Ernesto Valverde has been the club’s manager for the longest time. On Thursday, Athletic Bilbao announced that he had signed a one-year contract and could take over as head coach for the third time.

Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde

Since his contract ended in January 2020, Valverde has been without a job. He was most recently the manager of Barcelona, where he led the team to two league titles and the Copa del Rey.

Valverde says that being Athletic’s coach is always a privilege. “I really value being a member. I know how important it is to Bilbao as well as to many other cities around the world.

“The main goal is to make the fans feel proud of the team and a part of it. We’re going to start working together as a strong team.”

The 58-year-old was Athletic’s head coach from 2003 to 2005 and from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, he led the team to the Supercopa de Espaa.

The club has never won a trophy in the 21st century. It only picks players who were born or raised in the Basque Country.

When Athletic finished eighth in LaLiga last season, they didn’t make it to any European events.

“I chose to come back again because I think this process is interesting and hard enough to be worth it.