Ernesto Valverde signs one-year extension at Athletic Club

Ernesto Valverde signs one-year extension at Athletic Club

The Copa-winning head coach, our number one in matches managed, will add to his legend by leading Athletic for a ninth season, one in which we return to Europe

Athletic Club legend Ernesto Valverde will stay on as head coach next season. Recent Copa champion and Athletic's number one manager for games in charge, Ernesto has signed a one-year contract extension.

2024/25 will be Valverde's ninth season as Athletic head coach and his third during Jon Uriarte's tenure as president.

The agreement, which includes the renewal of his coaching staff's deals too, was signed on Friday evening at San Mamés together with Jon Uriarte and director of footbal Mikel Gonzalez.

Valverde has taken Athletic to European qualification for a sixth time and will lead a Los Leones continental campaign for a fifth time. Currently on 397 games managed at the club, he will pass the 400 mark next season.

Ernesto said: "It's exciting to be able to lead Athletic again for another year, with all the suspense and hopes you have for what's to come this year. It has been a special, different, historic year. Next year, it will be more difficult because there are more competitions, but also more exciting because of them.

"So, I'm looking forward to it. We coaches and all the people who belong to Athletic want to start a new season and keep going with this project to see if we can take it one step further and make this club a little bit bigger still.

"I'm grateful because we know what football is like, we know how demanding it is, and that they trust me again is something that I like naturally, because this is my club. At the same time, it's a great responsibility to repay all the trust placed in me and all the people who support me working every day at Lezama.

"That working atmosphere is fundamental for me. It's also fundamental and a great responsibility to all our fans. We have to come here to San Mamés every day to try to win, try to play good football, so that people can identify with us, and then go to all the away grounds and give a good account of ourselves. At the very least, to get even more people to want to become Athletic fans."

Added to his official appearances for the Zurigorri as a player, Ernesto has been involved in a total of 585 Athletic fixtures, a figure only surpassed by club legends Jose Angel Iribar (668) and Piru Gainza (636).

Valverde has done an extraordinary job of transforming the current Athletic into a great attacking team and a powerhouse at San Mamés, where they have scored 49 goals and conceded 20 in 2023/24, while their only home defeat this season came against LaLiga champions Real Madrid on the opening day of the campaign.

The men's first team remains in the best of hands ahead of a 2024/25 season in which they will compete on four fronts, although the most immediate goal is to secure fifth place in two remaining fixtures of this term.