Ander Capa “I’m Very Happy To Be Home Again”
Ander Capa is happy to be back at Athletic Club. The 26-year-old spent three years at Lezama before leaving and eventually becoming a key player at Eibar, but now he’s ready to compete for a starting role at his boyhood club. While training in Holland the right-back spoke with Jon Zubieta of Mundo Deportivo and found it hard to contain his excitement about being back at Athletic.
“The truth is that I am very happy to be home again. I had to wait a year for the move to become real, but I wasn’t thinking about it every day. I was also happy at Eibar, which is a good club, and I was growing. I was very comfortable with Mendilibar. He helped me grow as a footballer and as a person. Of course he asked me not to leave but I always hoped that I would return one day.”
Capa is aware of the fact that there is a lot of competition at his position in the team and that means that he has to continue working hard if he wants to play regular minutes. He’s also excited about Berizzo’s system because it gives him the freedom to attack, while also admitting that he is more comfortable as a right-back than playing on the wing.
“There are three players in my position, although the manager is testing De Marcos in the midfield. I’m happy, but I know I can’t relax. I’ll be working hard every day so that I will be ready when the moment comes. The manager’s idea is for us to use space up the wings when the ball is in the midfield. The truth is that it gives me enough freedom that I see myself as being able to use my strengths. I’m always asked what position I prefer to play and I always say that I have no problem on the wing, but I feel much more comfortable at right-back.”
A lot has been made about Capa’s physique and extreme stamina, which prompted Zubieta to ask the 26-year-old if he’s the best runner on the team. However, Capa stated that there are some other players who are even better.
“No, no there are many others who are much better. Balenziaga, De Marcos, and Córdoba are all fighters. They don’t stop until they fall down. I used to be small. When I arrived at Eibar in the Tercera I was very small, but I started going to the gym and then in the afternoon I did work on my own in Portugal. When Mendilibar came he gave me a lot of attention. I’ve always been a sprinter and people have always told me that I can run, ever since I was little.”
Although Capa wasn’t a part of Athletic last year he is well aware of the club’s disappointing season under Kuko Ziganda. The goal at this point is to put the past in the past and focus on bringing excitement back to the fans this year. Capa’s first game at the San Mamés as an Athletic player is going to be a special occasion.
“Everyone knows what happened last year. We have to forget that, have a good year, and bring back joy to the fans at the San Mamés. We already have the first match marked on our calendars. On Monday at 10, what a start! It will be played at the San Mamés and will be one of the most important days of my life. I hope that I can play. There are going to be a lot of feelings when I return to Ipurua.”
In closing, Capa was asked for his thoughts on the squad as a whole. The 26-year-old believes that there is a lot of quality at every position, and highlighted the new signings as being able to take the team to the next level. The goal, as always, is to qualify for Europe.
“The team looks really good. We have strengthened both fullbacks positions and the midfield. Up front there are very good players. Ganea can also play on the wing and Yuri, come on, he’s a terrific player. On a personal level I just hope to enjoy minutes, improve as a footballer, and give the best version of myself. As a team we hope to qualify for the Europa League or better. It would be a dream for me.”
Ander Capa will have plenty of competition in the team, but Berizzo’s desire to test Oscar De Marcos as a midfielder could lead to more minutes. Regardless, Capa is just excited to be back at Athletic and is looking forward to having a great year and helping the team rebound from a disappointing campaign. Athletic will begin their La Liga season on 20 August at the San Mamés against Leganés.