Ibai Gómez “San Mamés Always Gives Us Life”
Ibai Gómez has two loves, Athletic and Alavés. The winger grew up an Athletic fan but spent two and a half years with Alavés where he played the best football of his career before returning to San Mamés. Sunday’s Basque Derby will see the two rivals face off and Gómez explained on Fuera de Juego that he hopes to be on the field.
“The Derby is very special. I’m very excited to play in it. It’s going to be complicated but we will be with our fans and, obviously, we hope to win the game. San Mamés always gives us life. The fans are supporting us very well. It will be a great season going with them hand in hand. It will be a complicated game, with few goals. It’s very difficult to create chances in this match.”
While playing with Alavés, Gómez built several great relationships. Manu García, who helped to mentor the winger, is one of his closest friends and a player that Gómez says will make things very difficult for Athletic on Sunday.
“Manu García is a great player and I learned a lot from him. He gives a lot to Alaves and is very important to the club. With Wakaso, Manu, and Pina it will be complicated in the midfield. We will have to look to create chances out wide but we can do it.”
The match against Alavés will kick off a stretch of three games in six days for Athletic, but the players are only focused on taking it one at a time. “The goal is to win on Sunday”, Gómez responded when asked about the upcoming schedule. “We can’t look any further ahead or at the long term. The only thing that matters is the next game. We are a team that works very well defensively and the offense is taking steps to raise the level.”
Despite an exciting return to Athletic back in January, Gómez hasn’t featured nearly as much as expected. “The team is getting points”, the winger quickly answered when asked about his lack of minutes. “There is a lot of competition in the group but I’m working for when the Mister calls on me.” With three games in six days Gómez will certainly have chances and hopes that he will get to play against his former club.