Susaeta “Berizzo Is A Coach That You Can Talk To”
Markel Susaeta has spent 21 years with Athletic since joining Lezama when he was a young boy. Now a Captain, the 30-year-old is one of the leaders of the team and an example for other players. While training in Holland he recently spoke with Juanma Velasco of Marca and said that he can’t spend time thinking about what he has accomplished so far because it can affect the present.
“I came to Lezama 21 years ago and I still continue with the same enthusiasm and desire to learn. I couldn’t have imagined this 21 years ago. You can’t think about what you have done because you will end up stagnating. Now I am in a new challenge, which is what is important.”
Throughout his career Susaeta has seen many teammates come and go. He admitted that saying goodbye to close friends is the hardest part of the game and wanted to wish Xabi Etxeita good luck after joining Huesca on loan.
“To be spending every day with close friends and then one day they are gone is the hardest thing. We know it’s the law of football. Now it has happened with Etxeita and we wish him, along with all the others, the best luck in the world, which I’m sure he won’t need because he is a great player.”
Turning the attention to the new manager, Susaeta said that Berizzo is a coach that the players can talk to. He pushes the team every day in training and has clear ideas which has made it easier for the team to adjust to the playing style.
“Berizzo is a guy that you can talk to. He likes to train at the highest intensity possible and means that you are working every minute. Every minute is working towards something. He has been engaged with the player from the first day. Every player wants to have clear ideas and know the expectations. That has been good with Berizzo because he has very clear ideas. He wants us to recover the ball as soon as possible and requires physical effort.”
In closing, Velasco touched on the fact that Real Sociedad signed Mikel Merino while Athletic brought in Yuri Berchiche. He asked Susaeta which team won, but the Captain did not want to discuss what his rival does. He also highlighted that the team will have to be focused this year with President Elections on the way.
“Well, I don’t care what they do. Yuri is with us and he is a great addition that we will enjoy having. He will contribute a lot. Elections? There is no doubt that we are going to keep it in mind because it is something that will be all around you. We will try to not let it affect us.”
There is plenty of excitement surrounding the team right now. Eduardo Berizzo’s arrival has brought hope and expectations back to the San Mamés and it will be up to the players to turn things around after last year’s disappointing campaign. Athletic will kick off their La Liga season on 20 August with a home game against Leganés.