Beñat “I’ve Never Closed The Door On Returning To Betis”
Beñat’s return to Athletic in 2013 proved to be one of the club’s biggest signings of the decade. The midfielder has gone on to make 243 appearances and played an instrumental role in Athletic regularly qualifying for Europe. However, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season Beñat’s time in Bilbao is almost over.
“I hadn’t considered my departure until the end of the season,” Beñat told Onda Bética when reflecting on his move to Athletic. “I don’t regret it, but the thorn of having suffered so much with Betis to reach Europe and then not playing it was a shame.” Betis finished 7th that year and qualified for the Europa League.
“The opportunity to return to Athletic arose and it was good for both parties. I came home after being away for so long and the club could use the money. We reached an agreement, but I’ve never closed the door on returning to Betis. I wouldn’t mind it, but it’s not up to me.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s match between Athletic and Real Betis, Beñat acknowledged that the season hasn’t gone according to plan for his former club. With such a talented squad many expected Betis to be fighting for Europe, but that hasn’t been the case.
“We’re playing well, but the pity is that we aren’t adding three points each game. When you play a good game you need to get the three points to build confidence. About Betis, I see them well. They’ve dominated some matches, but due to circumstances they haven’t scored goals despite playing well. We know what football is like. We all thought that they would be fighting for Europe.”
Beñat was then asked about his opinion of Betis as a club. “I can’t say anything that isn’t already known because their fans are one of the best,” said the 33-year-old. “When you go to play there the atmosphere shows. Betis is a great club and should always be at the top. If not, it’s a pity.” For now Beñat is committed to finishing the season strong with Athletic, but a return to Betis to be in the cards when his contract ends.