Athletic Bilbao striker, Fernando Llorente made his long-awaited return to the San Mames during Thursday night`s 1-1 Europa League draw against Hapoel Kiryat to applause by some and jeers by others.
- By Tom Conn Follow @TomConnISF
Llorente has been the target of numerous criticisms by the fans after contract extension negotiations between Llorente and Athletic Bilbao failed this summer and the Spanish international submitted his transfer request, drawing the ire of those most loyal to the club.
For the month between Llorente submitting his transfer request to the close of the summer transfer window, rumours were rampant, putting him on every big-name European club.
However, there was one club that seemed to be leading the pack, which Llorente later admitted to, Italian Serie A champions, Juventus.
In the end, the release clause was too high for Llorente, which convinced Juventus to wait until the striker is free to go next summer when his contract expires.
Yet, this did not stop several of those fans that still consider Llorente just a sitting duck, content to run out his contract with the club, leaving them with nothing to show for it when he leaves without a transfer fee next summer.
When Llorente came on the field after halftime, he was greeted with applause and whistles, however after spending a few minutes in the field, having had two chances to score the second goal for Athletic, Llorente was the recipient of a less-than-disireable song aimed at his potential move to Juventus, ‘Vete a la Juve,’ or “Go to Juve’.”
In Spain they have a rather unpleasant phrase, ‘Vete a la Mierda,’ which literally means ‘Go to shit,’ and it seems that the crowd of the San Mames has devised their own version of the phrase, insulting not only Llorente, but Juventus as well.
It is clear that the Basque fans will never forget how he tried to go to Juventus, even though it seems the most likely destination next summer, and there will undoubtedly more of these chants in the future.