Asier Villalibre “I Was Very Excited To Play, It Was Almost Like Debuting Again”
An injury to Aritz Aduriz opened the door for Asier Villalibre to make his first appearance of the season on Sunday. The young striker replaced Iñaki Williams in the 86th minute and, although he didn’t have much time to make an impact, he was very happy to see the field again.
“I was very excited to play, it was almost like debuting again,” Villalibre told Athletic TV after the match. “I really wanted to get on the field again and be able to play. I’m very happy. I was a little nervous, but not so much.”
Villalibre had yet to even make the bench before Sunday’s match and admitted that it hasn’t been easy to go so long without playing. That being said, the 22-year-old has had the opportunity to improve in training and is determined to fight for his place.
“You always miss playing. There is a lot of competition in the team and that helps you improve. I’m training well in my opinion and I’m working every day to get better little by little. I’m glad with my first few minutes. Now I have to keep working and making it difficult for the coach to decide.”
Many fans were upset that Athletic weren’t able to find a loan move for Villalibre over the summer, but the Lezama product shed new light on the situation. “It was the decision that was made. I don’t know if it was right or not, but we were patient. Different things happened and in the end I decided to stay. Leaving in January? I’m not thinking about that right now.”
Looking at Sunday’s match as a whole, Villalibre was very excited with the result. “Such a victory will strengthen us a lot,” he said. “I’m happy because we were able to overcome in the final minutes.” Athletic will now have the international break to prepare for the upcoming trip to El Sadar and Asier Villalibre will be hoping to show the manager that he deserves more chances moving forward.