Ibai Gómez “I Think It Will Be A Good Season”
Ibai Gómez made his return to Athletic in January and immediately found success. Now he’s preparing for his first preseason with the Lions since leaving in 2016 and hopes that he will be able to play regular minutes in the upcoming campaign. The 29-year-old was recently a guest on Radio Nacional and explained that the team is full of excitement heading into a new season.
“Yes, above all, I think the key word is illusion. It’s what I’ve learned over time, that illusion is capable of taking you anywhere. It’s important and I think the team is very excited because the second half of last season was very good. Some are asking for reinforcements but I think we showed that we are capable of doing big things. The idea is to start from strong from the beginning and everything will go well. I think it will be a good season.”
Continuing the discussion about signing new players, Gómez admitted that it’s difficult with the club’s limited market. However, he believes that trusting in young players coming through Lezama is the best way to go and makes the team stronger.
“It’s very complicated. That’s why I think that in the end, for me, Athletic has a lot of merit. There is a lot of merit in how the club does things. It’s a way of showing that many times you have to trust in the academy. The commitment that those from home give you isn’t the same as outsiders. We, fortunately, have something special and I think that is what keeps us going.”
While other clubs only look at players from other clubs to get stronger, Gómez is proud that Athletic does the opposite. Trusting in those who call the club home makes Athletic special.
“In all areas of life, clubs trust more in those from outside than those from home. I’m one of those people who, I don’t know if it’s because I’m a lifelong Athletic fan, but I think it’s so important to trust those from home. I think that in the end those who end up giving the most are the ones from home.”
Gómez then took a moment to praise Luis de la Fuente who just led the Spain U21 team to a EURO championship. “Luis is spectacular”, he said. “He was my coach at Bilbao Athletic and I only have good things to say about him. I’m very happy with what he’s done. I sent him a message the other day congratulating him because he deserves it. He’s a very good-hearted person and I believe those people always deserve the best.” De La Fuente has also admitted that he would like to coach Athletic one day in the future.