Athletic Club midfielder Unai Vencedor admitted he is over the moon at being able to play for the club he has followed all his life.
The 20-year-old central midfielder was selected in the starting line-up for Athletic’s last two matches and has received plaudits for his assured performances.
“I came to Lezama three seasons ago,” Unai said at a press conference at the Lezama training complex. “This is the result of hard work, effort and dreaming of playing for your childhood team.
“There’s been good days and bad days, but I’ve never given up hope.”
When asked about his personality and hobbies, Unai replied: “I’m a normal lad, I like to hang out with my friends, but now’s the time to be at home with the family.”
“The manager asks me to be myself, to do the best I can,” Vencedor said about Gaizka Garitano’s expectations. “But above all hard work is unnegotiable, whether you start or come off the bench.”
Despite having now started three matches as a lion, Unai has only played in front of the San Mamés faithful once – when he made his debut against Osasuna last season.
“Playing with fans is different, our fans are essential for us, they’re our 12th player,” Vencedor added. “You have to adapt to being without them and keep going.”
Vencedor said team-spirit in the camp is always high regardless of who is asked to play, with all the players willing to help each other out.
“It’s not about me or Dani [García], I’ve learnt a lot from him and he helps me daily,” Unai said. “I’m happy to help the team. The manager decides who plays or who doesn’t.”
As for Athletic’s upcoming opponent, Celta Vigo, Unai added: “They’re a team that likes to play. We like to press high and that’s what we’ll do to try and win the match.”
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