Aritz Aduriz “I Love The Derby, It’s One Of The Most Beautiful Games There Is”
Aritz Aduriz will play his final game against Real Sociedad at San Mamés on Friday. The striker, who will be retiring at the end of the season, has had many big moments in the Basque Derby and is looking forward to another big game. Aduriz spoke to the media following Tuesday’s training session and explained that it’s one of the most beautiful games in football.
“This year is going to be the end of many things, including the Derby at San Mamés. It’s always a special game and I will enjoy it. Beating Real Sociedad is special. I’m from San Sebastián and it’s a different game. I love the Derby, the atmosphere, and the healthy rivalry between the fans. It’s one of the most beautiful games there is.”
Real Sociedad have added several quality players over the summer, though Aduriz admitted he hasn’t seen much of the team since the season started. The striker brushed over the idea of there being a favorite heading into the Derby and set the expectation that Athletic will be playing for all three points.
“I haven’t seen many Real games, some from the preseason and highlights. They’ve strengthened very well and have dynamic players, especially in attack. They are a very strong team. With games like this favorites and standings are thrown out. I always enjoy winning. The goal is to win as many matches as we can and finish as high as possible.”
Despite being 38-years-old, Aduriz still expects to play at the highest level. He admitted that his body can’t always do what it used to but he’s working to balance things so that he can be as fit as possible for every match.
“I demand a lot from myself. At the one end it’s difficult to always train with maximum intensity at 38 years old. I try to balance my efforts as best as possible for each competition. The important thing is to arrive in the best possible conditions and training helps us to prepare well for each game.”
Aduriz has yet to start a game this season but says that he won’t settle for a backup role. The striker will continue working hard in training every single day to prove that he deserves a place in the starting lineup. Either way, his biggest goal is to help the team however possible.
“Of course I’m not going to settle for a reserve role. All my life I’ve tried to play as many minutes as possible and I won’t change in that regard. I will continue doing that even today. My goal is to always help the team in any way. We all work to be in the starting lineup and so do I. Football is about trying to win games and for that to happen you have to take the initiative. The one who plays the best is the one who creates the most scoring chances and there are many ways to do that. Everyone has their own system.”
When asked about Athletic’s start to the season, Aduriz pointed out that the team has picked up where they left off last season. The Lions have a consistent style of play and are working on the things that need improvement.
“Our form from last year has been maintained, we are a consistent team. We are sure to compete and we have to do many things to win, but we always have options to win and that’s our strength. We know that sometimes it’s difficult for us to create clear chances and we are working on it. It’s very difficult to beat Barcelona and getting a point in Getafe has its value. We have to positively value what we have achieved so far.”
In closing, Aduriz enjoyed the first stop of his farewell tour at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. The local fans gave the 38-year-old a standing ovation when he entered the game and Aduriz explained that he’s handling it all well. As a player he’s done it all and wants to finish his last season as strong as possible.
“I’m living the experiences as usual. I have experienced football as intensely as possible in Lezama’s day-to-day life, which means being an Athletic player. I’m enjoying it with total normality. Everything has a beginning and an end. I’m privileged to be able to decide that end. I have done everything I could and I’m calm because I will continue like this until the last minute.”
Aritz Aduriz is expected to start on the bench once again in Friday’s Basque Derby, but could play a major role in the second half. As always, the match against Real Sociedad will be intense and it will take a full team performance for Athletic to secure the three points against their rivals.