Raúl García “I Am Competitive But The Team Always Comes First”
It has been an interesting start to the season for Raúl García. Since joining Athletic in 2015 he has played the role of attacking midfielder and has been one of the most important players in the team. This summer things changed when new manager Eduardo Berizzo put his faith in Iker Muniain and now García could see time in other roles. On Thursday he spoke with the media and said that he wants to be an important player, but that the team’s successful is by far the most important thing.
“I would prefer to have a bad year personally and the team be successful than the reverse because everything works much better. I do not obsess about scoring goals, but I want to play as much as possible. I am competitive and I want to be an important player, but the team always come first. I just try to adapt to what the coach wants. If he asks me to do something I will try to do it, to be in the starting lineup, and to give my best. I can’t complain, I have to adapt. During my career I have played every position in football except for goalkeeping. There are no excuses and physically I am one hundred percent.”
Athletic will not be playing this weekend after their match against Rayo Vallecano was suspended due to Vallecas being closed because of safety concerns. Like many other players, Raúl García wants to figure out a way to play the game, but realizes that the issue is out of the club’s hands at this point.
“We want to play. It is clear that doing this will break our rhythm, but the situation doesn’t depend on us, especially when it is because of a security issue. We are working to improve. Even when you win you can find mistakes and we have the mentality to always be improving. We still have to adjust to things because we have a new coach and it takes time for everything to be perfect.”
In closing, the midfielder made it clear that the team is committed to playing Berizzo’s style of pressing football and that they look to treat every opponent the same. Without competing in Europe this year the Lions are looking forward to the start of the Copa del Rey and are hoping to be able to make a deep run in the tournament.
“We are a team that likes to press our opponents into making mistakes. The coach has demonstrated that idea and we must stick to that. We play Real Madrid next, but Leganés and Huesca deserve the same respect and preparation. Even if they have different aspirations everyone is a difficult opponent and every match is complicated so we respect everyone equally. We are also excited about the Copa del Rey this season. It’s really different from the league and, without Europe, this year will be much more different.”
With Athletic not playing this weekend their next match will be against Real Madrid on 15 September at the San Mamés. Luckily for the Basques they should see the returns of Iñigo Martinez and Aritz Aduriz who have both dealt with injuries and could be difference makers against Los Blancos. Until then Berizzo will have to find a way to give balance rest and training without breaking the team’s rhythm.