‘We went to sleep without knowing if there was a game against Atlético or not’

Óscar de Marcos, one of the Athletic veterans, yesterday explained to MD different details related to the unsuccessful trip to Madrid in order to play the match against Atlético at the Wanda Metropolitano. The red and white expedition could not land in Barajas and had to return to Bilbao. The lions, according to one of their captains, went to sleep on Friday without knowing whether or not they had left. His doubts were resolved first thing in the morning.


“For us there was nothing special about this flight. One more trip and back. Neither the plane moved, nor anything. We were there, they told us that it would not be possible to land in Madrid and for Bilbao. Nothing else”, Explains the rojiblanco on serve.

When asked if both he and his teammates and other members of Athletic went to bed on Friday without knowing whether or not there was a game against Atlético on Saturday, the player from the Bilbao team points out that “yes”. “The celebration of the match was there in doubt and they told us that by the time we got up (yesterday morning) we were going to have a message that was going to tell us yes or no and that’s how it was.. They had already spoken with the competent bodies from the club. At the beginning they commented that they were studying the possibility of delaying it, but a little later they made it clear that it was suspended and we had to train in Lezama ”.

Athletic has suffered some criticism in the last hours for not having been proactive, advancing the time of its flight knowing the cold and snow storm that hung over Madrid. Critics lacking reason because, according to rojiblancas sources, “the trips of all the LaLiga teams are organized by the clubs together with the LaLiga instructions and under the protocol established by the League itself.”

De Marcos, in this sense, is clear that Athletic did well traveling: “They tell you that you can play, that there are options, and you have to be a bit on edge until they confirm that it is played or that it is not played. We, in fact, already knew that the game could be complicated. In fact, we learned that Atlético de Madrid’s concentration had been suspended before leaving, but your obligation is to go, lest there be options to play later and you don’t show up ”.


Sometimes the feeling remains that professional players are treated like puppets in certain extreme situations. “In the end it’s our job,” says De Marcos. It was known that Madrid was going to be snowy and there were many options for it to snow much more. They had already told us that the Atlético field did have heating and it would surely be clean. On that side it was going to be possible to play. The problem, apart from the landing, was that later we were not going to be able to circulate through Madrid; that we were not going to get to the hotel or we were going to get to know what time ”.