Marcelo Bielsa’s nostalgic return to San Mamés: “One of the best memories I have of my sporting career” | Soccer | Sports

The Uruguayan team faces the Euskadi team in San Mamés on Saturday (8:00 p.m.), and that means the return to the Cathedral of one of its most illustrious officials, Marcelo Bielsa, who was the coach who led Athletic in the last match played at the old field, a club of which, he says, he has a nostalgic memory. “Those who have been through Bilbao and Athletic know what this club means. It remains imprinted on your skin, in your heart and in your feelings,” he confesses, so for me Athletic is a memory that fills me with nostalgia, and after leaving I always reflected that I should have done more to stay longer.” .

The Argentine coach, who is beginning to prepare the celestial team for the Copa América, and who has assembled a squad of young footballers, led by Real Madrid player Fede Valverde, believes that the friendly against the Basque team will be an interesting test, because , “Basque football begins through the four teams that compete in the First Division and there are always high-quality exponents.” According to Marcelo Bielsa, “Athletic has generated a crop of very valuable players, Real has had a passage through Europe and very important consistency in recent very good years, Osasuna has maintained its category for a long time and Alavés is having a season interesting”. So, “the potential of Basque football is going through a good moment.”

Bielsa still remembers saying goodbye to the San Mamés crowd on the day that everyone sensed would be his last game on the red and white bench. “One of the best memories I have of my sporting career,” he explained in the press conference he gave in San Sebastián ahead of the clash in the Cathedral, “has to do with what happened when that match ended, and the lights went out. lights,” he says. “Memory is selective and retains episodes that transcend personal emotionality. It was a farewell match for San Mamés, which should not be mixed with anything, and when it finished, I received that message from the Athletic fans.” There were 40,000 throats shouting, “Bielsa, stay!”, for a minute. “It was the most important gift I have ever received. For me it was one of those things where people agree without knowing what motivated them.”

With that fond memory about Athletic, it was almost trivial to ask him which team he wants to win the next Copa del Rey. “Knowing the institution, the fans, the city and the Basque Country, what I want is for the best to happen. In this case, the best is the only thing. All the sensations are that this time it will be possible. “I wish it that way, but it is never good to anticipate a victory when you want it to happen.” He did not want to send any message to Athletic about what he should do in the final, among other things, because, “messages should always come from the legitimate driver. And with everything that a final means. “It would not be convenient for me to give a message because it is not my responsibility.” Furthermore, he sarcastically adds, “don’t forget that the two finals that I participated in were not good experiences because we lost them, so it is not the most convenient thing for me to send a message.”

Regarding Jagoba Arrasate, who will be Euskadi’s coach in the match against Uruguay, he points out that, “I know him because he has achieved stability in Osasuna and has given his team his own stamp,” he says, “and when you see Osasuna you can see the identity of the driver, and that always speaks of an incident leader.”

Bielsa returned, at the end of his appearance, to Bilbao and Athletic, to focus on the figure of a footballer, Óscar De Marcos, who played under him and still belongs to the red and white team. Nobody asked him about him, but it was the Uruguayan coach who brought up the name. I had to coach one of the best people I know in football and one of those players with great human quality,” he points out. “He is in that location of great players of whom I have great memories forever. De Marcos is a man who lives around norms that make his behavior admirable.” And that, “will allow him to be happier when he stops playing and when he forever receives the recognition of the fans, for the way he has behaved.”

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