Iñigo Córdoba “I Hope To Come Back In The Same Form”
The past few months have been a rollercoaster for Iñigo Córdoba. After starting almost every game at the beginning of the season, the winger was eventually relegated to the bench where he spent two months before returning to the lineup. Once back on the field, Córdoba played at a very high level and was just starting to hit his stride before the covid-19 pandemic brought football to a halt.
“I was having a good time before the break,” Córdoba admitted in a virtual press conference on Tuesday while sporting a new shaved head. “I was working hard, and I still am, but this virus has paralyzed the world. The priority right now is to beat the virus and return to normal as soon as possible. Football is in the background. With time we will be able to enjoy it again.”
Before making his return, Córdoba was given a vote of confidence from manager Gaizka Garitano who said that he hadn’t been fair to the winger. That support helped Córdoba get back to his best football.
“I returned after two months of not playing and having the Mister’s support gave me a lot of strength and more confidence in myself. Every time I go out on the field it’s an opportunity and not everything is always perfect. In attack I have to take more risks like others. I enjoy football a lot. I love to play and to compete.”
Córdoba has a firm grasp on what he is expected to do on the field. Although he’s spent his entire career on the left, he admits he’s confident on either side. “I like being a pure left winger, although I’m comfortable on the right side if the coach asks me to play there,” he shared. “I don’t close the door on anything. I’ve done it before and in training so I’m always willing.”
Modern football has seen the wing position evolve more than any other. Now wide players are more responsible for scoring goals and generally have less defensive duties, although Córdoba enjoys being a more traditional winger.
“Today there are less and less pure wingers. I have a long way to go and must improve in the scoring aspect. I’ve worked hard on being better in front of goal and in the last game against Valladolid you could see it. That week of competition was really good and I hope to come back in the same form.”
Córdoba may be quarantined at home but he is following an individualized training regimen on a daily basis just like the rest of the squad. “We are surrounded by great professionals who send us personalized plans to help us stay in the best shape possible. The team is responding and working very hard at home. In my free time I mess around with recipes or watching TV and movies.”
Everyone is hoping that football will return sooner rather than later. Once that happens, Athletic can start preparing for the Copa del Rey final with the hope that fans will be able to attend the historic Basque derby.
“Athletic and the Federation have always defended the idea of playing the final with the fans. It’s important because it’s a party. We have to enjoy it on the field and also in the stands.”
When asked about his favorite memory as an Athletic player Córdoba was quick to mention his debut. Looking ahead, he admitted that he doesn’t know what the future holds but that he hopes to one day share the field with his brother Asier at San Mamés.
“I will always remember by debut against Getafe. It was the same day as Unai Núñez. We have gone up the levels together since we were 13 years old. I don’t know what will happen after football. I’m still young and I have time to assess what to do. I’m an active person and would like to do something related to sports. One of my goals is to play with my younger brother in the first team. It’s the dream of the whole family and would be very exciting for us.”
In conclusion, Córdoba explained that he’s tried to learn as much as possible from other Athletic players and hold two in high regard. “Joseba Etxeberria is my reference because I look more to wingers and especially those from Athletic,” he said. “I feel identified with the values of Markel Susaeta who was an incredible teammate and great player. I learned a lot from him as a person.” Iñigo Córdoba hopes to have a career as successful as the two Athletic legends.
📺 Clica aquí https://t.co/wxq28BKxrx para ver la rueda de prensa completa de Iñigo Córdoba 🔝
🗣 “La prioridad absoluta es vencer al virus y volver a la normalidad lo antes posible”
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) April 7, 2020