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De Marcos: Athletic Bilbao is a religion

by Tom Conn | Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012

Athletic Bilbao midfielder, Oscar de Marcos was one of the breakout stars of the Basque side`s improbably Copa del Rey and Europa League finals appearances, and analyzed Athletic`s recent struggles in the first couple weeks of the season.

De Marcos began by admitting that the outside distractions of contract renewals and transfers have affected things within the squad.

“All of the fuss and restlessness we have experienced from within has made it harder to focus on what is really important, which is the club and winning.

“Though, the important thing is that we are focused and on-track.”

De Marcos then commented on manager Marcelo Bielsa and forward, Fernando Llorente, who both remain with the club despite tumultuous summers.

“Fernando has probably been a little distracted by the possibility of leaving the club, but he confirmed he is staying and we don`t have any doubt that he will give 100% and is eager to help the team.

“It costs you physically when you don`t play friendly matches, but he will be fit in no time.

“Bielsa, meanwhile, is very demanding and that demand has made us all better.”

“The fans are very important to us, are the ones who encourage us and give us love when we are on the field, and the least we could do is be available for photos and sign autographs as they watch training.

“They are a fundamental part of the club.

“Being a part of Athletic Bilbao is a religion, although in my case, although I was born outside of Athletic (Alaves youth system), I have always wanted to belong to the club.

“Nights like last year exemplifies what the Athletic philosophy really means.”

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