Aitor Larrazabal “Gaizka Has To Work Twice As Hard”
Aitor Larrazabal is an Athletic legend and widely considered the best left-back to ever play for the Lions. This summer his son, Gaizka Larrazabal, will begin his career with the first team after being officially promoted following two successful seasons with Bilbao Athletic. Speaking to Radio Popular, Aitor described his son as a traditional winger and someone who has the qualities to earn a place in the squad.
“I think he’s fast, powerful, and very offensive. He’s a winger, the kind who perhaps today doesn’t show off too much. Players increasingly like to play inside. Let’s see if Garitano knows well how to get the best out of him. Iñigo can be at a higher level with his dribbling and Gaizka perhaps has more speed and power. He’s also of that 97 generation like Villalibre. Hopefully they can give us many joys in the future.”
It wasn’t an easy season for Gaizka Larrazabal who still managed to score 9 goals and provide 7 assists while not being a regular starter. His father admitted that the situation created doubts, but the 21-year-old knows he must work harder than ever to earn his place in the first team.
“I know that Gaizka has had a bad time. He’s had a whole month of everything. I saw that there was need in the first team and that at Bilbao Athletic there were moments when he wasn’t a starter. These are things that make you doubt, but Athletic decided that he would continue. What he has to do is work hard, which he has done so far. He has to work twice as hard and look for that gap in the squad.”
Many left-backs have represented Athletic since Larrazabal left the club and the former star likes what he’s seen from current starter Yuri Berchiche. “Yuri is an impressive player, a fullback with some brutal attacking abilities that reminds me a bit of Del Horno. In the first half of the season he didn’t give his best level, but with confidence he improved and demonstrated that he can do good things.”
In closing, Aitor Larrazabal didn’t hide the fact that he would like to coach in La Liga one day. On the other hand, one of his dreams is to manage Athletic. Maybe that day will come at some point, but for now the current Barakaldo coach is looking forward to a successful season under Gaizka Garitano.
“I’m not going to fool anyone by saying that I don’t want to coach in the Primera. I hope it can happen. For now I am enjoying this stage. Coaching Athletic is another dream. As a former player and everything I am, I would love to train my club. Right now it’s Garitano’s team and I hope we enjoy a good season.”