Aritz Aduriz “Penalties Are A Special Moment In Football And You Have To Try To Surprise The Goalkeeper”
Aritz Aduriz may have scored a goal to give Athletic a 1-0 lead over Real Valladolid before halftime, but the striker was not happy that the Lions surrendered a stoppage time equalizer. He told reporters after the game that the team must kill off games instead of letting opponents stay close until the final minutes.
“When the game is still open this can happen. We have to finish matches beforehand and today we weren’t able to. It’s clear that this was a game that we needed to close earlier. It was quite a game and I think we were the better side, although there weren’t many chances. We couldn’t hold the win and we needed to take more advantage of the gaps that Valladolid were leaving in the second half when they were trying to attack us.”
The 37-year-old went on to say that he believes the team is improving and that Athletic will distance themselves from the relegation zone. His penalty on Saturday stunned the football world, but Aduriz admitted that it was something he has practiced and prepared to do.
“This is the line that we have to continue on because we are improving. We are going to gradually emerge from this situation. My penalty? Penalties are a special moment in football and you have to try to surprise the goalkeeper. I had prepared and studied so that I could do that.”
The draw against Valladolid has pulled Athletic clear of the relegation zone, just one point above Villarreal for 17th place. Now the players will enjoy some time to regroup during the Holidays before traveling to Balaídos on 7 January to take on Celta Vigo. Winning is the only thing that matters at this point and three more points could see the Zurigorri start climbing even higher up the La Liga table.