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Old October 24th, 2007, 22:27   #1
bilbao2brooklyn
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How I ended up as an Athletic, Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Alaves or Eibar Fan

I am always interested to hear about how people became fans of the various Basque Clubs.

Please sticky this thread so people can sound off on there reasosns for loving Basque Futbol.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:49   #2
inigo
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I'll go first... I was born in Bilbao and lived 16 years three blocks away from San Mames....... So I didn't really become a fan, I was born one!
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Old October 25th, 2007, 15:04   #3
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Me.


I was not a soccer fan when I was kid, like most Americans I loved Baseball, American Football and especially Basketball. Even when I was a kid and traveled to Bilbao, I did not even recognize what Athletic was. As I got older and understood my Basque Roots more, I loved all things Basque. And after WC'98, I started to really understand the passion for soccer that the world has. So I read up on Athletic, I started to read about the games on the 'net, followed how the team was doing week in and week out, I becaome familiar with the Players names, and I really started to love the team. However, the most important thing for me was the defintive "Basqueness" of the club really makes me love it. As a Basque that lives outside Euskadi, I cherish any connections I have to Euskadi, and Athletic is connection amongst Basques throughout the world.

Look at AussieBasque, he, like myself, is connected to a club the same way a local Bilbaino is. He is in Australia, I am in New York, there are mnay Basques all over North and South America that feel the connection to Athletic just like a local. We did not chose Athletic, it is, in many ways, our destiny.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 16:37   #4
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i read about thier policy and started to follow them since then . plus my mate was a betis fan so we got a good rivalry goin
"Out of Darkness Cometh Light"
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Old October 25th, 2007, 17:01   #5
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Your mate will need a lot of support this weekend then, he will cry a lot.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 17:54   #6
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Hi everyone,
for me always Premier league was the best league (and is the best league) so,my first team is always a team from the league.
In Spain,at first i was a barca fan but after barca bought their current number 10(i hate even to say his name) i gave up supporting barca among spanish teams,in one match between real madrid and athletic club de bilbao comentator said athletic club de bilbao has policy of using only basque players and that made me instrested i searched in the internet to find the official website and then go and read the history of the club,that made much more interested and i began supporting Athletic Club de Bilbao and after beginning the support of the club i decided to learn Spanish and Basque and go one day to Bilbao and San Mames (although i didn't spend much time on learning them and i didn't travel to bilbao).
I always wished MANCHESTER UNITED to have a policy like this to use only ENGLISH playersBut it will never come true.At least MANCHESTER UNITED have more ENGLISH than some other arch rivals arse nal,liverpool and chelscum i think.
Have fun every one
Bye.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 13:06   #7
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I played in a Pro Evo league as Bilbao and stayed with them - learnt to love Yeste, Tiko & Etxeberria and it's gone on from there!
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Old October 26th, 2007, 18:29   #8
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I always loved Basque Country. In 2000, I started to follow Real Sociedad more and more. I really don't know why. One good reason, was that my firste name is Sebastian (Real Sociedad San Sebastian).
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Old October 26th, 2007, 21:16   #9
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I was interested in the Basque country after reading a couple of books about the language, history and culture. I also admired the club's signing policy and started to watch the games on TV when possible. Just discovered this forum so will be able to follow Athletic much more closely!
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Old October 27th, 2007, 13:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCB_Simon
I played in a Pro Evo league as Bilbao and stayed with them - learnt to love Yeste, Tiko & Etxeberria and it's gone on from there!
Hi every one
simon,
I did the same but it was after becoming a supporter of the club ,it caused me liking more and more the club.

I also chose Athletic Club de Bilbao in FIFA Manager.
Some of my information about players are from FIFA Manager,for example,after Athletic Club de Bilbao bought David Lopez ,i tried to buy him ,but there was an error that you can only buy basque players,so i understood that he is not from Basque country,i checked in the internet and it was correct. he is from La Roja not basque country.
Also,the same about Ezquerro i tried to bought him,but the same error happened.
I bought several osasuna players and most of them become big players in FIFA Manager,if they will become big players in real football too,i hope Athletic Club de Bilbao will buy them.
Top of them Raul Garcia who is playing now in Athletico madrid i think.
And after him,Flaño twins.

Bye.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 18:21   #11
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I was studying my family history and discovered that my grandfather was born and raised not far from Bilbao. At the same time I was discovering la liga. It only makes sense that I choose as a favorite team one that I have a "history" with. Now my grandfather never attended an Athletic game. I can be sure of that since he immigrated to the US in 1903 (at the age of 3).

I happy that I became a fan as they are a team worth cheering for for the reasons that drew the rest of you into fandom.
Confute, acquiesce, or explicate!
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Old October 28th, 2007, 01:30   #12
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I was playing Championship manager 2002-03 and I was looking on all the teams more or less to manage and when I got to one with players with very strange names and all "Spanish" I started playing with them since they had Julen, Isma and Etxebe whom all I liked from before, specially Julen! While playing I noticed that they could only use Basque players, which made med like them even more since I've always believed that a club should use their own players, if not local!

Another reason was my ability to choose teams which are playing bad, every team I like is never winning anything, so I guess they fit the profile!
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Old October 28th, 2007, 22:14   #13
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It's too personal to tell you now, I don't ''know'' any of you well
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Old October 28th, 2007, 23:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lellle
Another reason was my ability to choose teams which are playing bad, every team I like is never winning anything, so I guess they fit the profile!
Ok, then we'll have to invite you to stop supporting Athletic.... If not we'll have to send Ocio to make you an 'elbow visit'.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 23:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lellle
Another reason was my ability to choose teams which are playing bad, every team I like is never winning anything, so I guess they fit the profile!
Hey,Athletic is doing really bad only the last 2 years,when you started we were doing just good,near UEFA places and so...
"Freedom stems from Valor"
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:10   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finrod_GREECE!
Hey,Athletic is doing really bad only the last 2 years,when you started we were doing just good,near UEFA places and so...
Hi everyone

Yes,Finrod,we are doing really bad from two years ago, and our biggest problem is in front of goal, we can't score easily and instead concende goal(s) easily.
We did well against Athletico madrid but scoreline was 2-0 for them.
We did well against villareal but scoreline was 1-0 for them.
I didn't watch barca and i don't know how we did against them, and i don't know we deserved a point instead of loss or not.
Against Betis we were lucky that Betis didn't score from fatal mistake of Iraizoz.

Aduriz and Llorente both are good but not prolific scorer.
We need a new Zara.
When we can score easily many of 1-0 and 2-0 losses can change to draw or win.

Bye.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 19:18   #17
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Well, my turn...

First, it's hard to explain I think, because it's a feeling, a very strong one...
Athletic caught my interest a long time ago, I was about 13/14 years old, supporting my local clubs and interested in football in general.
Probably because of that I watched Eurogoals, the famous programme on Eurosport on a regular base. It was there when I saw Athletic for the first time in my life, on TV, on a late evening when my parents weren't at home so I could watch it . We played some team and Isma Urzaiz scored by a bicycle-kick, a fabulous goal, but it wasn't just the goal which caught my interest, but just the name... Urzaiz... I never heard a name with such a weird pronounciation. It sounded like magic, especially in combination with that goal I saw. Also I think I was extremely lucky to see Athletic because usually we are/were never on Eurogoals or programmes (no pay-tv) about football abroad in general.

That's how I learnt to know Athletic at the very first time, still my feelings were quite neutral, but also I was interested in this club, I started to 'research' a bit and saw Athletic played just with Basques, learnt to know about the policy but didn't really understand why... it wasn't important at the time, I just had to respect such a club, playing just with locals and never relegated to the Segunda, that's class!

Still, I never saw Athletic play in real (although I tried hard to watch more Eurogoals, but like always it's Madrid, Barça etc), never talked to other fans (because there weren't over here) and actually still didn't really know something about the club. However, I grew older and got more interested in politics, learned more about politics and I think it's fair to say politics play a part in our history... also on politics I can say I've got the same thoughts, in general (!) like people in Euskadi.

As I'm a cycling fan too, I can say I was really impressed by Roberto Laiseka's victory on Luz-Ardiden in 2001. As you might know every year during the Tour de France there's a invasion of Basques in the Pyrrenees. In the past it never interested me, but since I was interested in Athletic I saw a kind of relation, the passion and pride of these people. Laiseka won and I'll never forget his words, in an interview, perhaps not directly after the race, but later on, he emphasized this was a victory for Euskadi, not for Spain... confusing for me at the time, but when I saw the pride and party at the mountains when Laiseka passed them, I realised it must've been very important...

Still I have my doubts, because here in Holland no one talks about Basque Country, there's only one reason when there's something about Euskadi in the news over here, and that's terrorism. So because of these propaganda I didn't know what to think of it, these 'weird' Basques, would they really be so evil???

Couldn't believe it, time to check it our in real! I'm extremely lucky the club decides from time to time to visit Holland during pre-season, just like four year and almost three months ago. In a place almost three hours by train from where I live (but still Holland, it's bigger then you might think ) I visit Athletic for the first time, we lost 2-1 versus AZ. It was just a boring preseason match, but I again I saw the passion of the fans, my Spanish was horrible so I couldn't talk to the Athletic fans who travelled all the way from Spain, but when they noticed someone not from Basque Country having sympathies for Athletic their reactions where lovely.

Next season Athletic again visited Holland, because I was just 18 years old at the time and didn't have money, I could just visit one match, in Heerenveen, again very far from where I live, this time we won 2-1 but that wasn't important for me, from here on I more learnt to know the players and staff by names (so not just Urzaiz ).
Then again one year later, after I tried to follow Athletic as much as possible - also I think I discovered this website where Txupa and others made me a lot clear about the club and Euskadi in general - Athletic's women's team visited Holland.

It was during the summer-holiday and I was quite bored, finally got some money so decided to visit all these matches. They played a tournament for the Women's Champions League, accidentally I was again very lucky the draw decided the girls had to play in Holland. I got a brand-new Ikurriña and I think I showed it there for the first time. When the coach saw me walking he couldn't understand, he thought I ripped his flag (he took one too)... but I explained I didn't, we talked a bit but didn't had a lot of time. Two days later I went again, saw a good match and the coach contacted me again, he asked or I should come as well the last match because he got some presents for me. Of course I visited the last match as well, and when he saw me about 30 mins before the match he gave me a bag full of presents, a shirt, banners, the most weird things.
That was great of course, but for me perhaps more important was the mentality of this guy, he simply loved it someone from outside Euskadi got sympathies for this country... and respected it a lot.

After all these things so far, I just realized this is my club, actually the only one I really love, everything is perfect in relation with my personal believes...

So during this season I discovered the online radio where I tried to follow the matches when I got the time...

Then one season later I got another unique experience, in Essen (Germany) we played the locals of Rot-Weiss in a friendly. When I showed my Ikurriña over there a reporter of Deia came to me and asked me several things... about the flag, why I showed it, my support to Athletic etc. Some days later I appeared in Deia. Then again two days later we played in Holland where, which is really a coincidence, again a reporter, this time of a local Dutch paper, wanted to interview me. For me at this age this were unique experiences, just because Athletic is such a unique club and very unknown in Holland this reporter got interested, also here I appeared in the paper together with a German fan . Also I went to Köln this season.

Later on that season I visited Basque Country, La Catedral, Athletic for the first time, which was a great experience with great people. Also this season I visited all pre-season matches and I'm hoping to visit Euskadi soon again, just as I hope Athletic will visit Holland next season again, no matter or it's pre-season, UEFA Cup or Champions League .

Could tell much more but also this is already too long... in short it's a combination of the passion and pride of the people... the traditions of the club... (not just the policy but also think about the shirts for example), the stadium and just like b2b says the 'Basqueness' of the club, it's just the only perfect club in the world for me .
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Old October 31st, 2007, 00:18   #18
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Hehe! I'll just get Murillo to back me
Some nice stories, specially Knoert, I can imagine that it must have been harder for you to learn about Athletic. I guess my generation is a bit spoiled
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Old November 5th, 2007, 19:18   #19
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Sorry if this gets a little political-
I became an Athletic fan because of the cultural and political similarities between Wales and Euskal Herria.
Wales was conquered by England over 700 years ago, but still our ancient language survives. We live in the shadow of England, but it makes us sympathize with other oppressed nations around the world.
Basque people came to Wales to work in the iron industry in places like Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymni, and I would like to think that perhaps there might have been some Welsh people amongst the miners etc who established Athletic Club in 1898!
During the Spanish Civil war Welsh ships defied the blockade of Bilbao to deliver food and arms.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...931579,00.html
It is also believed that Basque and Welsh people may have common ancestors, going back a while to the stone-age!http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/...name_page.html
In addition to this, Athletic's cantera policy and lack of sponsorship on their shirts (for now!) is very dignified and worthy of admiration.
The deal was sealed when I visited Bilbao in May 2006 for Wales' friendly game v Euskal Selekzioa.http://rhys-gerallt-owen.fotopic.net/c1206823.html
I loved the City of Bilbao and the people, and as it happened, the Athletic v Barcelona game was rearranged for the night before the international game, and we managed to get tickets to compensate for the fact the the Wales game was delayed.
Well now I am hooked, and went back to Bilbao this year, when I happened to meet Knoert by chance outside the San Mames after the Athletic - Depor game!
http://rhys-gerallt-owen.fotopic.net/c1289341.html

Aupa Athletic!
Galestarrak gara!

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Old November 11th, 2007, 18:38   #20
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Eurogoals was legndary in rasing me on european football . i remeber seeing imbrahimovic gaol for ajax. best goal ever he beats about ten men
"Out of Darkness Cometh Light"
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