Global News 

Athletic and Atletico discover their fate – UEFA Europa League Last 16 Draw

Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid found out their opponents for the last 16 of the Europa League earlier this afternoon at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. Athletic were drawn in arguably the tie of the round against Ligue 1 side Marseille whilst Atletico face a long trip to Russia for their second leg after they were drawn alongside Lokomotiv Moscow. Bilbao and Marseille have met just twice before, with those two games also coming in the Europa League home and away in February 2016. The first leg of that tie…

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Blog La Liga 

Team Spotlight: Athletic Bilbao and its Basque-only team

Recruitment can be a strain at the best of times, as managers and directors of football try to negotiate bringing in top-quality stars for as low a price they can get. Then there is the possible chance to not spend £30m on someone from another country and stick with a rising talent in the club’s youth academy. Yet for Athletic Bilbao, it is an excruciating process, but also a hugely satisfying job, as only players with a significant connection to the Basque Country can play for the side. Small talent…

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Global Match Centre 

Two in, two out for La Liga sides – Europa League Round Up

Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao will fly the flag for Spain in the Europa League last 16 after progressing from their last 32 ties on Thursday evening but Villarreal and Real Sociedad crashed out, here’s the best of the action. We start with Real Sociedad who travelled to Austria to face Salzburg with the tie finely poised at 2-2. La Real started well and had a great chance to open the scoring inside ten minutes but the unmarked Mikel Oyarzabal somehow contrived to head off the crossbar from just ten…

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La Liga News 

Simeone plays down lack of penalties claim

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has played down the fact his side have received no penalties this season. Despite the win over Athletic Club, controversy struck when the referee missed a clear foul from Unai Nunez on Diego Costa, seeing Atleti fail to win a penalty, something they have not had – all season. “I don’t like talking about this as the more it is mentioned, it will become worse of the officials,” Simeone told reporters after the game. “They will arrive at our games thinking about that stat, with…

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La Liga Match Centre News 

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao: Hosts continue unbeaten start to 2018

Following on from their European adventures during the week, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao met at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday with both sides looking to pick up what would be three valuable points at this stage of the competition. Diego Simeone made four changes to the side that started in the 4-1 win against FC Copenhagen on Thursday, with Jan Oblak, Sime Vrsaljko, Felipe Luis and Diego Costa taking to the field, replacing Moya, Juanfran, Diego Godin and Kevin Gameiro. With Artiz Arduiz and Raul Garcia both suspended for…

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La Liga Match Centre News 

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club: Basques arrive at the Wanda in poor form

Atletico Madrid will host Athletic Bilbao at The Wanda Metropolitano, as Los Rojiblancos look to secure their second place spot in La Liga. Bilbao will be on a high, following their comfortable 3-1 victory in Russia, against Spartak Moscow. Although, in La Liga, they may have only three wins in 11 games, they are undefeated 11 of their last 12. Atletico Madrid too were on Europa League duties during the week as they travelled to Denmark, and beat Kobenhaven 4-1. History in this fixture however, heavily favour the Madrid club…

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Global Match Centre 

Athletic and Atleti secure crucial away wins – Europa League Round Up

The four La Liga representatives in the UEFA Europa League; Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Real Sociedad, played their first legs in the last 32 of the competition. I take a look back at the best of the night’s action. Athletic Bilbao faced a tough trip to Russia to face Spartak Moscow in the last 32, a side that stuck five past Sevilla when they visited Moscow in the Champions League group stages, but a clinical performance from Los Leones has given them big led to take back to…

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La Liga News 

Ziganda believes he and his side can do better

Athletic Club boss Jose Angel Ziganda has discussed his side’s failings this season, claiming he and his players are in full belief they can do better. The Basque side approach Thursday evening’s Europa League tie with Russian side Spartak Moscow in relatively poor form, having not won a game since the 7th of January. Having been held to a dull 0-0 draw with Las Palmas at the weekend; Athletic are now under increasing pressure but Wednesday’s game could act as a good escape from their league troubles. “We have a…

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Mikel San Jose Athletic Bilbao Blog Spain 

Mikel San Jose: Supporting Independence and playing for Spain are not mutually exclusive

Spanish unity has become a very delicate subject in recent years. Particularly since the attempts by the northeast region of Catalonia to vote on independence resulted in violence last October. Athletic Bilbao player Mikel San Jose is from the northern Basque region of Spain, another fiercely autonomous region. The Basque region has its own violent history with ETA (an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), a nationalist and separatist organization that originally promoted Basque culture and ultimately morphed into a terrorist group. Incredibly, San Jose recounted a story of when he was 16 years old…

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La Liga Match Centre News 

Athletic Club 0-0 Las Palmas: Hosts continue to struggle

Athletic Club continued to struggle as they were held at home to Las Palmas on Friday night at San Mames. The Basque hosts have struggled this season to find consistency and coach Jose Luis Ziganda will now feel even more pressure after a dismal performance against Paco Jemez’s men, who frustrated the San Mames crowd. Athletic had the better chances in the first half, with Inaki Williams proving to be their best outlet and the young winger almost opened the scoring late in the first period after a cross from…

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