BARCELONA SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20: Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on February 20 2011 in Barcelona Spain. Barcelona won 2-1. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
This morning Tottenham Hotspur revealed that on August 6th they will be hosting a friendly match against Athletic Club Bilbao. The Spanish side features some great players (and potential Spurs transfer targets) like Fernando Llorente, Javi Martinez, and young star Iker Munian.
The Spanish club, which finished sixth in La Liga last year, could also be a potential opponent for Spurs in this years UEFA Europa League campaign. This will be an excellent test for Spurs at a good time, about a week before the season starts.
Personally, I'm very excited about this match. Mostly because Athletic Bilbao are my favorite Spanish club. If you don't know much about Athletic Club, let me fill you in. The club has played in the Primera Division of La Liga since its inception in 1928. The club is one of only three (along with Real Madrid and Barcelona) to never have been relegated from La Liga. The club has won La Liga 8 times and the Copa del Ray 23 times (five more than Real Madrid).
The most unique thing about the club is their "Cantera" policy. Cantera literally means quarry in Spanish, but in this instance it's a reference to the club's youth academy. Bilbao's policy is to develop young Basque players. They also recruit Basque players from other clubs (like Javi Martinez). The club used to allow only Basques to play for it, but that policy has been slightly relaxed in recent years and players with Basque ancestry or who went through the academies of other Basque clubs now play for the side. If you ever want a good challenge in Football Manager try managing Athletic Bilbao. The transfer policy makes it very tricky, but a lot of fun.