Iñaki Williams “I Want To Beat Them”
Iñaki Williams has been very vocal about his love for Athletic over the years. Despite several top clubs such as Liverpool being willing to pay the striker’s release clause, Williams has made it clear that he never intends to leave his boyhood club. Although he grew up in Navarra, Williams fell in love with Athletic at a young age.
“When you grow up in Pamplona you like Osasuna, but I’ve always been Athletic,” Williams explained in an interview with Diario de Navarra. “I was the weird one in my group of friends but it’s what my godfather instilled in me since I was little. He gave me all the apparel. I’ve been to El Sadar cheering Osasuna, but I’ve always been Athletic.”
Interestingly, Williams would go on to reveal that he trained multiple times with Osasuna but was never offered the chance to join the academy. That changed once he caught the eye of Athletic but there was never any question over which club he would join.
“I was the fastest in my class. I trained many times at El Tajonar but they didn’t want me until Ibaigane did and it was too late. They knew me very well at Osasuna, but they never tried to sign me until I was going to Athletic. That’s when they loved me but Athletic was my preference.”
Leaving home is never easy for a young player and it was even more difficult for Williams who grew up in a family where his mother had multiple jobs and his father worked in London just to provide. “We had times when the power was cut off and you couldn’t cook,” he shared. “I was about twelve years old and my brother was three. It was a bad time. I was sorry to leave my home and my friends, but I had a feeling. It was the best thing for me and look where I am.”
Williams will return to Pamplona on Sunday as Athletic visit El Sadar where Osasuna have gone unbeaten in 31 consecutive games. “We will try to break the record,” said the striker.” They are a very strong team with good dynamics and I really want to win there. It’s a field where I grew up watching football. I like it. It brings me good memories and I want to beat them. I wish them the best for the rest of the season, but I want to win on Sunday.”
Several other players in the Athletic squad have a connection with Osasuna. Raúl García grew up at the club’s academy while others such as Mikel San José and Iker Muniain were born in Pamplona.
“He’s a crack in every way,” Williams answered when asked about Raúl García’s impact on the team. “He’s a reference for young players, he and Aduriz. On the field it may seem like he’s aggressive, but you always want him in your team. You have to look at everything good that he brings, which is so much. He could be playing anywhere.”
In closing, Williams was once again asked about the offers that he’s received from other clubs. “When great teams from Europe are interested in me it means I’m doing something well, but I can’t imagine a life outside of Athletic,” he responded. “Being here is what I’ve always wanted. I’m very happy here, I feel proud to be Athletic.” Sunday will be a homecoming of sorts for Iñaki Williams who fully intends to spoil Osasuna’s impressive run at El Sadar.