Julen Guerrero “This Is A Unique Opportunity For The City Of Bilbao”
One year from today, EURO 2020 will begin. The first game will be held in Rome but three days later San Mamés will open its doors. Bilbao will feature as one of 12 host cities with the Cathedral scheduled to host 3 group stage matches and 1 game in the Round of 16. If Spain qualifies for the tournament, they will play two group stage games at San Mamés in their quest for a third European title.
“Bilbao will shine in its own light as the capital of European football in this EURO2020”, said Spanish Federation General Secretary Andreu Camps during Wednesday’s presentation. During the ceremony, Athletic Club legend Julen Guerrero was formally presented alongside Carlos Marchena as the two ambassadors for Spain in the upcoming European Championship.
“We can reinforce the idea that Bilbao breathes football in all four games that will be played here”, said Guerrero. “This is a unique opportunity for Bilbao to show its image and economic level. The Rugby finals left an impact of €40 million over one weekend. Let’s see what four European matches can bring. This is a city that has experienced spectacular development and is full of growth. It’s beautiful and modern. Growing with the EUROs is important for Bilbao. It’s a historical event.”
Roughly 50 people protested the presentation outside the stadium which was also addressed by Guerrero. “I’ve considered myself an athlete since I was born”, he began. “I have been with Athletic and in all the selections that have called me – Bizkaia, Euskadi, and Spain. I hope that the value of sport will prevail. We must have respect and receive everyone with open arms.”
In addition to Guerrero, fellow Athletic legends Txetxu Rojo and Iraia Iturregi were presented as the representatives for Bizkaia for EURO 2020. “This is very positive and it will be a sporting and image-making success for the city”, stated Rojo. Iturregi echoed the same. “It’s something exceptional to play in one of the best stadiums in the world, for everyone. We have everything needed to have a great European championship.”
On the part of the city, delegate councilor for Economic Development, Trade, and Employment Xabier Otxandiano also attended the presentation as did Athletic President Aitor Elizegi, and club representatives Andoni Goikoetxea and Manolo Delgado. Bilbao will act as the headquarters for Spain during EURO 2020 where the city will have the opportunity to shine on an international level.