There’s a trophy at play for Athletic Club this week. The Rojiblancos take on Real Madrid at La Rosaleda on Thursday in the semi-finals of the Supercopa (Jan 14, 21:00 CET).
It will be the first match between the two sides in this competition. Real Madrid, who are also reigning champions, booked their place in this year’s edition after topping the LaLiga Santander table in 2019-20.
The Lions, being led by new manager Marcelino in his second match in charge, are competing in the new ‘final four’ format for the first time after reaching the 2019-20 Copa del Rey final, which is yet to be played against Basque rivals, Real Sociedad.
They lifted the Supercopa for the first time in 1983-84, without having to compete for it. Athletic had won the Liga and Copa double that same season and back then if a team won both competitions, they would automatically become the Super Cup champions.
The Lions had to fight a bit harder for their second Supercopa win in 2014-15, the most recent addition to their trophy cabinet. Athletic won 5-1 on aggregate against a Barça team that had won the treble (LaLiga, Copa and Champions league) the season before.
In the first leg, Athletic stunned Luis Enrique’s side in Bilbao. Mikel San José got the party started when he spectacular goal from near the half-way line, and striker Aritz Aduriz bagged a hat-trick in a virtuoso performance as the Lions romped to a 4-0 victory.
For Athletic, the return leg in Barcelona was a case of simply maintaining their advantage, which they managed to do. Leo Messi put the home team ahead just before the break, but Athletic held on and in the 75th minute Aduriz put the game beyond doubt, giving the Lions their first trophy in 31 years.
Raúl García: “The more difficult the challenge, the better”
After extending his contract with Athletic Club until 2022, Raúl García expressed his intention to keep going “as long as he was up to the task of competing for this Club”
Raúl García signs contract extension until 2022
The agreement includes an option for a further season depending on a number of targets.
Berenguer in top goalscoring form
Athletic Club’s most recent signing is our current top goalscorer with six goals, four coming in his last five appearances
Highlights I Athletic Club 1-1 Villarreal CF (LaLiga Matchday 24)
Athletic pick up a point in a tightly-contested match against the Yellow Submarine at The Cathredal
Marcelino: “Athletic deserved to win”
Marcelino praises the attitude of his Lions, despite the draw against Villarreal
Berengeur on target in draw with Villarreal
Athletic’s current top goalscorer equalised after Gerard Moreno put Villarreal in the lead
Confirmed line-ups: Athletic Club vs Villarreal CF
The XIs for tonight’s LaLiga Santander match against Villarreal CF at San Mamés (21:00 CET)
Global TV Guide: Athletic Club vs Villarreal CF
The various TV broadcasters and global kick-off times for Athletic Club’s upcoming LaLiga clash with Villarreal CF
Marcelino: “The team is happy and motivated”
The Athletic Club manager looks ahead to Sunday night’s clash with Villarreal at The Cathedral
Squad list: Athletic Club vs Villarreal CF (LaLiga Matchday 24)
The 23 players called up for Sunday night’s clash with Villarreal CF at The Cathedral