Unai Bilbao Praises Former Teammate Peru Nolaskoain
Unai Bilbao joined Lezama back in 2011 and was promoted to Bilbao Athletic in 2014. The center-back would go on to make nearly 100 appearances for the reserves, but was never able to reach the first team. Over the summer he left Athletic to sign with Atlético San Luis of Mexico’s second division and recently spoke with Javier Beltrán of El Correo about how the experience has gone so far.
“The adaption has gone well. I’m very happy. From the first minute my teammates have been very supportive and have helped the new players from outside, like when I didn’t have a car or a home. Everyone has treated us well and in terms of adapting to life here, to their style, to the food, everything has been perfect.”
When asked about how he has improved as a player, Bilbao found it hard to give an answer. He’s been so focused on learning how to play in a different league and believes that he has finally acclimated well to the kind of football that is played in Mexico.
“I really can’t tell you how I’ve improved because it’s a different kind of football here. It’s a very physical game that demands things that, up until now, have never been demanded of me. There is less order and organization than in Spain. I don’t know in which ways I’ve improved, but I have acclimated to playing here.”
The 24-year-old also took the time to praise his former teammate, Peru Nolaskoain, who recently made the transition to center-back and has earned a place in the first team. Bilbao said that he always saw incredible quality in Nolaskoain and that the two are still very close and speak often.
“What Peru is doing is an incredible dream. I usually talk to him from time to time and truth is that I am surprised because he’s never played center-back before, but not because he didn’t have the capacity to do it. He has qualities to spare. In fact, every time he’s played he’s done well and he’s scoring goals. He is very happy, of course.”
Unai Bilbao has quickly become an important player for Atlético San Luis who have had a terrific season. They are currently preparing for the promotional finals against Diego Maradona’s Dorados de Sinaloa. The Lezama product remains outspoken about his love for Athletic and perhaps one day he could make his return and play at the San Mamés.