Mikel Balenziaga Makes 250th Appearance For Athletic Club In Win Over Intercity
Mikel Balenziaga’s return to Athletic in 2013 was a massive success for both the player and club. The Lions had struggled for consistency at the left-back position for years and Balenziaga immediately stepped in and became a key starter for several seasons. The arrival of Yuri Berchiche may have forced the 31-year-old out of the lineup, but Tuesday’s win over Intercity was a historic moment.
Balenziaga made his 250th appearance for the club as he started the game and played the full 90 minutes. The Lezama product now sits 67th on the all-time list for the club. The Copa del Rey match presented milestones for others as well. Iñigo Lekue made his 120th appearance, surpassing Aitor Ocio, while Ibai Gómez made his 170th appearance and scored his first goal since returning to Athletic.
Yeray could also reach a special number this weekend if he plays against Real Madrid. The defender is one game away from 95 appearances with Athletic and, barring any unforeseen injuries, shouldn’t have any trouble surpassing 100 before the end of the season.