Defender Berchiche vows to win Copa del Rey with Athletic Bilbao-Xinhua

Defender Berchiche vows to win Copa del Rey with Athletic Bilbao

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-02 18:46:00

MADRID, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Athletic Bilbao defender Yuri Berchiche says he would swap all the titles he won with Paris Saint-Germain in order to win this Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Mallorca.

The 34-year-old, who recently signed a new contract with the Basque club until June 2025, won Ligue 1, the French Cup, the French League Cup and Super Cup with PSG before joining Athletic in 2018.

This Saturday sees Athletic to play their third Copa del Rey final in five years, but after defeats in their last six attempts, there are hopes they can lift the cup for the first time in 40 years.

"It would be the icing on the cake for my career," said the defender on Athletic's press day before the final, in which he stressed the desire the entire city had to win the tournament.

"Every day I go to the park with my kids in the afternoon, we are surrounded by children and their parents and they tell you how excited they are to win this cup. We all deserve it, the city, the club and I hope we can all celebrate together."

The pandemic meant Athletic played both the 2020 and 2021 finals behind closed doors in April 2021, losing the first game 1-0 to Real Sociedad, and two weeks later again slipping to defeat against Barcelona, with Yuri struggling with injury.

"The two finals in 2021 came at the worst moment in my life, but I think I am a different player now."

"I would change all the titles I have won to win this cup now. The first thing I want is to be able to play a final in front of our fans, and the second is to win it, so we can all celebrate together, with my teammates and the fans who are there," he explained.

Yuri scored twice as Athletic beat Mallorca 4-0 in La Liga in their San Mames stadium, but warned the league game would have little in common with Saturday's game.

"I hope we can score an early goal against them, but they are a really solid block of players and we will have to do things very well. We have to be ourselves and play with the same intensity and aggression and that will be the key."

"I know a lot of people think we have to win, because we are favorites, but I don't have a favorite. In a final, there are so many details that can swing a game in your favor or against you," he concluded.