Basque in Glory

Athletic Bilbao are an interesting and fascinating football club. They are situated in the Basque Country,

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they have never been relegated from the top division in Spain and they are only one of three teams to do that along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the most amazing thing about that and the club is that they only sign and play players who are from or who have trained in the greater Basque Country. This means that Bilbao have stayed in the same division and have been competitive for so many years with only buying and producing home grown players.

The likes of Fernando Llorente, Ander Herrera and Javi Martinez have come through the ranks at Bilbao and have moved for big money to bigger teams such as Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United. Athletic Bilbao make so much money from selling players they reinvest that money into their youth system to produce more players like Llorente, Herrera and Martinez. Athletic Bilbao are also very successful with this system having won La Liga 8 times in their history as well as having won the Copa Del Rey 23 times the second most of any team behind Barcelona. As well as having a great youth system Athletic Bilbao also have a brand new stadium called San Mamés which has the same name as their old stadium but this one holds 53,289 people. Athletic Bilbao are a big club in Spain and have been so successful with their philosophy it is amazing that other clubs have not tried to copy their ideas.

This weekend is the Basque Derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, Sociedad don’t have the same philosophy as Bilbao and it has always been an interesting derby. Athletic will be hoping key players Iker Muniain

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and Aritz Aduriz

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perform for them in order to win one of the most important games of the season for them and their fans.

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