Iker Muniain “I Didn’t Want A Release Clause Because I Don’t Want To Be For Sale”
Iker Muniain shocked the football world on Wednesday when he signed a contract extension with Athletic Club that does not contain a release clause. For those who know the player well it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. His devotion to Athletic has always been unquestioned and on Thursday he gave a press conference where he explained why he chose to not have a release clause.
“I am very happy and very grateful for all the tokens of affection, which is part of what led me to make this decision. I didn’t want a release clause because I do not want to have a price or be for sale. I want to go hand in hand with Athletic to the end and I like that it has caused good sensations. I have a very clear idea of what I want in my life. I’m very happy here. I have great love for this club that has given me so much and to which I am very grateful. For me, Athletic is pride and passion.
Technically a club can still buy Iker Muniain, but they would have to go through a judge in Spain and the process is really difficult. Even though it is a possibility, Muniain says that he isn’t even considering that. After hearing former President Josu Urrutia speak about his desire for Athletic players to not have release clauses the 25-year-old made the decision to follow that path.
“I’m not contemplating a different future and I don’t want to be in the market. There’s no reason to even talk about any of those things like laws and judges. My word is worth more than any contract I could sign. I want to be here for the rest of my career helping the club achieve nice things. At one point Josu Urrutia gave a press conference and discussed this topic of players not having having release clause. I thought that I’d want to do that. We had a meeting and I said to my representatives that’s how I wanted things and we came to an agreement. The negotiations were quick and clean.”
Muniain recognizes that every player will have to make their own decisions. That being said, he owes everything to Athletic Club and is passionate about ending his career with the Zurigorri. He hopes this will be a reference point for younger players who are coming through Lezama.
“Everyone is free to make the decision he wants. As a player, but also as a fan, you are saddened and it hurts for a player to leave. Any team can pay a clause. I’m happy here and this is a great joy. I owe almost everything I have to Athletic. Coming here, the training, my family that I’ve formed here. It is a passion to be here and to receive all those tokens of affection that I receive every day. There is also an intention that you will see that there is a different way of looking at things. I hope the kids see this as a benchmark, but every player knows how he wants things and his commitment is no less.”
When asked about current manager Eduardo Berizzo the midfielder was quick to come to his defense. He stated that the team has a great relationship with all of the coaches and are only focused on getting a win on Sunday against Getafe at the San Mamés.
“We have a good relationship with the Mister. We’re close with the entire coaching staff. I’ve had some gesture with him to show my happiness, but I think we’re all 200% with him and his coaches. On Sunday we’re going to the death for the three points. Victories always help you push up and I hope it starts Sunday. We only need to win. We have done things very well but the results haven’t shown that. Because we’ve done things well we should have confidence.”
Muniain’s new contract was greatly inspired by the dreams of Josu Urrutia. Even though he has made the decision to not run for a third consecutive term, Muniain believes that everyone should be thankful for the years under the President. “Josu Urrutia has made a decision to not run again”, he said. “We understand and accept it and we are very grateful for all these years in which he has always been with us and defended us”.
The decision to not include a release clause in his new contract is unprecedented. Iker Muniain has set a new standard for the players at Athletic Club and proved his loyalty to the club with action and not mere words. At 25 years old he is already a legend, featuring in 359 matches and becoming a Captain. History will look back on this renewal as one of the most special moments for the club and Muniain is proud to have achieved his dream of spending his entire career at Athletic.