Aduriz “I Love To Train And I Love To Compete”
At 37-years-old Aritz Aduriz is still playing at a very high level. He has come into the summer over the last few years being questioned if it will be his last season, but he prefers to take it one day at a time. While training with Athletic in Holland the striker took the time to answer questions and said that he feels great and his goal is to be even better this year.
“Today I feel good and strong. I’m comfortable. My intention is to try to do things better than I have ever been able to so far. It is clear that there is a handicap with my age and that you have to be careful with some things. In that sense I have it all very internalized and to this day I’m doing quite well. It’s about going little by little and seeing how I’m doing. I don’t look beyond a couple of weeks.”
Aduriz is well aware of his age and the fact that most players in their late 30s have hung up their boots. Still, he believes that being able to play at a high level for the club he loves is the most important thing, no matter how challenging it may be.
“I am super-conscious that a 37-year-old player is not the most usual thing. The normal thing would be for me to be on vacation right now, to do other things than interest me. I’m aware of my age and I understand it and see it as a challenge. I think that being able to compete at the highest level with the team you love at this age is very, very difficult. It is a source of pride and a challenge to improve myself every day.”
Despite being one of the most important players in the team, Aduriz understands that things can change quickly. He says you have to be constantly improving and know how to handle the pressures that come with every day.
“Football is about moments. It’s instantaneous. You have to show every day, in every game, and in every training session that you are the one that can take on the demand. We do not live off of the past. You have to reinvent yourself and overcome each day. It’s a question of competitiveness, of competition, of knowing how to manage that pressure. I like that pressure. We all have to see it as something positive for the team, for the club, for everyone.”
The 37-year-old wants to continue being an important player until he decides to finally retire. To him there is nothing like playing a major role for the team and that is still his goal. Although he repeatedly gets asked about his eventual retirement, Aduriz says that he can’t think about the future because it will affect how he plays right now.
“My dream and what I would like the most is to be important until the last moment. That can encompass many things. Everyone likes to be a protagonist on the field and to be important. It is a broad term. It is not easy to know when it’s the right decision, but I want to focus my attention on the current moment, on a day-to-day basis and not so much on tomorrow. If you are thinking a lot about what is going to happen you lose focus and what I want is to be very focused on the current day. I try to enjoy each training session and every match. I love to train and I love to compete. I’ll see what’s coming.”
In closing, the striker discussed the new manager and the excitement that he has brought to the team. Things have looked good for Athletic so far this preseason, but Aduriz is aware that it is too early to make any evaluations. The challenging thing is that everyone starts from scratch and that means that each player is competing for his place in the team.
“The players are excited about his arrival, his intensity, and with what he transmits and what he wants. It is too early to make evaluations, but he has very clear ideas. The team is integrating well into the new system. Everyone starts from scratch so we must all show that we are capable of putting up with the demand of playing for Athletic. We all want to be in the starting 11, and if not then the 14. If you are a starter then you don’t want things to change. We all fight for that.”
There is still major concern about who will take over when Aritz Aduriz finally decides to retire, but the striker isn’t thinking about that at the moment. His goal is to continue being an important player for Athletic Club and helping the team challenge for titles. The Lions will begin their La Liga season on 20 August at the San Mamés against Leganés.