Iñaki Williams “I Would Like To Retire At Athletic”
Iñaki Williams has become one of the most important players at Athletic and his personality has quickly made him a fan favorite. Before the Basque Derby, the striker spoke about the differences between Athletic and Real Sociedad which wasn’t received well by everyone. In a recent interview with El Larguero, Williams explained that he never meant to be offensive and that he is proud of Athletic’s unique philosophy.
“I didn’t want to offend anyone at all with my words before the Derby. We play with people from home and we are very proud of it. Being able to win a title with the people from home is not achievable at any other club. I would never go to Real, 100%. I think we have squad to play in Europe next year. We are not misguided. Returning Athletic to Europe would be special.”
Over the summer reports claimed that Manchester United were willing to pay Williams’s then €88 million release clause but the striker didn’t leave. The Lezama product admitted that he was contacted by the English club back in December but that he’s committed to Athletic and would like to spend his entire career at San Mamés.
“At Christmas there were contacts, there were a couple of phone calls, but Athletic have always been my number 1 option. I won’t say who from United called me. I’m really happy here and I’d like to retire here. Retiring at Athletic is a very real option. I would like to hang up my boots here. I’ve already said it, I’m where I want to be. This is my home and I want to continue here for many more years. I would be proud to be able to play with my brother at Athletic. I would love to be able to share the field with him.”
Despite his success as a footballer, Williams has never forgotten where his family came from. His parents came to Bilbao as refugees and he’s proud of the life they have been able to build. The striker even shared a special moment with his mother from a recent vacation and the role she has played in his life.
“I tell you an anecdote. This summer I went on vacation with my family and we went to the desert and my mother began to cry because she remembered what she lived as a young woman. It turned my stomach because it continues to happen. My mother was pregnant with me when she jumped the Melilla fence. She wanted me to be born in Bilbao. If success ever gets to my head she always reminds me where we’ve come from and that gives me pride.”
In closing, Williams revealed that he hasn’t really kept up with his streak of match. “I honestly didn’t know that until I saw it in the media”, he admitted. “I’ve played 122 straight games in La Liga and I hope to keep adding more games as long as my legs hold me up. Yes, obviously it is one of my dreams to wear the National Team shirt. It would be very cool to play in San Mamés with the National Team, it would be nice.” If Iñaki Williams continues playing at such a high level he could be called up to Spain for EURO 2020 where games will be held at San Mamés.