Iñigo Vicente “My Dream Is To Succeed At Athletic”
Iñigo Vicente has found his footing at Mirandés. It may have taken the Lezama product several weeks to adapt to life in the Segunda, but Vicente has been in magnificent form over the past few. In his last two starts the starlet has scored a pair of goals and provided an assist while arguably being the best player in the team.
“It was difficult for me to adapt at the beginning, to catch the rhythm of the matches, but I’m very comfortable at Mirandés,” Vicente said on Wednesday night during an interview with Fuera de Juego. “It’s a more physical league; a harder league. The teams are much more prepared and I’m gradually adapting to it. It’s been difficult for me to adapt to every level as I have progressed but little by little I am getting the dynamics of the team.”
Joining Mirandés has already been great for Vicente’s development and the 22-year-old says that he’s enjoying the time away on loan. Leaving Lezama has been eye-opening for the starlet who had never given a press conference before and is learning more about life as a professional footballer.
“I’m very happy for my experience with Mirandés. Andoni is leading the team very well. Virtually every player has come from the Segunda B and he has created a strong group. We are seeing the team adapting well to the league. I never gave a press conference at Lezama and I had one here when I arrived. I’m more and more at ease talking to people and journalists. It’s important to give your image.”
Vicente is well aware of the significance of training under Athletic legends Joseba Etxeberria and now Andoni Iraola. While the forward still has plenty of room to improve defensively, he says that Iraola’s biggest advice has been to simply play his game.
“Etxeberria has trained me and now Iraola, two legends. It’s helped a lot. Iraola is an example to follow. I’ve seen him in thousands of games and it’s a pleasure to have him as a coach. I have to be more intense and contribute more defensively. I have seen the role that I can have so I have to do those things in order to play. Iraola tells me to play the way I know, to focus on defensive tasks, but to do what I know how to do.”
The decision to go leave on loan wasn’t easy, but Vicente knows it’s what he needed. It was important for him to play regular minutes and he hopes to prove that he deserves a place at Athletic next season.
“Lezama was great for me but it was necessary to leave. I talked with Garitano who told me that he thought and I agreed. I needed to have minutes and another season with Bilbao Athletic wasn’t necessary. I had been at Lezama for many years and, in the end, leaving will be very good for me to understand what is outside. I’m working very well here and I’m eager to try to do well this year to see if I can stay at Athletic next season.”
Vicente has very clear objectives for his career. “Lezama is where I grew up since I was a child,” he explained. “I’ve been playing there my whole life and it’s like my second home, but this year it was time to go outside and experience things. My dream is to succeed at Athletic. It always has been and always will be.”
In closing, Vicente was asked about his similarities with Iker Muniain and admitted that the two play a relatable style of football. “Muniain and I have similar characteristics, but he is who he is and I am who I am. Athletic has plenty of players to replace him and whoever does will do well.” The Lions will be without Muniain until January but Iñigo Vicente believes that the team will still be able to challenge for a top finish. “Athletic is doing well. Let’s see if they can qualify for Europe.”