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This can be seen as a unique case in European football; it has gained Athletic both admirers and critics. The club has been praised for promoting home grown players and club loyalty.
The Basque rule does not apply to coaching staff however, with several examples of non-Basque managers both from Spain and abroad having coached the first team.
Athletic's main rivals are Real Sociedad , against whom it contests the Basque derby , and Real Madrid, due to sporting and political rivalry.
Athletic is one of only four professional clubs in Spain the others being Osasuna, Real Madrid and Barcelona that is not a sports corporation; it is owned and operated by its club members.
Football was introduced to Bilbao by two distinct groups with British connections; British workers and Basque students returning from schools in Britain.
In the late 19th century, Bilbao was a leading industrial town and attracted many migrant workers, including miners from the north-east of England, and shipyard workers from Southampton , Portsmouth and Sunderland.
They brought with them the game of football, and came together to form Bilbao Football Club. Meanwhile, sons of the Basque educated classes went to Britain to complete their studies, developed an interest in football and on their return began to arrange games with British workers.
In , students founded the Athletic Club , using the English spelling. In , the two clubs formed a combined team, known as Bizcaya , in the first Copa del Rey and won the competition.
This led to the eventual merger of the two clubs as Athletic Club in The club itself declares as its foundation date.
The club featured prominently in early Copas del Rey. Following the inaugural win by Club Bizcaya , the newly formed Athletic Bilbao won it again in In , they were declared winners after their opponents failed to turn up.
In , they revived the name Club Vizcaya after entering a combined team with Union Vizcaino. After a brief lull, they won again in and then three times in a row between and The La Liga top scorer award is named in his honour.
He revolutionised the way Athletic played, favouring the short-passing game. The club won the Copa del Rey four times in a row between and and they were also La Liga runners-up in and In , Athletic defeated Barcelona 12—1, the latter's worst-ever defeat.
Athletic's success under British coaches continued with William Garbutt. His first season in Spain was a massive success as he managed to win the Liga  that year.
He had inherited a talented squad which included strikers Guillermo Gorostiza and Bata. In the final game of the season, the title was decided when Athletic defeated Oviedo 2—0 at home on 19 April , winning the title just two points clear of Real Madrid.
The league did not restart until the —40 season. Athletic Club did not win the title again until and by that time Garbutt had been exiled.
The same year Telmo Zarra made his debut. His 38 goals in the —51 season stood as a record for 60 years. In , the club won a double and retained the Copa in both and They helped the club win another Copa del Generalisimo in In the club also made their debut in the European Cup.
The s were not much better, with only another single Copa del Rey win in By then the Franco regime also ended and the club reverted to using the name Athletic.
In , Javier Clemente became manager. He put together one of the most successful teams in the club's history. In and , Athletic finished third and fourth respectively.
Clemente's Athletic acquired notoriety for its aggressive style of play. The club has failed to win a major trophy since the success of the era. In , Athletic had signed Joseba Etxeberria from regional rivals Real Sociedad, causing considerable bad feeling between the two clubs.
The club narrowly avoided relegation during the —06 and —07 seasons, the latter being the worst in the club's history. In the Copa del Rey , they reached their first final in 24 years, losing 4—1 to Barcelona.
Athletic would soon move to a new stadium, albeit in a partially completed state. Bielsa promoted young French defender Aymeric Laporte into the side, while striker Fernando Llorente completed a free transfer to Juventus.
After Bielsa, Ernesto Valverde returned for a second spell as manager, and he signed or brought through several new players as Athletic came fourth in the league , meaning a UEFA Champions League campaign.
In the return leg at Camp Nou , Athletic hung on with a 1—1 draw to win their first trophy since Athletic advanced to the quarter-finals in the Europa League where they were only defeated on penalties by the holders and eventual repeat winners Sevilla FC.
Ernesto Valverde left his position at the end of the —17 season after four years. Athletic began playing in an improvised white kit, but in the —03 season, the club's first official strip became half-blue, half-white shirts similar to those worn by Blackburn Rovers ,  which were donated by Juan Moser.
Later, a young student from Bilbao named Juan Elorduy, who was spending Christmas in London , was charged by the club to buy 25 new shirts, but was unable to find enough.
Waiting for the ship back to Bilbao and empty handed, Elorduy realised that the colours of the local team Southampton  matched the colours of the City of Bilbao, and bought 50 shirts to take with him.
Upon arriving in Bilbao, the club's directors decided almost immediately to change the team's strip to the new colours, and since , Athletic Club have played in red and white stripes.
Athletic were one of the last major clubs who did not have the logo of an official sponsor emblazoned on their kit. In the UEFA Cup and the Copa del Rey of —05, the shirt sported the word " Euskadi " in green in exchange for hundreds of thousands of euros from the Basque Government  Red, white and green are the Basque colours.
In , Athletic revealed a new away kit that was inspired by the Basque flag. The Kutxabank logo now adorns the front of Athletic's kits.
Athletic's shield has incorporated the escutcheons of Bilbao and Biscay. From the shield of Bilbao, it takes the bridge and the church of San Anton, and the wolves from the powerful Haro family, who were lords of Biscay and founders of Bilbao in Its first documentary record dates from Among its history, the shield of the club has been developing and changing in form.
So, the first official shield was a blue circle with the letters A and C in the middle. The second one was from , that was a red and white flag with a white square in the left side, in which there are the initials of the club.
The third one, from , was also a red and white flag, but in this case surrounding a platoon this is similar to the Real Sociedad crest still in use today.
The first version of the actual shield is from , it still was a really simple version that was changing of form with the years until having three different versions.
In , the club added colors to the shield and recovered the original English "Athletic Club" name. In , the shape of the shield was slightly altered and a new "Athletic Club" typeface was introduced.
Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Urrutia was the winner with 12, votes In March , Urrutia was re-elected to serve another four-year term after being the only candidate to stand.
Reserve teams are also no longer permitted to enter the Copa del Rey. In addition, only under players, or under with a professional contract, can switch between senior and reserve teams.
In recent years most of Bilbao Athletic's players have been graduates from the club's youth setup ' cantera ' via the farm team , Basconia.
The team went on tour to raise funds for the Basque cause, and also played in Europe and Mexico. However, the Campeonato de Vizcaya continued to be played.
With their best players on tour with the Basque team, Athletic could only field weakened sides and, as a result, chose to enter under the name Bilbao Athletic ; the club's name was derived from the two clubs that merged in to become Athletic Bilbao — Bilbao Football Club and Athletic Club.
Bilbao Athletic dropped back down to the third level in , but the main squad continued to be nurtured with several players who had spells with the reserves.
Athletic successfully applied to compete in the —15 , —16 and —17 versions of the England -based Premier League International Cup each time they qualified from their group but were eliminated in the first knockout round.
Most of Athletic's players in this Under tournament have been drawn from Bilbao Athletic with some additions from Basconia and the Juvenil group.
They also signed up for the —18 edition, where they bowed out at the group stage. Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules.
Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Bilbao Athletic. Athletic Bilbao B managers.
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