“Bilbao without San Mames would be like Paris without the Eiffel Tower,” said former France and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Luis Fernandez recently, contemplating the last days of the stadium where he once played and coached.
In this the year of its 100th anniversary, the legendary stadium is about to close its doors once and for all. The famous arena will host its last league game this Sunday before bidding a final farewell at the start of June with a special tribute match between Athletic Bilbao and a regional representative team.
After that the stadium that was graced by greats such as Rafael Pichichi Moreno, Telmo Zarra, Jose Angel Iribar and Dani, where Iker Casillas made his Spanish league debut and which Diego Armando Maradona once described as the most beautiful in the land, will be no more.
By next season Athletic will have taken up residence at the new San…
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