Oscar De Marcos “I’m Starting My Eleventh Year With A Lot Of Pride”
When Oscar De Marcos joined Athletic ten years ago he never could have imagined what the future would hold. The Lions signed De Marcos from Alavés for a fee of €350,000 which has proven to be one of the best deals the club has ever struck. Versatility has seen the 30-year-old become a fan favorite at San Mamés and De Marcos admitted that he’s grown quite comfortable at right-back during Tuesday’s press conference.
“I’ve played in almost every position, but no I can’t see myself as a center-back. Maybe in the midfield was where I looked the most colorful. I was always unmarked and was around the box frequently. It was a style of football that suited me very well. We all remember that match in Manchester and I’m reminded of that position. I moved to right-back with Valverde and I’ve felt very comfortable there.”
De Marcos is entering his 11th season with Athletic and that brings him a lot of joy and pride. Only Iker Muniain and Mikel San José have been at the club as long. He may now be one of the veterans in the team, but he’s still focused on giving everything for Athletic and representing the club well.
“It’s a luxury to be here for ten seasons. I’m starting my eleventh year with a lot of pride. I didn’t expect this. Little by little the years go by and I’m very happy to continue here. When I first got here I didn’t know if I was going to stay. I was with idols that I could meet in person and now I’ve been here for ten years. I’ll try to continue with the same enthusiasm and defend the shirt like I’ve done so far. I’ve played a lot of games but I’m approaching an age where I’ll be playing less. I’m happy and excited because we have a squad where everyone is happy to be here and to compete.”
In closing, De Marcos acknowledged that he learned how to lead from the veterans who were at Athletic when he first arrived a decade ago. Last year was difficult for the Lions, but the team is working hard to be better prepared for the new season and challenge for European qualification.
“Before there were veterans who assumed the role of pulling us up and now San José, Raúl, Beñat, and others are doing the same. We are improving little by little. You always hope to finish as high as possible. Last year was complicated and we have to learn from it and be careful. You have to work hard to be there. The goal is always qualifying for Europe, but from the middle of the table up, between ten and twelve teams want to be there and it’s getting more complicated. We qualified for a few consecutive years and we almost did it again last season.”
Oscar De Marcos is expected to compete with Ander Capa for the starting right-back role, but could also have minutes further up the field. Gaizka Garitano used the 30-year-old in different roles last year and was able to bring out the best in De Marcos. This season will be even more demanding as the Lions will once again be looking to secure a top-seven finish.