Athletic Bilbao Tickets
One of the top football clubs in Spain, Athletic Bilbao are ready to sizzle. They are all set to play with fervor and set the ground afire. Athletic Bilbao is the commonly known name of Athletic Club, a football club situated in Bilboa, the biggest city of the Basque Country. It has belonged to La Liga’s Primera División since its emergence in 1928. It is among the four professional football clubs besides Real Madrid, Barcelona and Osasuna, that is owned by its associates and not some sports corporation. The players of the club are called by the name Los Leones, meaning the lions. This is because their stadium, the San Mamés Stadium, was named after a church which is built near it. The church is called San Mamés, after the Saint Mammes who was thrown to the lions but the lions refused to eat him. Hence, the stadium is known by its nickname ‘the football cathedral’. Athletic Bilbao jerseys on their home ground are red, white and black. Their jerseys for games away from home are colored green.
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Initially Athletic Bilbao imposed the cantera policy for recruiting players. There were strict rules regarding foreign players’ inclusion in the club. Only three foreign players could be included in a team. The rest were to be native Basque players which included players from Álava, Biscay, Guipúzcoa and Navarre in Spain and Labourd, Soule and Lower Navarre in France. This policy proved to be very successful for the club from 1930s to 1950s. It brought forward many talented Basque players through the ranks. The club was praised for promoting local talent. However, recently, this policy has been relaxed to some extent. They now allow players who have Basque ancestry even if they have lived somewhere else; and in case they do not have Basque ancestry, they have been raised in Basque clubs. This relaxation has been subjected to criticism besides receiving a lot of praise from around the world. 76% of the club’s fans, according to the survey conducted by El Mundo in the 1990s, were in favor of the club retaining its Cantera policies as compared to the club being relegated.
Athletic Bilbao, with its rules has been able to instill great loyalty in its players. This is one of the most important reasons of its success do far. Athletic Bilbao have won La Liga eight times. In 1977, they reached the UEFA Cup final but lost to Juventus. Moreover, their women’s team has won Spanish Superliga championship title four times. The club holds the fourth position in the overall ranking of La Liga. Beisdes, Barcelona and Real Madrid, they are the only team which has retained its place in La Liga and has yet to be relegated.
The last couple of seasons have been quite eventful with more draws than victories. The team gained a place in the new UEFA Europa League. They finished 8th in 2009-10. However, the side is young with teenagers like Iker Muniain, as well as Javi Martinez, Markel Susaeta, Fernando Llorente and Óscar de Marcos, so the fans are keeping their fingers crossed. The fans are wondering and hoping that the Athletic Bilbao will live up to its name and clinch some sensational wins. Therefore, Athletic Bilbao tickets are going to be hot as the fans want to witness their team winning some big ones.
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