Andoni Iraola “Berizzo’s Style Of Play Lines Up With What Athletic Has Historically Been”
Athletic legend Andoni Iraola recently hung up his boots and has since moved into a coaching role. The 36-year-old is now in his first managerial role overseeing Cyprus club AEK Larnaca who recently defeated Trencín in the Europa League qualifying rounds. Iraola recently spoke to the media who asked him about new Athletic manager Eduardo Berizzo and the former player had high praise for the Argentine.
“I do not know Berizzo personally and I haven’t had him as a coach, but I know that he has very clear ideas. I’m already familiar with him from previous experiences in La Liga. His style of football and his ideas of how to play line up with what Athletic has historically been…having rhythm, playing with intensity, and passing well and controlling possession. Obviously, when there is a coaching change, everyone sees it with enthusiasm and wants to adapt as quickly as possible. I hope that it all goes well for the club.”
Iraola went on to admit that he watches Athletic play whenever he has the opportunity. The Lions are still the club of his heart and he tries to stay in tune with what is happening around the San Mamés as much as he is able to.
“Whenever I can I watch Athletic. The league has started with four points from two games which isn’t bad. There is a good squad this year, which is deep with a lot of talented players able to come off the bench. I hope it is a good season.”
Going into coaching is something that always seemed likely with Andoni Iraola. The right-back was a leader at Athletic Club on and off the field and is now showing his ability to manage with AEK Larnaca. Although his soul will always be tied to Athletic, he will now try to lead the Cypriot side to a deep run in the Europa League in his first season as a football coach.