Berchiche “Not Qualifying For Europe Would Be A Disappointment”
Yuri Berchiche is excited to start the season with Athletic Club who will be looking to qualify for European competition after missing out last year. The left-back appeared before the media on Wednesday and made it very clear that not finishing in the top seven will be a disappointment, but also highlighted the importance of recognizing the great things that the club has accomplished over the last decade.
“We are looking forward to a great year. The goal will be to qualify for Europe and not achieving that would be a disappointment. We have to understand the ambition of this club. Athletic has a lot of merit in Europe and in the last 10 years the club has qualified 8 or 9 times. That is very, very difficult because there is a lot of competition and also because of Athletic’s philosophy. You have to give that a lot of value.”
Speaking personally, Berchiche said that he is very happy at Athletic and doing well in Eduardo Berizzo’s system. He already had friends at the club and has made even more. Being happy makes him want to work even harder and help the team reach their goals this season.
“I am doing well and I am happy here. I have phenomenal teammates who give everything for the shield and are good friends off the field. The atmosphere here is magnificent. Being so happy makes you more eager to train and try to give the club your best. The day I arrived in Paris I was trembling because I saw everyone as stars, but on a human level they helped you as much as they could. I joined the Argentines because we spoke the same language. Here it’s easier to make friends.”
In closing, a reporter began to ask Berchiche about Mikel Oyarzabal’s decision to reject an offer from Athletic. Berchiche quickly cut him off and put the focus back on the Lions. The 28-year-old is ready to play his first game at the San Mamés and wants to start the season off with a victory over Leganés.
“I know where you’re going, but I’m not going to get into this. Mikel is a Real player. He wanted to stay with Real and on Monday the league stars and we will play with those of us that are here and want to be here. On Monday I will play at home for the first time and again in the best league in the world. Leganés will be a difficult opponent and it will be important to start the season with a victory.”
Athletic will play their first two league matches at the San Mamés and will be hoping to pick up six points before facing a grueling schedule to follow. Iñigo Martinez and Iago Herrerín have already been ruled out of Monday’s match with injuries, but there is hope that Martinez could return soon. He was able to participate in a few drills during Wednesday’s training session, but still isn’t completely recovered.