Athletic Bilbao: Basking in the Wake of Super Cup Success

Published on 24-Aug-2015 by Dany Gonzalez

Soccer    Soccer Daily Update

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Athletic Bilbao: Basking in the Wake of Super Cup Success

OK, so Athletic Bilbao got brought back down to earth yesterday.

Mighty Barcelona went into San Mamés looking to avenge getting dumped out of the Super Cup by the Basque side, and maybe they did by the slimmest of margins, 0-1.

But even then, it took a highlight-reel goal by Luis Suárez to seal the deal:

It took that sort of effort, too, as Athletico were tenacious throughout:

But that's not the result anyone outside of Catalonia's gonna remember.

This past week, Athletic Bilbao took what is arguably the greatest team on the planet out of the Super Cup, capped by a long bomb from Mikel San José that set the tone for a regional celebration:

Athletic is a fallback to the old days. The club only signs local players. In this instance, that means the Basque region, a small enclave straddling Spain and France.

Basque flag Basque map

They're one of the three original clubs -- the other two should be obvious -- that have never been relegated from the Spanish League, and they've done it with Basque-only players the entire time. Players like Ander Iturraspe, Markel Susaeta, and others have been with the club their whole lives, providing a strong sense of community and extreme pride amongst the fans and their club.

So the league setback to Barça is something that happens during the course of a season. But the destruction of a mega-club in the crucible of Super Cup play will be a memory that will remain forever.