La Cartuja, Athletic’s second residence

La Cartuja has become the second home of Athletic Club. In Seville he already savored the honeys of victory in January, winning the Spanish Super Cup, and now he has the option of repeating … twice. There, on April 17, he will play another final, this one in the Copa del Rey, also against Barça, although two weeks before, on April 3, he will have played, against Real Sociedad, the postponed last season. Three finals in the same course … something only available to the chosen ones.

The lions again made it clear in the Ciutat de València that the KO competition is going for them. For now they have passed ten consecutive eliminatory rounds. Six in the previous campaign (Intercity, Sestao River, Elche, Tenerife, Barcelona and Granada) and four in the present (Ibiza, Alcoyano, Betis and Levante). They did, although without walking, as three decided in their favor in the penalty shoot-out and in seven he was forced to overcome an adverse result.

The truth is that experience is a degree and the Bilbao team has won the last seven semifinals they have played in any competition. Four of them in the Copa del Rey, one in the Europa League and another in the Spanish Super Cup. All since 2009.

For now, after his agonizing victory at the Ciutat de València, he has already reached his final cup number 39, the same as Real Madrid. Of course, in the accounts of the Bilbao club there are 40 finals, since it claims the 1902 Coronation Cup, which was the origin of the tournament. A final that beat Barça 3-2 and whose trophy is exhibited in its Museum as the first of its 24 cup titles.

Thus, the ‘Marcelino effect’ is still in force at Athletic, a coach with whom the rojiblanco team has always scored. And there are already 14 games, nine of them away from Bilbao. It was necessary to do it in Valencia, he did it and La Cartuja, his ‘other’ San Mamés, is already waiting again for the lions. Zorionak