Athletic Bilbao appoint Marcelino as head coach till 2022
Athletic Bilbao have confirmed the appointment of Marcelino Garcia Toral as their new head coach, with a contract that will keep him at the club till 2022.
The 55-year-old coach has managed a number of teams in the Spanish top-flight, most recently Valencia where he was for two years and won the Copa Del Rey in 2019 after beating Barcelona 2-1 in the final.
Prior to his success at Valencia, Marcelino took Villareal from the second tier back to the top flight of Spanish football, along with three top-six finishes and a run to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Marcelino arrives at a club in desperate need of a new start, having dropped to ninth in the table with just six wins from their first 17 league matches.
Although the club picked up a win in their first match of 2021 with a 1-0 victory over Elche, Bilbao had previously gone on a poor run of form that had seen them pick up just one win from seven matches.
Such a poor run ultimately cost Marcelino’s predecessor, Gaizka Garitano, his job when he was dimissed on January 3.
However, the Basque side will be hoping their new and exceptionally experienced head coach will be able to work the same wonders with them that he has already achieved at a number of Spain’s most famous clubs.
Indeed, his new job will see him thrown straight into the deep end with a home clash with Barcelona, following by an away trip to Atletico.
Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Bilbao have to face Real Madrid in the Spanish Cup semi-finals.