Gaizka Garitano Attends Event Held By The Gipuzkoa Coaches Committee Alongside Other Basque Coaches

Gaizka Garitano

Gaizka Garitano answering questions with the other Basque coaches (EFE)

Just a few weeks ago Gaizka Garitano made headlines when he and José Luis Mendilibar, Asier Garitano, and Jagoba Arrasate were seen having dinner together. The coaches later explained that it was an event organized by Eibar’s Peña de Manix. Nonetheless, seeing rival coaches in this type of setting was spectacular and showed the unique relationship and respect within Basque football.

The four Basque coaches were seen together once again on Tuesday, this time accompanied by Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil. Gaizka Garitano and the others had come together for an event organized by the Gipuzkoa Coaches Committee and held at the Donosti Aquarium where the managers had the opportunity to speak about their careers.

“I was always interested in the game,” said Gaizka Garitano. “I always looked at the tactical and training side of things.” The current Athletic manager noted that he really saw a future for himself when he was coaching Eibar B and knew he could go further. “I went with young kids to a difficult field, like the one at Portugalete, and that’s where I realized that I had to and could improve a lot as a coach.”

Garitano would go on to manage Eibar, Real Valladolid, and Deportivo La Coruña before finding his home back at Athletic. “I’m still learning, especially when it comes to how to treat players,” he admitted. “You always have the doubt of if you’re being too hard or not.”

José Luis Mendilibar, who previously coached Athletic and at Lezama, will lead Eibar against his former club in Saturday’s Basque Derby at San Mamés. “I have been in this for more than 20 years and I’ve been fired four times,” said Mendilibar with a laugh. “Not bad. We always have pressure and until you are fired from a team you aren’t a coach. There are some around here who still are not coaches.”

Fellow Basque coaches Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui were unable to attend the event, but the camaraderie and respect among Basque clubs, players, and coaches is unlike anything else in football.

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