Ibai Gómez “We Have To Take Care Of Ourselves So That We Can Take Out La Gabarra When We Come Back”
Ibai Gómez has always been a very positive person. Even in the face of adversity the winger is always smiling and that’s still the case despite Spain’s lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking with Telebilbao from home, Gómez said that he and his teammates are more fortunate than others and that health must be everyone’s top priority right now.
“The situation is critical but for us, we are fortunate. At the moment we are maintaining good health and I have no complaints, neither for myself nor my family. We can only help those affected and those who care for them. The main thing in this life is health and without it nothing else matters. We are all responsible because this is in our hands. I’m lucky because I have space to train and for the children to run around. I can’t complain because I see what others have. ”
Having faced a health scare of his own a few years ago, Gómez takes his health and nutrition very seriously. His current way of life isn’t necessarily about being a better footballer, but a more healthy person.
“I try to raise awareness and make things more enjoyable. I want to make it easier for others and not to put others in harm. Health is vital and I attach great importance to it. The lifestyle that I lead is for health and not a matter of performance. Three years ago they detected a melanoma on my back and after that the thing that matters most to me is my health.”
Those who are on the frontlines fighting the pandemic are heroes but Gómez says that others can do their part as well. “The only thing we can do to help is stay home,” he said. “That’s our best way to help. We hope that things will improve little by little and a great majority of people are going to realize what is important in life.”
Of course, Gómez misses playing football and training with his teammates every day. Although the stoppage will allow everyone to rest and recover, the players are eager to get back on the field as soon as possible.
“I miss the ball, just like everyone else, because as you know in addition to being my professional it’s also my passion. I enjoy it and we all miss it a lot. This break will be good for us to return with strength and I’m convinced that the team will do well when we return and that we are going to have a very good end to the season. We all have to take care of ourselves so that we can take out La Gabarra when we come back. Hopefully we can come back as soon as possible, it would be great news for everyone.”
Despite being confined to their homes, Gómez explained that the players are staying in regular contact with one another. Once this is all over the team will be ready to come back and fight for the Copa del Rey title.
“We talk daily and everyone is fine. We all have a training routine every day and we try to send information to encourage each other. With the situation that we’re in no one really knows. Honestly, I don’t know anything. The only thing I know is that I’m convinced we will be prepared when we come back to give joy to Bilbao, Bizkaia, and all Athleticzales.”
As a lifelong Athletic fan, Gómez is thankful for the support that he’s always had from fans. It’s been his dream to play for the Zurigorri and he’s just as excited as when was a child.
“I feel very loved. I feel the affection of the fans and that they appreciate what I’m trying to do. It’s very easy for me at Athletic because I’ve always had the same thing in my mind. Years ago I climbed the stands at San Mamés to watch games and now I’m on the grass. The feeling is the same and being involved to the fullest is easy.”
Before the interview ended Gómez gave his affection to the fans. “I want to send encouragement and strength to every Athleticzale and say thank you with a big hug,” he said. “We will be back as soon as possible. We will be at our best and we will take out La Gabarra for sure.” Football will eventually return, but until then the health of everyone is the only priority.