Raúl García “There Are Circumstances That We Won’t Be Able To Control”
As football gears up for a possible return in Spain every player, coach, and fan have a different opinion and perspective on the situation. Some are ready for La Liga to resume as soon as possible while others believe it’s too risky and unnecessary to play football so soon after quarantine measures were lifted. Athletic midfielder Raúl García finds himself somewhere in the middle.
“Just as we don’t know when it will restart, we also don’t know what will happen,” García told Radio Marca. “We don’t know if it will start, or if it’s going to be finished or not. The moment we start competing there is much more risk of the virus spreading, but hopefully the season can be finished.”
If games do resume they will have to be played behind closed doors. García has played without fans in the past with Atlético Madrid and doesn’t look forward to doing so again. To him, some of the measures that will be in place just aren’t possible.
“There’s no feeling of a match, there’s no sense of rhythm. It seems like you’re watching a training session. The distance thing doesn’t make much sense. I’m not going to talk to an opponent in a corner so he doesn’t infect me. If you’re going to compete there will be contact. I’m the first to think that all the measures must be followed, but I don’t see the point of not being able to give each other a hug if we score a goal when we train all week together.”
There’s also been talk of teams being forced to stay in a hotel together throughout the time it will take to finish the remaining eleven games. “I prefer to be at home, but if they tell me that I have to go to a hotel then I will have to go,” García says begrudgingly. “Of course, then we will have trips to play games and there are circumstances that we won’t be able to control.”
In the end, playing games at San Mamés without fans just won’t be the same. “For us, for what San Mamés means, we always have that help from the fans and not having it will be a very large handicap,” said García. “We will have to make a concentrated effort. I have already played like that, behind closed doors, and it’s complicated.”
Ever since the club was given an ultimatum for the Copa del Rey final several players have spoken out against stipulation. However, García makes it clear that a final without fans wouldn’t have been a final at all.
“You shouldn’t have to choose between one thing or another, but it was the only way to play the final and it means a lot for the entire club and the Cup. For me, and I say this with my heart, if we played it without fans it would be the same as if I had just flipped a coins and called heads or tails.”
Raúl García continues to play a major role in the Athletic team, both on and off the field. The 33-year-old’s veteran experience has been a huge boost for the club since arriving in 2015 and could once again be extremely important in this unprecedented time as the Lions will look to climb the table in the remaining matches and secure a top seven finish.