Tottenham Hotspurs v Athletic Bilbao – 6 August

 

The Spanish club, which finished sixth in La Liga last year, could also be a potential opponent for Spurs in this years UEFA Europa League campaign. This will be an excellent test for Spurs at a good time, about a week before the season starts. Kick-off 5:15pm. 

Tickets now on general sale. to purchase, CLICK HERE – by phone on 0844 844 0102 or in person at the Ticket Office in Park Lane.

Prices: Adults – £25 (North/South Stands); £30 (East/West Stands); Junior – £5 (All Areas); Senior Citizens – £10 (All Areas).

Hailing from Spain’s Basque country, Athletic have played in La Liga’s Primera Division since its start in 1928, winning the title on eight occasions. Under coach Joaquin Caparros, Los Leones achieved a sixth place finish and Europa League qualification in 2010-11. Their squad includes Spanish World Cup winners Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez, as well as rising stars Iker Munian and Markel Susaeta.

Personally, I’m very excited about this match. Mostly because Athletic Bilbao are my favorite Spanish club. If you don’t know much about Athletic Club, let me fill you in. The club has played in the Primera Division of La Liga since its inception in 1928. The club is one of only three (along with Real Madrid and Barcelona) to never have been relegated from La Liga. The club has won La Liga 8 times and the Copa del Rey 23 times (five more than Real Madrid).

The most unique thing about the club is their “Cantera” policy. Cantera literally means quarry in Spanish, but in this instance it’s a reference to the club’s youth academy. Bilbao’s policy is to develop young Basque players. They also recruit Basque players from other clubs (like Javi Martinez). The club used to allow only Basques to play for it, but that policy has been slightly relaxed in recent years and players with Basque ancestry or who went through the academies of other Basque clubs now play for the side. If you ever want a good challenge in Football Manager try managing Athletic Bilbao. The transfer policy makes it very tricky, but a lot of fun.

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