It is the flag of the Real, the talent of the quarry, the soul txuri urdin. Mikel Oyarzabal (Eibar, 1997) is one of the great architects of the fact that the Gipuzkoan squad is on the verge of glory. In his day he preferred to play the derby with the colors of his heart and not succumb to the opponent’s charms. He does not avoid questions and speaks from the depths, perhaps that is why that deep and adult voice comes out.
What ‘feeling’ does it have? More illusion than tension?
I really want the day to come. After a year of waiting, I really want to play it, live it and have it come to our side.
Do you have the feeling that it will shape the lives of many people and their own careers?
We did not have the opportunity to experience what happened in the eighties and I think it is a moment that has not happened many times in all of history. But the club is working well so that this is, more than the consequence of work, the beginning of a story. Things are being done well and not only for this day, but for more moments like this to be repeated. The illusion is terrible, I hope we are right and we celebrate it in style.
Are you prepared to be immortal for the hobby?
Everybody wants it, that cannot be doubted. We are looking forward to winning, we are looking forward to lifting the Cup and people are very excited both inside and outside the club because that day at night we can say that we are champions. It is the dream of all of us who are here. Winning a title at La Real, where you have been trained for so many years, or for those outside, who feel at home in a family club like this one, is what we are dreaming about. Hopefully it can be fulfilled. We are not lucky enough to win titles continuously, but the ones that are won have a different flavor. We are going to fight him to the death.
But do you notice the weight of carrying an entire province behind?
Yes. We know that for good and for bad we represent a lot of people and we have a lot of people who support us and encourage us, whether things are good or bad. It is not a weight or a slab, because we defend this shield every week and we leave it as high as we can. It is clear that it is a special day, a date marked by everyone on the calendar.
And more in this time, in which there are so many people suffering …
Being champions would be a boost of morale and energy for many people who have been living a dramatic and extreme situation for a year. We don’t have anything to complain about, we do what we like, being rewarded very well and living well, but there are people who are with water up to their necks because of the situation we are experiencing. We are going to do everything possible to be champions and give a shot to those people who are suffering so much.
Are you already visualizing the final?
No, it is not much use to visualize it excessively. Yes, you have to keep it in mind, because it is a very important day for the club, the fans and everyone, but it is useless to focus excessively. It will create excessive stress on you. The tension of the final will already be created the same day.
Are you waiting for extra time, penalties?
I hope there is neither one thing nor the other and I hope to win. When you think about it and dream about it, you don’t think about the bad. You think everything is going to be fine, you think the team is going to have its best day so far, it is going to be competitive and do its football. I dream that way.
And if there is a penalty in 89 ‘with 0-0, is Oyarzabal going to shoot it?
I will throw it away and try to get it inside, as if it has to be with the goalkeeper. On the outside, I don’t show the nervousness I have in those situations, but if I have the opportunity, I will launch it in the final.
Have you thought too much about any of the last penalties?
They are different. The first is more of the goalkeeper’s merit and the others are more of my fault, of not hitting the ball quite right. These are things that can happen. The error is part of football and life. It is an apprenticeship. It will help me to continue growing.
You think this ending is a beginning, but at the same time, doesn’t it seem like a unique moment?
It is a unique moment. But even if it is lost we cannot remain anchored in this final. There is a team and the club is working so that what we are achieving is common. We want to have more historical moments and appointments like this one. It is going to be the most important moment of our careers for all but two or three. You are 90 minutes away from winning a title with your club, it is a final, a Basque derby. He speaks highly of all the quarry work that is done in the Basque Country. You have to give value to that shadow work.
Is one a professional to play this type of game?
These types of games are the ones we like to play the most. There are other games that a priori do not excite you so much, but when you go out on the field you do it the same way.
Do you come very high in these games or do you shrink?
Neither one nor the other. They are moments, that there is to live. Overexcitement is not good either. And we cannot consider it as just another match. It is a very important game that will score a lot.
Is it natural for the fan to be afraid that you are afraid?
We will not be afraid. If we lose, it won’t be out of fear. It will be because we do not have our day. It is neither real nor true that we do not have enough seniority to experience such a game. The game is not won by having more experiences or experiences, but by being successful.
Is Athletic more competitive as they say?
No I dont think so. We are different clubs, in which things are done differently and with a different style of play. It will be a disputed match, a clash of styles.
Why do you think the Real is going to win?
I usually like the why, but in this case I would exceptionally omit the why, I keep the what, which is to win. Hopefully it is because we played a good game, because we have really proposed, because we have been correct in making decisions and because we are superior to the rival.
Are you optimistic?
I am convinced that things can and will turn out well, like the whole dressing room and the whole club.
What game is the Real interested in?
We are interested in the game having a rhythm, not stopping and having the ball. But we can adapt to another type of party. We have already obtained results like this too.
Ready to suffer?
Yes. We know it’s not going to be 90 minutes of roses. Not everything will be perfect. There will be moments of suffering, getting together, getting back to fight all together. It is not what we do best for 90 minutes, but at specific times we can do it without problem.
Would you like the rival to be someone else to avoid the extra tension?
I don’t care who the rival is. The fact that Athletic is in front makes it a derby and an even more special match, but it is a final and I don’t care who is in front.
The final cannot be with an audience although it was delayed so that there would have been, would you have liked to play it earlier?
Football is spectacle, but the most important thing here is health. Everyone was fighting so that whoever wanted to come to see the game did. It will not be possible, but we did what had to be done, which was to wait. It has not been possible, but we will fight for our fans, even if they are not there.