Aitor Elizegi “I Dream Of Sharing Two Cup Finals With Our Fans”
Athletic are in a very unique position as a club. With the men’s and women’s team having reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey and Copa de la Reina, both are just one game away from a place in their respective Cup finals. The men will travel to Granada on Thursday night while the Neskak will face Logroñés in two weeks time. President Aitor Elizegi is thrilled about the possibilities.
“For all of us who are Athletic the final of the Cup is a magic word,” Elizegi said in an interview with EFE. “I have to be cautious, but I dream of sharing two Cup finals with our fans. It would be a beautiful year.”
Gaizka Garitano’s side will be in action first, taking a 1-0 lead into Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes in hopes of advancing. “Gaizka and the squad are going to ensure a competitive and difficult game on Thursday,” said Elizegi. “Neither team is going to get the result they want easily. Gaizka and the team know how they have to work.”
The men defeated Villarreal 1-0 over the weekend to snap a ten-game winless streak in La Liga and the result will bring much-needed confidence. Elizegi says the victory came at the perfect time for the Lions.
“I think the three points were fair. We deserved more from recent matches along the way, but leaving San Mamés with a victory and the fans giving their support is a good feeling. San Mamés always sends us support. We always leave San Mamés with a little more strength and energy than before we started. With the result the team has picked up after several games of giving a lot of effort and commitment.. The win at San Mamés to end the streak leaves the team with positive feelings.”
The president acknowledged that the league campaign hasn’t been as successful as expected, but says Athletic have been a strong team this season. Either way, the Basques can earn a place in Europe next year by winning the Copa del Rey.
“I agree with Gaizka’s message on Saturday that nobody finds it easy to play against Athletic. This is how it’s been throughout the season and it happened to Villarreal. For next season I would ask for more points in the league, although I would also ask to be in two semifinals again in February.”
If the men’s team are able to eliminate Granada they will meet either Real Sociedad or Mirandés in the final. On the other hand, the women’s team could face either Barcelona or Sevilla in their Cup final if they manage to see off Logroñés. Having both teams in Cup finals would be a truly historic moment for Athletic Club, but winning the titles is the ultimate prize.