Joseba Etxeberria dreams of coaching Athletic Club one day. As a legend that brought joy to everyone at the San Mamés, he has always felt very close to the club and fully identifies with the philosophy of the Basque giants. In order to begin his career as a manager, he began coaching at Lezama back in 2012 and was an immediate success. In 2016 he took a major step forward when he took over feeder club CD Basconia where he showed that he definitely has all the qualities necessary to become a great coach in European football.
In order to continue his growth, Etxeberria left Athletic in 2017 to become the manager of Amorebieta in the Segunda B. Interestingly, he still had a contract with Athletic who had agreed to let him leave but retained all rights. In a way, he was a manager on loan. After leading the team through a very successful time, he received another offer that he couldn’t turn down. Segunda’s Tenerife had fired their manager after a poor run and approached Etxeberria who was once again given permission by Athletic to become their manager. He took over Tenerife in February and guided the team out of the relegation zone and straight into contention for promotion.
Due to Etxeberria’s immense success at Tenerife, the club recently made it clear that they wanted to sign him to an extension in order to continue as the manager. The only issue that stood in their way was the fact that the 40-year-old still had a contract with Athletic who would have to rescind his deal in order for the extension to take place. Over the last few weeks the two clubs have been talking about Etxeberria’s future and on Thursday an agreement was finally struck.
Athletic Club announced that they had mutually agreed to rescind Joseba Etxeberria’s contract “in order for him to continue developing his career as a professional coach”. The legendary striker will now sign an extension with Tenerife where he will continue as the manager for the foreseeable future. In just two years Etxeberria has risen from Spain’s fourth tier all the way to the second division and has proven himself very capable all along the way. His ultimate dream is still to coach Athletic Club and he will keep working to improve so that one day he will be ready to take over at the San Mamés.