Andoni Iraola “It Seems Like A Good Time To Play Madrid At The Santiago Bernabéu”
Athletic haven’t won at the Santiago Bernabéu since February of 2005, but the match is remembered well. Asier Del Horno and a young Andoni Iraola scored the goals for the Lions who took an impressive 2-0 victory back home to Bilbao. Nearly 15 years have passed since that great night and many hope that Athletic will finally take all three points again this Sunday.
“I have a nice memory of that match”, Iraola told Athletic TV. “On a field like that the memories stay with you. The first half wasn’t very bright for either team and at the break we talked about having a very good opportunity because, without doing much, we were comfortable on the field. I remember that we enjoyed a lot in the second half. It’s a match that you remember because at the moment you really enjoy it a lot.”
One of the biggest moments of that match came when Pablo Orbaize scored a goal from just inside the midfield. Although the ball clearly crossed the line the goal wasn’t given. “In the first half Pablo Orbaiz scored a great goal from the midfield, but there was no VAR”, Iraola explained. “If it existed then that goal would have been given. Fortunately, we managed to win and everyone was able to celebrate the goals that went in.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game Iraola believes that it’s a good time for the Lions to play Real Madrid. Los Blancos have nothing to play for any more this season and several players have admitted that it’s difficult to get motivated for matches.
“It seems like a good time to play Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. It’s true that from the outside they seem to be already thinking about next season. They always want to win, but at the moment they don’t need points. They may not be playing for anything important, but the players on the field are going to be good and it’s not going to be easy to beat them.”
Athletic currently occupy 7th in the La Liga table and will need a positive result against Real Madrid to keep pace in the race for Europe. There are only six games left on the schedule and every single point is crucial now. The Zurigorri will be without a few important players, but this team has proven that they will fight no matter who is in the lineup.