Football Scarf in the colours of
Athletic Club Bilbao

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Club information

Nickname:  Los Leones (The Lions)

Ground:  San Mames

Capacity:  53,332

Founded:  1898

Athletic Club Bilbao was founded in 1898 and is known colloquially as Athletic Bilbao. The club is nicknamed Los Leones (The Lions) because their stadium is named after Saint Mames. He was an early Christian who was thrown to the lions by the Romans; the lions refused to eat Mames and he was later made a saint. The San Mames Stadium is therefore nicknamed the football cathedral.

Along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, Athletic Club is one of only three clubs that has played every season in the Primera Division of La Liga since it was started in 1929. 

Athletic Club’s first official strip was half-blue, half-white shirts similar to those worn by the English side Blackburn Rovers. A young student from Bilbao named Juan Elorduy (who was in England) was asked to buy 25 new shirts but was unable to find those colours. While waiting for the ship back to Bilbao he spotted that the colours of the local team (Southampton) matched the colours of the City of Bilbao and bought 50 shirts to take home with him. Back at Athletic Club, the directors immediately changed the teams strip to the new colours, and since 1910, Athletic Club have played in red and white stripes. 

The club is known for its cantera policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks, as well as recruiting top Basque players from other clubs. Athletic Club’s official policy is signing professional players native to or trained in the greater Basque Country and the club has been praised for developing home grown players and promoting Basque loyalty.

Visit Athletic Club Bilbao official website

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