Athletic Club have a big test coming up on Saturday as they host league-leaders Real Madrid. For some Lions, it will be their first game against the Whites. However, for Inaki Williams, it is a game that he is hungry for a victory. On Friday he spoke with AS and discussed several thing about the game, but began by explaining what happened a few days ago when one of his training shots sent Alex Remiro to the hospital.
“It all happened very fast and that happens sometimes during workouts. My shot caught him when he wasn’t ready or looking. I hit him on the temple and he fell unconscious. I was disgusted. When I saw him leave we were all nervous. Hopefully he’ll be back soon.”
Remiro was back with his teammates on Thursday, but isn’t cleared to do any physical activities until he is re-evaluated on Monday. Looking ahead, Inaki touched on Real Madrid and the danger they pose.
“We are in a very good dynamic right now. Madrid is playing for the league, but we need the points to go back to Europe. We played Zidane as a coach in the Juvenile Cup in Vera and we lost 4-0. That game hurt a lot, but this will be our final and we want to beat them.”
The young forward was asked about Cristiano Ronaldo and the comparisons to Garett Bale, but was quick to point out that they are both world class footballers.
“He (Ronaldo) is lethal and all of his shots can go into the goal. He is ambitious and hardworking. He has all the merit in the world. Comparisons with Bale? I don’t know. He has a spectacular header and a barrel in his left leg. We are both fast and powerful. They send you all over the pitch and move the ball around.”
Inaki was then asked about the fact that it has been quite some time since he left Lezama for the first team. When the reporter asked if it has gone by fast, he was quick to answer.
“Yes. Nobody just gives you anything, you have to work for it. What I have and what I deserve are all because of effort. I have worked hard for it and I am proud of everything that I have achieved. But there is still much left to accomplish. What you suffer at home makes you one type of person or another. I come from a hard working family, there are values that they instilled in me.
When asked whether or not winning the Spanish Super Cup was the best thing that has ever happened to him, Inaki stated that he has had a lot of great times, but did admit the win over Barcelona was huge.
“Making my debut with the first team, signing a big contract, there have been a lot of great moments. Thankfully my family had the economic stability and my father was able to come from London. Fulfilling the dream of raising a title here against one of the best Barca sides in history, of course.”
Inaki Williams isn’t the first black footballer to play for Athletic, but he is the first to score a goal and make a long-term place for himself. Discussing the Athletic philosophy, he pointed out that the club is unique and he is proud to be a part of it.
“The values and philosophy of Athletic can not be changed, that’s why we are unique. I’m proud of this. Football is diversified, families come from outside and children can access the quarry.”
To turn to lighter matters, Inaki was asked if his little brother Nico is better than him. His answer was a bit surprising, but honest.
“At his age, he is better. Hopefully we can both put on the shirt of the first team one day and play together.”
Inaki is pegged to be the striker of the future whenever Aritz Aduriz decides to retire. When asked about Aduriz and fellow veteran Raul Garcia, Williams stated that they have both taught him so much.
“I get a lot of help and guidance from them. They are veterans and they know what all this is about. Aduriz is our reference and hopefully he will be with us many more years. Tomorrow he will be back with us and we come with the desire to take all three points.”
In closing, Inaki was asked about his €50 million release clause and whether he was worth that much money. The Lezama product stated that he put a price on himself with his performances last season, but also that he and his family are very happy at Athletic, his boyhood club that gave him and his family everything.
“I put that price with what I did last year. I have always gone as hard as I can and been honest. I am happy and my family are the same; I have the best Míster, team and teammates.”
Inaki Williams will have a huge test ahead of him on Saturday against Real Madrid, but the San Mames has been a fortress this season. The Basques are knocking on the door of European play and a victory this weekend would be a massive result.