Ander Capa “We Haven’t Given Up On The Cup, But Scoring Three Goals At The Pizjuán Is Difficult”
Since Gaizka Garitano was named the manager of Athletic Club back in early December Ander Capa has been able to earn the starting right-back role in the team. The 26-year-old is playing what is arguably the best football of his career and recently sat down for an interview with Javier Beltrán of AS where he discussed the change at coach and what it means for the team.
“In the press, yes, there was supposed interest from Athletic, but it never became serious until the last year. I was comfortable and playing for Eibar. Yes, indeed maybe I’m playing my best football of my career. When Berizzo was the coach he didn’t give me many opportunities. I played some minutes, but without continuity and the chance to prove myself. With Gaizka I’m playing everything. It has also changed De Marcos’s position to more offensive.”
Athletic recently signed Ibai Gómez who will be another player competing for minutes at right-wing which Capa believes is good for the team. He will add new quality to the squad and Capa is also open to the club signing Fernando Llorente as well.
“I don’t know if Ibai will alter things. He can play on both wings, although Córdoba is great on the left. Ibai can give us a lot, defensive work, pause with the ball, great touches, and his crosses are incredible. Would Fernando Llorente be a good signing? Yes, obviously he would be good for the team. Having another talented striker who is a target for headers would be great for Athletic.”
Capa isn’t the only Athletic player to have served under Gaizka Garitano while at Eibar. Dani García and Yuri Berchiche also shared the locker room and the three have a good relationship. When asked about he and Unai Nuñez both being from Portugalete Capa didn’t believe it was a big deal, but the residents certainly love their hometown players.
“I’ve played with Dani for seven years and I have a good relationship with him and he even comes to Portugalete with me and my friends. I don’t know if Portugalete is more fashionable with myself and Unai Nuñez being from there. When I played for Eibar fans saw me on the streets and greeted me. Now that I’m at Athletic they do it much more, especially the kids. Even children who pass through the market shout my name.”
Playing regular minutes have help Capa find his comfort level at Athletic and he’s trying to improve as much as he can every day. He says the team is playing much better under Garitano and will try to turn things around in the Copa del Rey second leg, while also recognizing that scoring three goals at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán will not be easy.
“Every year I try to improve myself and keep growing as a footballer to give my best. At first I had that nervousness and tingling in the San Mamés, but now I’m very comfortable there and on the field. We are in a good dynamic now which is what we wanted. We understand perfectly what Gaizka asks of us and every day we are getting better. Against Villarreal we have to go for the three points. We haven’t given up on the Cup, but scoring three goals at the Pizjuán is difficult.”
Some fans have begun to compare Capa’s style of play to that of club legend Santi Urkiaga who also played for Spain at the world Cup. “No, I haven’t heard that”, Capa said when asked about it. “I think it’s very funny when I’m compared with Cafu, that I have heard”, he responded. Comparisons aside, Capa is playing fabulous football under Garitano and has been a major component of the team’s success over the past month.