As of 31 January 2019 [37]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

1 Flag of Spain.svg GK Álex Remiro
2 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg FW Kenan Kodro
3 Flag of Spain.svg DF Unai Núñez
4 Flag of Spain.svg DF Iñigo Martínez
5 Flag of Spain.svg DF Yeray Álvarez
6 Flag of Spain.svg DF Mikel San José
7 Flag of Spain.svg MF Beñat Etxebarria
8 Flag of Spain.svg MF Ander Iturraspe (2nd captain)
9 Flag of Spain.svg FW Iñaki Williams
10 Flag of Spain.svg FW Iker Muniain (3rd captain)
11 Flag of Spain.svg FW Iñigo Córdoba
12 Flag of Spain.svg DF Yuri Berchiche
13 Flag of Spain.svg GK Iago Herrerín
14 Flag of Spain.svg MF Markel Susaeta (captain)
15 Flag of Spain.svg DF Iñigo Lekue
16 Flag of Spain.svg MF Dani García
17 Flag of Spain.svg MF Mikel Rico
18 Flag of Spain.svg MF Óscar de Marcos (4th captain)
19 Flag of Spain.svg FW Ibai Gómez
20 Flag of Spain.svg FW Aritz Aduriz
21 Flag of Spain.svg DF Ander Capa
22 Flag of Spain.svg MF Raúl García
23 Flag of Spain.svg MF Unai López
24 Flag of Spain.svg DF Mikel Balenziaga
25 Flag of Spain.svg GK Unai Simón
30 Flag of Spain.svg FW Gorka Guruzeta
31 Flag of Spain.svg MF Peru Nolaskoain

Reserve team

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

26 Flag of Spain.svg GK Hodei Oleaga
32 Flag of Spain.svg FW Iñigo Vicente
34 Flag of Spain.svg MF Oihan Sancet

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Flag of Romania.svg DF Cristian Ganea (at Numancia until 30 June 2019)
Flag of Spain.svg DF Xabier Etxeita (at Huesca until 30 June 2019)
Flag of Spain.svg DF Andoni López (at Almería until 30 June 2019)
Flag of Spain.svg FW Sabin Merino (at Leganés until 30 June 2019)
Flag of Spain.svg MF Mikel Vesga (at Leganés until 30 June 2019)


Head coach Gaizka Garitano
Assistant coach Patxi Ferreira
Technical coachAlberto Iglesias
Physical coachJuan Ángel Iribarren
Goalkeeper coach Aitor Iru
Representative Andoni Imaz
Head of medical serviceJosean Lekue
DoctorPaco Angulo
NursesJuanma Ipiña, Álvaro Campa
PhysiotherapistsBeñat Azula, Isusko Ortuzar
Regenerative therapistXabier Clemente
Materials managersJon Eskalza, Iker López


The current board is presided by Aitor Elizegi, businessman by profession, whose candidacy was successful during the elections in December, succeeding the previous president, Josu Urrutia. [38] There were a total of 19,340 votes. Elizegi was the winner with 9,264 votes (47.9%), while opposition candidate Alberto Uribe-Echevarría garnered 9,179 (47.46%). 781 (4.04%) members voted blank and 116 (0.6%) remaining votes were considered invalid. [39]

The board of the Athletic Club is composed of the following directors: [40] [41]


Kit evolution

Athletic kit1903.png Athletic kit1910.png Athletic kit1913.png Athletic kit1950.png Athletic kit1975.png Athletic kit1980.png Athletic kit1990s.png Athletic kit2000s.png
Kit left arm athletic1516h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body athletic1516h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm athletic1516h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts white stripes.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks redtop.png
Kit socks long.svg

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

Period [42] Kit manufacturer [42] Shirt sponsor [42]
1982–1990 Adidas None
1990–1999 Kappa
1999–2001 Adidas
2001–2008100% Athletic
2008–2009 Petronor
2009–2013 Umbro
2013–2015 Nike [nb 1]
2015–2017 Kutxabank
2017–2023 New Balance [44]
  1. The English-based kit manufacturer Umbro took responsibility for supplying the team in 2009, having agreed to a long-term contract which expires in 2017. [43] However, since Nike sold subsidiary Umbro, the kits were manufactured by Nike from season 2013–14 onwards.


Men's football

Women's football


SeasonLeague Cup [47] Europe Other Comp.Top scorer [48]
2013–14 1D4th3820109663970QF Aritz Aduriz 18
2014–15 1D7th38151013424155RU Champions League GS Europa League R32 Aritz Aduriz 26
2015–16 1D5th3818812584562QF Europa League QF Supercopa de España W Aritz Aduriz 36
2016–17 1D7th3819613534363R16 Europa League R32 Aritz Aduriz 24
2017–18 1D16th38101315414943R32 Europa League R16 Aritz Aduriz 20

Pos. = Position; Pl. = Match played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lost; GS = Goal Scored; GA = Goal Against; Pts = Points
Colors: Gold = winner; Silver = runner-up; Cyan = ongoing

ChampionRunner-upChampions League classifiedEuropa League classified Zarra Trophy

Statistics and records


Institutional information:

Best positions

5 Participations in the UEFA Champions League / European Cup
18 Participations in the UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup
2 Participations in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
6 Participations in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
1 Participations in the UEFA Intertoto Cup

Goals records

Players records


Stadium information

Panoramic view of San Mames stadium. San Mames 5, Euskal Herria.jpg
Panoramic view of San Mames stadium.

San Mames

Lezama Facilities

The Lezama Facilities is the complex where all of the categories of Athletic train. It was opened in the 1971–72 season, under the presidency of Felix Oráa. At present, facilities include, inter alia, five natural grass fields, a gymnasium, a pediment, a medical center and a residence for young players. Lezama has undergone remodeling since 1995 under the presidency of José María Arrate with the construction of new roads and parking entry and exit able to absorb the large number of vehicles that come every day, and a platform cover bringing greater convenience to fans attending the matches of the youth teams and other youth football teams.

These facilities are located in the municipality of Lezama, approximately ten miles from Bilbao.


The Board has given the green light to the so-called "Lezama Master Plan"[ when? ], which was founded with the purpose of modernizing the structures of both the youth teams and first team. The "Plan" is the result of a rigorous study of the basic needs for the future of the Athletic Club. The work will take place over the course of two to three years and its budget is around €12 million. The Club is committed to consolidate its cantera structure, which is the basis for the future of the Club and in this regard Lezama will be expanded to classrooms for youth work in the lower categories and create an audiovisual department.

See also

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Ernesto Valverde Tejedor is a Spanish former footballer who played as a forward, and is the manager of Barcelona.

San Mamés Stadium (2013) football stadium in Bilbao, Spain that opened in 2013

San Mamés is an all-seater football stadium in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. Inaugurated on 16 September 2013, the stadium replaced the "old" San Mamés as the home of Athletic Bilbao.

Domingo Acedo Spanish footballer

Domingo Gómez-Acedo Villanueva, also known as Txomin, was a Spanish footballer; he played primarily as a left-sided forward and sometimes as a left back.

Iker Muniain Spanish professional footballer

Iker Muniain Goñi is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao and the Spain national team mainly as a left winger.

Francisco 'Patxi' Ferreira Colmenero is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a central defender.

Óscar de Marcos Spanish footballer

Óscar de Marcos Arana is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao usually as a midfielder but also as a full back.

The 2011–12 season will be the 111th season in Athletic Bilbao's history and their 81st consecutive season in La Liga, the top division of Spanish football. It covers a period from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.

Iñaki Williams Spanish footballer

Iñaki Williams Arthuer is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao as a forward.

2015 Copa del Rey Final

The 2015 Copa del Rey Final was a football match on 30 May 2015 to decide the winner of the 2014–15 Copa del Rey, the 113th edition of the Copa del Rey, Spain's primary football cup.

Athletic Bilbao in European football

Athletic Bilbao, a professional football club based in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, has competed in international tournaments as representatives of La Liga since 1956. The club's first entry into an official competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) was the European Cup in 1956–57 as national champions; they reached the quarter-finals.

Basque football derbies

The term Basque derbies refers to the various local derbies between the football teams based in the Basque Country, Spain. This can also include the province of Navarre outside of the autonomous community. It specifically refers to individual matches between the teams, but can also be used to describe the general ongoing rivalry between the clubs and fans.

Athletic Bilbao is a Spanish football club from Bilbao, Biscay in the Basque Country.

The Athletic–Barcelona clásico refers to football matches between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona, two clubs competing in Spanish football competitions.


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  1. 1 2 The number of Copa del Rey wins Athletic Club have been credited with is disputed. The 1902 Copa de la Coronación was won by Club Bizcaya , a team made up of players from Athletic Club and Bilbao FC. In 1903 these two clubs merged as Athletic Club and took part in the first official Copa del Rey in 1903. The 1902 trophy is on display in the Athletic museum [45] and the club includes it in its own honours list. However the LFP and RFEF official statistics do not regard this as an official edition of the Copa del Rey won by Athletic. [46]
  2. Cup awarded automatically as the club won both the Copa del Rey and La Liga.
  3. The "Eva Duarte Cup" competition was the predecessor of the current "Spanish Supercup", with the league champion meeting the winner of the "Copa del Rey".

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