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Chat Basqueing in The Sun- for Club and Country!


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The year is 2042. Athletic Bilbao has become the best football club in the world. With their Basque only policy still in effect, they’ve won 14 Champions League Titles, 14 La Liga Titles, 12 Copa Del Rey’s and 13 Supercopa de Espana for good measure since 2024. Athletic Bilbao B, the reserve team, has won Liga Santander 4 times for good measure. After seemingly conquering club football, what could possibly be left for manager Basqueing InGlory?

 

Spain won the World Cup in 2038, and Bilbao homegrown superstars such as LW Cesar Fuster and ST Julio Dacosta led the charge, claiming a 3-1 victory over Uruguay. In fact, nearly half (12) of the Spanish side had Basque origins, whether it be from growing up in the Bilbao academy or otherwise. The buzz around the world quickly began to grow. Reporters and Pundits alike asked the absurd, perhaps asinine question- could an all-Basque Spain side repeat as World Cup winners in 2042?

 

What would this entail? Well, despite having a large number of basque players on the national team, there was no shortage of World Class players from elsewhere who were essential pieces to the operation of the national team. For instance, Goku Saenz of Barcelona is often regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, but would not have been eligible. Further complicating this matter is the Bilbao players who were not eligible for Spain. Ballon D’or winner Luka Filipovic is a Serbian Winger who grew up in the Basque region, but had been representing Serbia since he was 18. Oussmane Loppy is a solid backup Striker for Dacosta who frequently sees 25+ games a year, but represents Senegal. In fact, 5 nationalities are represented on this iteration of Athletic Club. 

 

Yet in 2040 Frankie De Jong was fired as Spain’s manager, and with that the opportunity arose for Basqueing InGlory to take over. At first, the team remained the same- but by the time the European Nations League came around, InGlory had done the unthinkable- every single player officially had Basque origins. Many were not still current Athletic Club players, such as Efren Pino of Atletico and Miguel Romera of PSG- but all had been a part of Athletic Club at one point or another. 

 

Spain cruised through the competition, beating Germany on penalties in a 0-0 match. Fans of other Spanish Clubs quickly grew frustrated as some of their favorite and best players were being left out of the national team in their prime, but the experiment was to happen regardless. Drawn into a group of Cape Verde, South Korea and Romania, Spain breezed through the group stages without conceding a goal. They faced steep challenges from Uruguay and Portugal in the Second Round and Semi’s but ultimately won each, and the stage was set- an all-Basque Spain v Italy in the 2042 World Cup Final.

 

 

 

A back and forth match showed the quality of defense that both sides possesed- and a disallowed goal at 28 minutes by Bilbao midfielder Luis Martin Llaneres proved to be the only action of the first half. But at the 67th minute, Athletic Club’s very own Julio Dacosta picked up a through ball from Josue Gonzalez, and smashed it into the top right corner. Two yellow cards would be the only action for the remainder of the game, and a 1-0 victory would see this Basque side lifting a World Cup trophy, together as a community.

 

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A Changing of the Guard- 

 

The year is 2043. The success of the all-Basque Spain squad is still captures the football world’s attention, even somewhat overshadowing Athletic Club’s 4-0 Win over AC Milan in the Champions League. Yet, for manager Basqueing InGlory this may have been the most special of their Champions League wins, as it would be the last that featured the core of wonderkids who had begun this line of Basque dominance. The Final featured 7 players aged 32 or over, and 5 of these players were in the starting XI. Youth of the Reserve team, Los Cachorros, had been nipping on the heels of these players for several years, and many had shown world class tendencies in their own right. Some of these players would be sold to finish their career abroad with a payday, sent on loan to lower divisions in Spain, or be given the occasional appearance off the bench. 

 

Without further ado, here is the original class of Basque legends:

 

2044 Retirements-

Yan Blazquez, Right Back
2023-2044
#2
Spain
92 Caps, 7 Goals
697 Appearances, 13 Goals, 103 Assists
Blazquez neared Fuster’s record of appearances in the red and white, despite the last 4 years of his career being hampered by injuries. He played in only 28 matches in all competitions in this time span. Yet, it is the sheer dominance of a Prime Blazquez that makes him a Bilbao legend. Part of the first InGlory youth intake, following a half season loan at Tudelano he was instantly promoted to the first team squad and regularly started in 38+ games a year from that point on. Primarily a defensive fullback, Yan was still skilled enough to provide double digit assist seasons several times. Blazquez became a player-coach at Bilbao two seasons before retiring, and his determination and professional manner as a player prepared him nicely for a gold badge in coaching.

 

Fermin Meseguer, Fullback
2025-2044
#3
Spain
109 Caps, 6 Goals
606 Appearances, 14 Goals, 68 Assists
Meseguer was one of the most versatile fullbacks in world football in his day, being elected to the World’s Best Eleven in 2033. A bit of a Ramos type player, Meseguer had 120 Yellow Cards during his career, but always seemed to find a way to avoid a red with only 3 in his entire career. A staple of the Bilbao defense for nearly 14 years, Meseguer was an automatic regular in almost every trophy Bilbao won during this time period. Hardly ever injured, Meseguer played his final game for Bilbao against Eibar in a 3-0 victory, and was given Man of the Match honors. 

 

Luka Filipovic, RW

#8

2030-2044

Serbia

72 Caps, 16 Goals

521 Appearances, 97 Goals, 101 Assists

 

Filipovic joined the club in 2030, from Serbian club Radnicki for the modest some of 800K. The following 14 years at Bilbao were filled with success, and saw him mentioned on the World’s Best Eleven 8 times, and on the All Time World’s Best Eleven. Filipovic finally won the Ballon D’or in 2042. Filipovic may have brought controversy to Bilbao fans as a young signing, when it was revealed his only connection to the Basque region was being raised there from ages 5-12; but there was no controversy at the end of his career, and one of the world’s brightest rode off into the sunset in a 2-0 victory against FC Andorra.

 

Class of 2045 soon...

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