Xabi Etxeita “I Needed To Leave Athletic To Feel Like A Footballer”
Xabi Etxeita recently left Athletic in order to join Huesca on loan for the 2018/2019 season. The 30-year-old didn’t figure to have a place in Eduardo Berizzo’s squad and now he will have the opportunity to be an important player for a club that will be enjoying their first ever campaign in the Primera. He was presented as the newest Huesca signing and admitted that he is very excited about the challenge this year.
“I am delighted to be joining Huesca in the club’s first season in the Primera. It is a very important and very exciting challenge and I come with the enthusiasm of an 18-year-old player. We know that it might not be an easy year, but for my part I will try to help the team as much as I can. I believe that this is the idea place for me. When I was offered the chance to come I spoke with Remi [Alex Remiro] and Mikel Rico and they both said great things about this club and the city. Their experiences were very good.”
Etxeita went on to acknowledge that playing at Athletic has always been his dream and that Bilbao is his home. However, the defender needed to leave in order to play regular minutes and was enticed by Huesca’s offer, especially after speaking with Alex Remiro and Mikel Rico who have both played for the club.
“Playing at Athletic has always been my dream. Being at home is very important for me and my family. It was not easy to make this decision to leave, but the great interest in my from Huesca, the Coach, and the Sporting Director was an important aspect. I didn’t have much continuity in the league last year, although I did play a lot in the Europa League. Psychologically I needed to leave Athletic to have more minutes and, as we all say, feel like a footballer.”
Etxeita will face the challenge of helping Huesca keep their place in the Primera this season, which will be difficult. He is expected to have a starting role in the team and his experience will be invaluable. The 30-year-old’s future with Athletic is not ruled out at this point as his contract contains an option to extend his deal for an extra season, meaning that Etxeita could return to Athletic next summer.