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Bilbao Athletic


Bilbao Athletic

Bilbao Athletic
Full name Athletic Club
Nickname(s) Los Leones (The Lions)
Founded 1964
Ground Lezama, Bilbao,
Basque Country, Spain
Ground Capacity 2,000
Chairman Josu Urrutia
Manager José Ángel Ziganda
League 2ªB – Group 2
2012–13 2ªB – Group 2, 3rd
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Athletic Bilbao B is a Spanish football club based in Bilbao, in the autonomous community of Basque Country. Founded in 1964 it is the reserve team of Athletic Bilbao, and currently plays in Segunda División B – Group 2, holding home matches at Instalaciones Athletic Bilbao, with a 2,000-seat capacity.

Unlike the English league system, reserve teams in Spain play in the same football pyramid as their senior team rather than a separate league. However, reserves cannot play in the same division as their senior team. Therefore, Bilbao Athletic are ineligible for promotion to La Liga. Reserve teams are also no longer permitted to enter the Copa del Rey. In addition, only under-23 players, or under-25 with a professional contract, can switch between senior and reserve teams.


The Bilbao Athletic name was first used in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, when both La Liga and the Copa del Rey were suspended; several of top Athletic players subsequently joined the Euskadi XI. This team was put together at the suggestion of José Antonio Aguirre, the president of the Basque Country, himself a former Athletic Bilbao footballer.

The team went on tour to raise funds for the Basque cause, and also played in Europe and Mexico. However, the Campeonato de Vicaya continued to be played. With their best players on tour with the Basque national team, Athletic Bilbao could only field weakened sides and, as a result, chose to enter under the name Bilbao Athletic. Despite this, they still won the championship; the club's name was derived from the two clubs that merged in 1903 to become Athletic Bilbao – Bilbao Football Club and Athletic Club.

The name was revived in 1964, when Athletic Bilbao decided to establish a reserve team with Agustín Gaínza as coach. The new Bilbao Athletic initially played in local regional leagues before winning promotion to Tercera División in 1966, under Rafa Iriondo; in 1969 they first reached Segunda División.

In 1983–84, with José Ángel Iribar as coach, and an emerging Julio Salinas as striker, the reserves finished in second place, only trailing Castilla CF; both teams were ineligible for promotion, and Salinas won the Pichichi.

Bilbao Athletic returned to the third level in 1996, but the main squad continued to be nurtured with several players which had spells with the reserves.


  • As farm team:
    • Club Atlético de Bilbao Amateur (1964–66)
    • Bilbao Atlético Club (1966–72)
    • Bilbao Athletic Club (1972–91)

Season to season

Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1964/65 Regional
1965/66 Regional
1966/67 1st
1967/68 3rd
1968/69 1st
1969/70 13th
1970/71 5th
1971/72 9th
1972/73 5th
1973/74 13th
1974/75 8th
1975/76 4th
1976/77 4th
1977/78 2ªB 5th
Season Division Place Copa del Rey
1978/79 2ªB 7th
1979/80 2ªB 12th
1980/81 2ªB 3rd
1981/82 2ªB 10th
1982/83 2ªB 1st
1983/84 2nd
1984/85 15th
1985/86 7th
1986/87 6th
1987/88 17th
1988/89 2ªB 1st
1989/90 3rd
1990/91 13th
Season Division Place
1991/92 13th
1992/93 15th
1993/94 14th
1994/95 16th
1995/96 18th
1996/97 2ªB 12th
1997/98 2ªB 2nd
1998/99 2ªB 6th
1999/00 2ªB 8th
2000/01 2ªB 6th
2001/02 2ªB 6th
2002/03 2ªB 4th
Season Division Place
2003/04 2ªB 11th
2004/05 2ªB 9th
2005/06 2ªB 6th
2006/07 2ªB 15th
2007/08 2ªB 15th
2008/09 2ªB 11th
2009/10 2ªB 15th
2010/11 2ªB 12th
2011/12 2ªB 8th
2012/13 2ªB 3rd
2013/14 2ªB

Current squad

As of 19 October 2013 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Spain GK Kepa Arrizabalaga
Spain GK Gorka Magunazelaia
Spain GK Urtzi Erleaga
Spain DF Igor Arnáez
Spain DF Unai Bustinza
Spain DF Markel Etxeberria
Spain DF Jon García
Spain DF Mikel Fernández
Spain MF Ager Aketxe
Spain MF Iñigo Eguaras
Spain MF Óscar Gil
No. Position Player
Spain MF Iker Guarrotxena
Spain MF Jon Iru
Spain MF Iñigo Lekue
Spain MF Egoitz Magdaleno
Spain MF Unai López
Spain MF Iker Undabarrena
Spain MF Jonxa Vidal
Spain FW Mario Barco
Spain FW Guillermo Fernández
Spain FW Sabin Merino
Spain FW Iñaki Williams


  • Vizcayan Championships: 1938–39
  • Third Division: 1982–83, 1988–89
  • Fourth Division: 1966–67, 1968–69


Main article: Instalaciones Athletic Bilbao

Selected managers

Famous players

See also: Category:Athletic Bilbao footballers

Note: this list contains players who have appeared in at least 100 league games for the first team or have reached international status.

See also


External links

  • Team profile; at Athletic Bilbao's official website
  • Futbolme team profile (Spanish)
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