Huangshe vs Bibao: Five reasons why the Basque Derby is worthy of love and attention
At 4:00 am on January 15th, , the 17th round of La Liga will stage the Basque Derby, Real Sociedad
Sitting at home against Athletic Bilbao.
This game is full of highlights. It is not only a direct confrontation between the stars of the two sides, but also determines the ranking of the standings of both sides.
The two teams from the Basque Country of Spain dominated Spanish football in the 1980s. The two sides have won 4 La Liga titles in total.
After a period of trough, in recent years, the two teams have ushered in a revival, so the Basque derby between the two sides has once again returned to the public’s vision.
The game in the early hours of this weekend is also of great significance to Bibao captain Iker Muniain.
The battle for the top four in the La Liga standings
Both Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao will go all out for the Champions League places. The outcome of this game will directly determine which team will rank among the top four in the league standings.
The last time the two teams participated in the Champions League dates back to 2013 and 2014. If Real Sociedad wins this game, they will further consolidate their third place in the league.
On the contrary, if Athletic Bilbao can defeat their deadly enemy in San Sebastian, it will be the greatest encouragement to the team’s momentum and will further hit the top of the standings.
The “infighting” between the coaches of the two teams
The Basque Derby is also a secret contest between the coaches of the two teams, with Imanol Alguacil and Ernesto Valverde each with their home team’s blood flowing.
Head coach Alguacil spent 10 years as a professional player at Real Sociedad. After Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao in the King’s Cup final in the 2020/21 season, the way Alguacil celebrated with emotion is enough to show his love for the club.
The love of this San Sebastian home team.
The picture of him waving a blue and white scarf and singing the team song at the press conference is still unforgettable.
On the other hand, coach Valverde also played for Athletic Bilbao for 6 seasons and started his coaching career here. He has also coached the first team three times.
The coaching styles of the two coaches are completely different. Real Real Club under Alguaciel has a fierce style of play, while Valverde is better at formulating the most suitable tactics according to the style of each player.
Bibao away game is worth looking forward to
Athletic Bilbao is experiencing its best season in nine years, and their away form is a key factor in determining the future ranking.
Valverde’s team has been unable to win in the past five away games. The last time they won an away game dates back to September 11, 2022, when they defeated Elche 4:1 in an away game.
Looking back at the Derby record, the last time they beat their opponents in San Sebastian was in March 2017.
Honorable Captain’s Night of History
When it comes to the legends of the two teams, Joseba Etxeberria (Joseba Etxeberria) is always one that cannot be bypassed.
Since his transfer from Real Sociedad to Athletic Bilbao in 1995, the former Spanish national team forward has spent 15 seasons in Bilbao, making 514 appearances and is the club’s third player with the most appearances.
However, this record will be broken by Bibao captain Muniain.
As the team’s longest active player, he has made 515 appearances for the team since he joined the first team in 2009, second only to Rojo’s 541 games and José Angel Iriba’s 515 appearances.
Ángel Iribar’s 614 games.
Muniain, who is only 30 years old, is still likely to continue to create new history.
The most “gentleman” fan relations
The Basque Derby and La Liga were born in the same year, and it is one of the most intense derby in La Liga.
But unlike other games, the atmosphere in the Basque Derby will not become tense because of the historical relationship between the two teams.
Whether it’s in Bilbao or San Sebastian, it’s not uncommon to see friends and family sitting together in different jerseys, hoping that their respective teams win, but respecting each other.
But that doesn’t mean the result is unimportant, as fans on both sides clearly know that mutual respect is the best way to enjoy the Basque derby.