Andoni Iraola On Potential Return To Athletic “Our Careers Don’t Have To Coincide”
Following a successful season with Mirandés, Andoni Iraola starts the next stage of his coaching career this season. The former Athletic captain has taken over as manager of Rayo Vallecano with the goal of earning promotion back to the Primera. Iraola is ready for the next challenge and happy with what he’s found at his new club.
Speaking with Maite Martín of AS, Iraola was asked if there are any similarities between Rayo and Athletic. “Yes, especially in terms of the feeling of identity,” he responded. “People who are fans of Rayo are only Rayo. It’s the same as Athletic.”
Of course, the question of coaching Athletic at some point in the future was also raised. “Our careers don’t have to coincide,” said Iraola. “Each one must make his own way. Also, I’m friends with Gaizka. I hope he continues for many years and things continue to turn out well for him.”
Whether or not Iraola ever does return Athletic, he keeps a close eye on his former club. What if he had the chance to sign a player from Athletic for the Rayo squad? “There are a lot of good options,” Iraola admitted with a chuckle. “They have a good defense, but I would stick with Williams. He’s the most different. Although I can tell you he isn’t joining us.”
Iraola has enjoyed immense success since stepping into the realm of coaching. Athletic fans believe it’s only a matter of time before Iraola returns to lead the team, but he’s not looking too far into the future at this point. For now, Andoni Iraola is content to continue growing as a manager and looks forward to the new challenge with Rayo Vallecano.