Imanol acknowledged in the first leg of last year’s semifinals against Mirandés that the atmosphere weighed on them. Now there is a lot of media movement. Can you weigh them again?
They are experiences that must be passed and it is something that we have learned compared to last year. Against Mirandés we thought we were going to sentence the rest but the opposing team plays, although Real played a tie in which they had no problems.
We came from the game at the Bernabéu …
3-4 was an unforgettable night, a great game for all the Real fans and for all spectators.
Are you afraid that the need that is detected in the Real to win a title will turn into anxiety?
No. We have a lot of ambition to win and we are going to try to play the best game of the year, but preparing the game calmly.
It’s a derby. Whoever loses will be marked. Does it help or harm that the rival is Athletic?
What you say is true but in the end it neither helps nor hurts. If the rival were Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada or Betis we would have the same tension.
It is a win or die game, one will win and the other will lose, but we cannot be afraid and we can try to be who we are.
In the game it sure does not affect but cannot deny that the fan is more afraid of losing because it is Athletic …
We have to worry about the game and not play in fear. It is a win or die game, one will win and the other will lose, but we cannot be afraid and we can try to be what we are.
Are you sure that winning or losing against Athletic or against Betis is the same?
It has more morbid, yes. And you can’t make a comparison, because it hasn’t happened, what would happen if we lost to Granada. I get hundreds of messages but you have to be calm.
Is not easy. In Bilbao, on the other hand, they have tested the barge. What did you think?
The president of Athletic already called me last year to tell me that they were going to fix it (evaluative silence).
We also have players with experience in important matches. It’s going to be a tough game for us and for them
Does it favor Athletic to have more experience in these matches?
We also have players with experience in important matches. It is going to be a tough game for us and for them.
Athletic’s record is higher and even, in certain sectors, it is seen as bigger than Real. Can this final be a before and after in that sense?
No. For me, Athletic is not bigger than Real, the results in derbies in the last 50 years are better than Real’s and even the titles are similar. We are two clubs that are the spearhead of Basque football, that have made each other better, both in the first team and in training. One will get one side of the coin, the other the other, and there will continue to be a great rivalry.
Real players who want to aspire to very important things are not thinking about Athletic
Doesn’t the fact that Athletic always have Real players on its radar affect the relationship?
That is a vice that Athletic has and vices are difficult to park. Real players are increasingly opting for more important heights and Real must choose to fulfill all the aspirations of its players. Real players who want to aspire to very important things are not thinking about Athletic. We are two clubs with a similar recent history, although we have the black hole of descent.
What game do you expect?
Almost all the games in the League are very competitive and this one will be especially competitive, due to the importance of the title.
Which Athletic player would you eliminate from the final?
None, because if we win they are excuses.
Are you in favor of the loser making the champion hallway?
I haven’t thought about it. The last thing the loser will think about is in the hallway. I don’t think anyone in any of the clubs thought of the hallway.
At the end of the day life will continue after the final …
Yes, but it will continue with more joy if we bring the Cup.
Would you change the Cup for being out of Europe in the League?
The Cup is the glory but it is something unreal, fictional. But if you give me a choice, the Cup, the glory of the club.