Iñaki Williams, protagonist of a fantastic journey | Soccer | Sports

Bilbao was glued to the television or the computer on Tuesday. We were anxious to know the result of the match between Cameroon and Gambia in the African Cup. This unusual interest was due to the fact that the victory of one of the two teams eliminated Ghana and allowed Iñaki Williams to return to Bilbao. In time for the Cup?


Julen Agirrezabala, Daniel Vivian, Aitor Paredes, Yuri, Lekue (De Marcos, min. 90), Vesga (Unai Gómez, min. 45), O. Sancet, Benat Prados (Ander Herrera, min. 90), Nico Williams, Malcom Adu and Guruzeta (Villalibre, min. 73)


Iñaki Peña, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Alex Balde (Hector Fort, min. 22), A. Christensen (Pau Cubarsí, min. 69), Pedri (Sergi Roberto, min. 98), Gündogan, Frenkie De Jong, Ferrán Torres, Lewandowski (João Félix, min. 77) and Lamine Yamal

Goals 1-0 minutes. 1: Guruzeta. 1-1 minutes. 26: Lewandowski. 1-2 minutes. 31: Lamine Yamal. 2-2 minutes. 48: O. Sancet. 3-2 minutes. 106: Williams. 4-2 minutes. 120: Nico Williams.

Arbitrator José María Sánchez Martinez

Yellow cards A. Christensen (min. 16), Hernández Creus (min. 17), O. Sancet (min. 35), Ferrán Torres (min. 82), Hector Fort (min. 84), Lamine Yamal (min. 95), Ander Herrera (min. 108), Frenkie De Jong (min. 114), Sergi Roberto (min. 117) and Nico Williams (min. 121)

The red and white attacker took an Air France plane in Abidjan which dropped him off at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at seven in the morning; Athletic chartered a private flight, worth 6,000 euros, which picked up the player at Le Bourget airfield and landed in Bilbao shortly after 11 a.m. It was the most followed flight in the world via the Flightradar site, as the anxiety of the red and white fans was great for the return of their silhouette.

” How are you ? » they asked him as soon as he landed. “Well prepared. Let’s win,” he replied with a smile, getting into the car of Mikel González, Athletic’s football director, to join the team’s concentration, less than a kilometer from San Moms. Valverde was waiting for him, as were his teammates.

He started on the bench, shouting angrily about Guruzeta’s goal before the end of the first minute; He got angry with the two from Barça and at half-time he stretched his legs with the ball. Shortly after the start of the second half, he began warming up on the field and the fans received him with a standing ovation, which became thunderous when he entered the field. He hesitated at times with the ball, but he improved as the minutes passed. Extra time arrived and it was one of the freshest on the pitch; The blows against footballers like Prados or Sancet were enormous.

And the ecstasy came to San Mamés as the first part of extra time was about to end, when Jauregizar, a footballer from Bermeo – there were two on the field, because Unai Gómez is also from the city seaside –, robbed the group and his The effort ended in the boots of Iñaki, who hit the ball on the post for the first time, with Peña beaten, and the second time he put it in the net. President Jon Uriarte, strict when it comes to spending, must have thought that airfare was the best-spent 6,000 euros of the season. “Not in the best of dreams. “Everything turned out perfect,” Williams commented at the end, after celebrating with his brother the passage to the semi-finals. “Yesterday, I imagined being able to be here, after a pretty tough elimination (in the African Cup). “I want to thank Athletic for going out of their way to be here and the fans for welcoming me with open arms.”

The red and white player, who has had little participation with the Ghana national team, pointed out that “it seems written that I was here. The trip was long, but I was very excited to be with my companions. “We want the Cup and we will do everything possible to get it.”

For his coach, Ernesto Valverde, it was “an unforgettable evening. It was a match where everything was there, we had to come back, they also came back against us. But in the end, it worked in our favor with the goals from Iñaki and Nico. Regarding Williams’ return on time, he noted that “the fact that Iñaki was here was a big emotional boost. If you write a script, you want it to come out that way. He arrived very revolutionized, but then he improved and it seems he liked it.

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