Like Tree8Likes
  • 4 Post By KLIPPYBO
  • 1 Post By Scotty98TR
  • 1 Post By KLIPPYBO
  • 2 Post By bornexplorer88

Los Leones - An Athletic Bilbao Guide

  1. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend

    Los Leones - An Athletic Bilbao Guide



    ATHLETIC BILBAO

    Thought it would only be right that I should do a guide for Athletic Bilbao after my story with them in FM12 and the one in progress just now. First time attempt so apologies in advance!

    THE CLUB
    Along with the first team you have a B team (Bilbao Ath.) who play in the Second Division B2 and who can get promoted all the way up to the 2nd tier in Spain. There is also a C team called Baskonia but I have never seen them in a competitive league.

    ATHLETIC BILBAO ARE FAMOUS FOR ONLY SIGNING BASQUE PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!
    This obviously makes being Bilbao a challenge - you can also sign Spanish players who are 16 but when they turn 17 you cant get them again.

    Facilities wise you start off in the San Mames stadium but in September 2013 the club moves into a new stadium (San Mames Barria) with a larger capacity of 55,000. The club has also got top training facilities and good youth facilites.

    SEASONS EXPECTATIONS

    Euro Cup Qual - £17.5m & £525,000
    Champions Cup Qual - £20.5m & £575,000
    Title Challenge - £22.5m & £575,000

    As you can see you have a fair bit of cash available to spend and I just went for the Euro Cup Qual option but you could easily do the Champions Cup Qual option and manage. Title Challenge? Depends on how good you are and what you plan to do with Llorente - more on this later.......................

    THE SQUAD


    Goalkeepers
    NAME AGE POS VALUE STARS
    Gorka Iraizoz 31 GK £2.6M 3
    Raul Fernandez 24 GK £325,000 2.5

    Iraizoz is a decent enough keeper and can play for a few years yet but Raul Fernandez is not up to scratch really and should only be kept as backup until you can get a better one and then he can be sold or moved to improve the B team. There is a decent young keeper in the u19 side called Kepa Arrizabalaga and I recommend putting him out on loan.

    Transfer target - The only keeper that is any good and Basque is STEPHANE RUFFIER of Saint-Etienne. I got him inthe 3rd season for £17m but he is good enough at the highest level until a regen comes through.

    Centre Halves
    Jon Aurtenetxe 20 DC/L £1.8M 4
    Fernando Amorebieta 27 DC £3.5M 3
    Borja Ekiza 24 DC £2.5M 3
    Carlos Gurpegi 31 DC/DM/MC £1.6M 2.5
    Jonas Ramalho (B) 19 DC/R £325,000 4
    Mikel San Jose 23 SW/DC £3.1M 3.5

    You have a decent set of centre backs here although I prefer to play Aurtenetxe at LB in the first year. Ramalho has potential but I put him in the B team usually so he can develop there. San Jose is a goalscoring centre half who has a high penalty attribute.

    Transfer target - After a couple of years I managed to get the excellent INIGO MARTINEZ off our rivals Real Sociedad and he cost £17m but you can only get him if he is unhappy.

    Full Backs
    Xabi Castillo 26 D/WBL £1.2M 2
    Markel Etxeberria (U19) 17 DR £55,000 4
    Andoni Iraola 30 D/WBR £5.5M 4
    Enric Saborit (B) 20 D/WB/M/AML £230,000 2.5

    Iraola is class but other than that there isnt a lot to shout about here although Etxeberria is definately one for the future. As I mentioned above I play Aurtenetxe at LB.

    Transfer target - I recommend MIKEL BALENZIAGA of Real Valladolid as he can play in either full back position and you can get him for £3m. Also you should aim to get the LB, NATXO MONREAL, off Malaga - he has a £10.5m release clause so I would go in for him in January if he is interested. CESAR AZPILICUETA of Chelsea is a dream signing - if you can manage to get him you wont need another RB for a long time. Finally ASIER DEL HORNO is available on a free transfer if you want to keep your cash.

    Central Midfielders
    Ander Herrera 22 M/AMC £7M 4
    Ander Iturraspe 23 DM/MC £3.4M 3.5
    Inigo Perez 24 DM/MLC £1.2m 2.5
    Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta 18 M/AMC £650,000 4.5

    Herrera is quality - he should be the hub of the team whether you play him at CM or AMC. Iturraspe and Inigo Perez can do a job until you get better while Ruiz de Galarreta turns into a very good player if you give him game time.

    Transfer target - BENAT of Real Betis should always be your first signing. He is an extremely good central midfielder who has high passing and set piece attributes. Expect to pay £15m plus though but he is worth it - you need him anyway in the first season.

    JAVI MARTINEZ
    of Bayern Munich is obviously the dream signing along with XABI ALONSO while the other notable Basque central midfielders are RAUL GARCIA (Atletico Madrid), MIKEL ARTETA, MIKEL RICO (Granada) and ASIER ILLARRAMENDI (Real Sociedad). Illarramendi is a very good player but you can only get him if he is unhappy - which I did at £7m. Also playing for a club in Mexico is a talented youngster called JORGE ESPERICUETA.

    Attacking Midfielders
    Oscar De Marcos 23 WB/M/AMRLC £5.75M 4
    Ibai Gomez 22 AMRL/ST £2.1M 3.5
    Igor Martinez (B) 22 AMRC/ST £875,000 3
    Iker Muniain 19 AMLC/ST £10.5M 5
    Markel Susaeta 24 AMRLC £5.75m 3.5

    Its all about Muniain here. He is world class and he does great wherever you play him be it LW or AMC however in the 2nd season I played him up front as a poacher and he scored o can over 30 goals. Susaeta is better than his star rating and gets goals as does De Marcos. Ibai Gomez is a useful squad player/sub to have.

    Transfer target - ANTOINE GRIEZMANN of Real Sociedad is a fantastic young player but once again you can only get him if he is unhappy. I ended up paying £19m for him but he is a class act who scores and assists regularly.

    Forwards
    Aritz Aduriz 31 ST £3.3M 3
    Fernando Llorente 27 ST £19M 4
    Gaizka Toquero 27 AMR/ST £2.6M 2.5

    Llorente is world class but you have to make a decision here as he intends to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. What I did was transfer list him the moment the first window shuts in August and Arsenal came in with a bid of £30m. That way I had him for half a season and I still got cash for him too.

    Aduriz is a very good striker and plays brilliantly as a target man - he scored over 30 for me in the first season but I moved Muniain up front in the 2nd season and I sold Aduriz.

    Transfer Target - DIEGO FORLAN is the big name Basque out there but other than that there isnt much quality ones. The best are KIKE SOLA (Osasuna) and IMANOL AGIRRETXE (Real Sociedad)

    STAFF

    A major overhaul is required here from top to bottom. There is a few decent scouts and a youth coach but other than that they can all go.

    I personally like to have a Spanish core of coaches etc and recommend Paco Ayestran, Angel Vales, Rodolfo Borrell and a physio called Javier Vazquez. Also the C team, Baskonia, has an excellent GK coach called Juan Jose Lasuen.

    FORMATION
    I play a 4-2-3-1 but with Bilbao - because of the flexibility of the players - there are so many options. The back 4 picks itself but with at least 5 (6 if you sign Benat) quality midfielders it is hard to say which works best!

    TIPS
    *Do what I did with Llorente (see above)

    *When you see good 16y/o regens and you are struggling to sign them you may be able to get them in on loan easier - that way they obtain and keep their Basque nationality.

    *The two main positions to find/develop are a goalkeeper and a striker - if you sign Ruffier you have 5 or 6 seasons to get a keeper in and unless you want to play and keep Muniain up front you have to hope to find a striker sharpish with Llorente leaving.
    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 13/11/2012 at 11:22 PM.

  2. Just like to say, I think this a great post, and has persuaded me to start a save with Bilbao after I do an Arsenal one!

    Also, is there no way at all to keep Llorente?
    KLIPPYBO likes this.

  3. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post
    Just like to say, I think this a great post, and has persuaded me to start a save with Bilbao after I do an Arsenal one!

    Also, is there no way at all to keep Llorente?
    Nope - even with an international footballers reputation etc he is adamant in leaving so as i say its up to you whether you cash in or keep him for a season and lose the £30m

    Bilbao is a perfect team for a long term save as it is all about developing players - you have to plan 3 or 4 years ahead really. In the first few years you spend some cash but after that you spend very little - in fm12 I had over £500m in the bank and the club was worth well over £1bn

    Only in season 3 in my story - The Return of Aitor Herrera - The Boss of Bilbao - but it is going very well!!!!
    xlewisx likes this.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by KLIPPYBO View Post
    Nope - even with an international footballers reputation etc he is adamant in leaving so as i say its up to you whether you cash in or keep him for a season and lose the £30m

    Bilbao is a perfect team for a long term save as it is all about developing players - you have to plan 3 or 4 years ahead really. In the first few years you spend some cash but after that you spend very little - in fm12 I had over £500m in the bank and the club was worth well over £1bn

    Only in season 3 in my story - The Return of Aitor Herrera - The Boss of Bilbao - but it is going very well!!!!
    Ah, gutted

    I was hoping to build the team around Llorente because thats what I did with my Arsenal team on FM12. De Marcos was also great for me in the first season of that save (He won PFA Young Player of the Year) but I bought Tore and started playing the Ox more so got kicked out of the side.

    Is De Marcos still as versatile as he was on last years game? Last year he could play anywhere exept as a ST,CDM,CB or GK?

    And I will be trying to keep up with your story, sounds interesting! Haha

  5. Nice work, definitely gonna try it.

  6. I'm actually in my second season with Athletic. First season was quite easy.. I won La Liga and Europa League. On the second season I have only 2 defeat: One against Real Madrid, and against Zaragoza (I'm in November). I bought (including first season transfer) Benat, Cadamuro a LB RB DM backup, Monreal, Forlan und Griezmann! He was unhappy at Sociedad so I made an offer and it was accepted. I also bought some great regens.

  7. I enjoyed my Atletic save on last years game but I'm quite dissapointed with there starting finances this year. They sold Martinez for £40 million and have half that in the bank and they also have debt! Seems quite strange to me. Also can I ask in your save last season did you get any french basque players? I had the french league going but in the few years I played never got any decent regens going.

  8. On the Llorente front, if you're happy to get £30 million instead of the extra £1.5 million on his release clause you can transfer list him on the first day and Spurs and Arsenal usually throw in a £30 million offer. Gives you best part of £50 million budget, just difficult finding Basque players

  9. Does that mean, you could get an english player in on loan when he is 16 and he would get basque nationality?

  10. @jordymakin - sounds like you didn't consider that Bayern paid 40 million EURO for Martinez, that's actually more like £30 million.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post
    Ah, gutted

    I was hoping to build the team around Llorente because thats what I did with my Arsenal team on FM12. De Marcos was also great for me in the first season of that save (He won PFA Young Player of the Year) but I bought Tore and started playing the Ox more so got kicked out of the side.

    Is De Marcos still as versatile as he was on last years game? Last year he could play anywhere exept as a ST,CDM,CB or GK?

    And I will be trying to keep up with your story, sounds interesting! Haha
    There is one way where you can keep Llorente and that is going into the Editor and untick the "Will leave at end of current contract" box, it all depends if you want to basically cheat or not, which i dont particularly but if you reallly want to keep him theres your chance

  12. Quote Originally Posted by SFolio View Post
    Does that mean, you could get an english player in on loan when he is 16 and he would get basque nationality?
    Just Spanish I think.

  13. Love the guide btw.....
    Nice suggestions for signings too, I was really struggling to understand the transfer rules... never knew I could sign U16 spanish players

    Just wanted to say that my DOF seemed to do the impossible... I don't know how this happened... not that i'm complaining, I had only just decided to sell him rather than keep him for the season...

    Los Leones - An Athletic Bilbao Guide-llorente-pens-new-athletic-contract.png
    corach1992 and k3zz4 like this.

  14. Can anyone tell me who handles contract renewals for Bilbao Athletic and Baskonia? I don't want to do it myself that's for sure!

  15. Any ideas on searching for basque players? I know you can sign u16 Spanish players, but actually trying to sign basque region players is hard. Is there a way of telling your scouts what to look for?.

    P.S just started my save, it's fun so far I sold llorente straight off to the arse for £31m. Really need to sign amc to rotate with iker, any good ones about? I was gutted I couldn't sign isco

  16. Just started my Athletic save (As I said I would right at the start of the thread), I sold Llorente straight away because I didn't want to build a team around him only to lost him. Also needed the money, as I wanted Benat but needed a BBM (Got Rico)

    Only problem is that I now have Benat, Rico and Herrera (Along with the other not as good midfielders). How good does Herrera come, and do you think I should sell him, or have him rotating with Benat? (If he can learn to partially be either a AML or AMR then I can play him in the first team as a Treq - AM)

  17. Herrera has been really good for me, I use him as DLP in the centre of midfield or as a AP in the central attacking midfield role. He's a key player, keep him and use him for sure! in 2019 now and Benat has been let go, Herrera is still going strong in my first team

  18. Yeah, herrera is unbelievable.

  19. Only problem is that I like to have some of my players switching positions during games, so I have my AM and one of my wingers (Doesn't matter which) to rotate. So I would need to retrain Herrera to partially play on the wing.

    Anyway, thanks for your answers guys, this basque only rule is much harder (And much more fun) then I thought it would be! Going to keep Herrera now

  20. I think Herrera has some ability on the left wing maybe? Either way, if not you could train him into that position fairly easily!

  21. Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post

    Anyway, thanks for your answers guys, this basque only rule is much harder (And much more fun) then I thought it would be! Going to keep Herrera now
    Hey Scotty.

    Following our previous conversation about signing Spanish U-16s I took a look around to get some more info on it. Basically what I gathered is that Bilbao would never sign a 15/16 year old unless they had Basque heritage. For someone to be eligible basically they would need something along the lines of the following:

    1) At least one basque parent
    2) To have been raised within the Basque country
    3) If both parents aren't Basque, they would need to have been raised in Basque country from a VERY young age, and even then they might say no, there is some sort of exception rule for this. So this is where the 16 year old spaniards comes in...in reality this would never qualify them to play for Bilbao.

    So basically, being able to sign 16 year old Spaniards on the game is a loop hole and probably shouldn't actually be there from what I can gather.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by Bowieinspace26 View Post
    Hey Scotty.

    Following our previous conversation about signing Spanish U-16s I took a look around to get some more info on it. Basically what I gathered is that Bilbao would never sign a 15/16 year old unless they had Basque heritage. For someone to be eligible basically they would need something along the lines of the following:

    1) At least one basque parent
    2) To have been raised within the Basque country
    3) If both parents aren't Basque, they would need to have been raised in Basque country from a VERY young age, and even then they might say no, there is some sort of exception rule for this. So this is where the 16 year old spaniards comes in...in reality this would never qualify them to play for Bilbao.

    So basically, being able to sign 16 year old Spaniards on the game is a loop hole and probably shouldn't actually be there from what I can gather.
    I'd been told otherwise, like I had said on the other post. But I had just taken their word for it, so you are probaly right!

    Unfortunatly, I have already signed 2 spanish U16s, but from now on I'm not going to sign any

  23. Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post
    I'd been told otherwise, like I had said on the other post. But I had just taken their word for it, so you are probaly right!

    Unfortunatly, I have already signed 2 spanish U16s, but from now on I'm not going to sign any
    There are a few players in the current squad who fit in the exception area I mentioned before...for example:

    Jonas Ramalho - Not 100% Basque (has a Basque mother and Angolan father or something like that), but was born in Barakaldo and grew up in Basque country.

    Fernando Amorebieta - Born in Venezuela but has Basque parents and was brought up in the Basque region.

    Aymeric Laporte - Not sure on his parents, but he was born very close to Basque regions in France and went through the academy system of a Basque club over there before joining the Athletic system in 2010.

    Certainly nothing like signing a Spanish 16 year old! Maybe someone can prove me wrong though, I'm still learning more about the club

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post
    I'd been told otherwise, like I had said on the other post. But I had just taken their word for it, so you are probaly right!

    Unfortunatly, I have already signed 2 spanish U16s, but from now on I'm not going to sign any

    Hey Scotty.

    How are you getting on with your Bilbao save?

    I'm in 2023, struggling with a lack of quality Basque defenders! I have a young 17 year old coming through, but apart from that it's dismal. I've had to retrain players to play RB and LB as I haven't had a Basque full back better than 2 stars yet and Azpilicueta is now 33 and well on the decline. I do however have an absolute hero player, who started as a DM, but is now natural in DM, CM, RB and LB and is rated 5 stars.

    I've had decent La Liga success, but the Champions League has so far evaded me (Barcelona have won it 4 years in a row, knocking me out in the semi finals 3 times!).

  25. hey guys. is it somehow possible to increase the scouting range?

  26. Quote Originally Posted by Bowieinspace26 View Post
    Hey Scotty.

    How are you getting on with your Bilbao save?

    I'm in 2023, struggling with a lack of quality Basque defenders! I have a young 17 year old coming through, but apart from that it's dismal. I've had to retrain players to play RB and LB as I haven't had a Basque full back better than 2 stars yet and Azpilicueta is now 33 and well on the decline. I do however have an absolute hero player, who started as a DM, but is now natural in DM, CM, RB and LB and is rated 5 stars.

    I've had decent La Liga success, but the Champions League has so far evaded me (Barcelona have won it 4 years in a row, knocking me out in the semi finals 3 times!).
    Sorry been away for a week!

    I was top of La Liga by around 5 points, I was in the final out of the Copa Del Rey against Deportivo and I was in the Quater-Final of the Europa League in the first season, but then my laptop died and I gave it to my brother to try and fix (He used to work as an IT technician). Unfortunalty it was pretty messed up, so I didn't get it back 'til just before I went on holiday and by then I had started a Blackpool save, so at the moment I haven't continued with it yet.

    I keep feeling like I want to continue it again but I'm going to do a few seasons with 'Pool before I decided wether to or not!
    Last edited by Scotty98TR; 07/04/2013 at 01:21 AM.

  27. Out of interest, how long does it take you to complete a season roughly? Seems to take me ages and I don't really know why... Do you do interact with the media, watch comprehensive highlights, etc?

  28. Quote Originally Posted by Bowieinspace26 View Post
    Hey Scotty.

    How are you getting on with your Bilbao save?

    I'm in 2023, struggling with a lack of quality Basque defenders! I have a young 17 year old coming through, but apart from that it's dismal. I've had to retrain players to play RB and LB as I haven't had a Basque full back better than 2 stars yet and Azpilicueta is now 33 and well on the decline. I do however have an absolute hero player, who started as a DM, but is now natural in DM, CM, RB and LB and is rated 5 stars.

    I've had decent La Liga success, but the Champions League has so far evaded me (Barcelona have won it 4 years in a row, knocking me out in the semi finals 3 times!).
    Decided the other day that I missed the Athletic game, but the save file was corrupt!

    Luckily I had an earlier save, but I only autosave every 2 months so I've lost alot of data. To make up I started watching the matches in good old 2D, as it is faster... this time I didn't win the league, only got a few games to go but can't see barca dropping any points now. I didn't have to go back so far before the Copa Del Rey semi-finals so still got to play that, but i just won the Europa league against Benfica! They were the better team in the final, but my 70th minute sub scored (Igerretxe - he has now got 34 in his debut season!)

    I am hoping to get a larger budget next year, as although I have some quality young players coming through, I only have 2 good CBs, and I would like to get either Griezmann or Ruffier if that is possible (For CB I am wanting to get the Inigo Martinez)

    I am litteraly just about to play the Copa Del Rey final against Deportivo, after than I have them in the league, but as I said Barca have already got the title, they would have to lose by about 10 goals and me to win by 10 goals for me to win it lol.

    How did Galarreta do for you? He came second behind Muniain in young player of the year, and has been quality along with Cantin!

    EDIT: Regarding not having a LB or RB, how did Ramalho, Aurtenetxe and Etxeberria develop for you, as they seem to being doing well so far for me?

    EDIT #2: I lost the Copa Del Rey, I dominated the match, had 3 CCCs and hit the post with a penalty, but then they scored from a free-kick, we equalised through Susaeta then he went and got himself sent off for violent conduct! We still dominated after that and through-extra time, but we lost on penalties 1-4
    Gutted, but we did really well to get to the final bearing in mind we had to beat Real Madrid, Atl. Madrid and Valencia twice each!
    Last edited by Scotty98TR; 08/04/2013 at 11:52 PM.

  29. Has anyone bought back Llorente before? I just bought him at the start of the 3rd season for £34.5m from Spurs (Sold him right at the start for £31.5m)

  30. Playing the B Squad

    Hi all, love playing the Athletic game, awesome challenge!I'm struggling with getting my non starting 11 some pitch time though. If i move some players to the B Team the manager sends them back and i know i'm wasting talent. Any ideas??
    Cheers

  31. Started a save with Bilbao and I have signed Benat and upgraded our youth facilities. Using my own 4-2-3-1.
    Btw, are there any other basque clubs.

  32. Quote Originally Posted by minergy View Post
    Started a save with Bilbao and I have signed Benat and upgraded our youth facilities. Using my own 4-2-3-1.
    Btw, are there any other basque clubs.
    Real Sociedad and Osasuna are the main 2 others, but of course there are loads outside La Liga BBVA

  33. Quote Originally Posted by Scotty98TR View Post
    Real Sociedad and Osasuna are the main 2 others, but of course there are loads outside La Liga BBVA
    Cool.

+ Reply to Thread

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO