Basqueing in Los Leones - @HoradoVital


Jun 14, 2009
Reaction score
View attachment 124570
Athletic appoint Horado Vital

View attachment 124569

Times are a change in the San Mames as Athletic have moved to appoint former Athletic player and Basque national Horado Vital(@HoradoVital) following the departure of Ernesto Valverde at the end of the 2015/16 season. He arrives following the completion of of his final coaching badges whilst signing a 1-year deal with Los Leones.

He had the below to say on twitter;

View attachment 124568

Horado's first tasks will be to lead the squad over the pre-season and hopefully tie up contract extensions for some key players. Furthermore, some players have been promoted to the first team following the arrival or Horado. These include Asier Villalibre & Yeray - we wish them the best of luck.

We would also like to pass our thanks on Ernesto Valverde, he has been a terrific servant to the club.

- - -

Like everyone I will highlight save ambitions below;

  1. YOUTH. Extremely important at Bilbao with the rule of not being able to sign players who are non-Basque. Youth development vital whilst scouting team has to be good to find the 16 year olds who will come through every season.
  2. Promote through Twitter - I want to try and use Twitter to interact and make the story lifelike. I will respond and post updates through here. Would be great if you could follow @HoradoVital.
  3. Keep hold of key players - What I've found previously is losing Laporte early doors makes the save extremely difficult with a lack of quality Basque CBs.
  4. Bring in Key Basque players - I want to make the proposition of Athletic Bilbao irresistible. Players like Herrera, Griezmann, Inigo Martinez & Javi Martinez.
Mid season update

As we enter January 2017 the season is looking bright for Horado and his Basque stars. The current formation of 4-2-3-1 seems to be complimenting all of the players at his disposal and bringing in some fantastic results as you can see below.

Notable victories come against Real Madrid in the form of a 2-0 scorline. Despite that though the force of Barcelona is still proving to be the tough nut to crack.

View attachment 123885
View attachment 123883

With the above results here are how the competitions shape up for the side.

View attachment 123882

Horado suggests he is keen to push on and grab that place in the UEFA Champions League. This has now become a must in order to keep Laporte who has requested a move away unless Vital can achieve this.

View attachment 123884

Performing well above expectations for Vital at the moment is Asier Villalibre. Initially in the 'B' team, he impressed over pre-season and now continues to keep Aritz Aduriz out of the side. Aduriz has recently penned a new deal however.

With January now approaching and Susaeta looking to be on his way to Liverpool for €23.5million. Having now made over 300 appearances for the club he was looking to move away he felt he could achieve no more. Inaki Williams will fill the void on a permanent basis with Sabin and Aketxe to cover.

The money is likely to be re-invested into Mikel Merino, the 20 year old midfielder who joined Dortmund in the summer. His agent has recently came out and suggested he is unsettled and looking for a move back to Spain. At 20 years of age and Basque nationality he looks a shoe in to dominant the Bilbao midfield for years to come.

As ever, follow @HoradoVital for interactions with manager.