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Inaki Williams talks ter Stegen, Inigo Martinez, Araujo, Xavi ahead of Barcelona clash



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Athletic Club are set to take on FC Barcelona this weekend at San Mames, in what could prove to be an important game for the home side, in their bid to push for the top six places.

One of Athletic Club’s key weapons heading into this game will be Inaki Williams. The speedy attacker has been a key asset for the team this season, racking up five goals and four assists in all competitions.

Heading into this game, Williams offered his thoughts on various subjects, including the future of his teammate Inigo Martinez, who is a target for FC Barcelona.

“My knowledge is the same as yours – from newspaper news only. Iñigo is a very important player in our team. A wonderful and international defender. I hope he stays with us. If FC Barcelona took him, it would be a smart deal from them,” Inaki (h/t SPORT) said when asked about Inigo.

The veteran centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the coming summer, with the Catalans reportedly prepared to make a move for the defender once they receive the economic clearance.

Apart from the future of his teammate, Inigo talked about the absence of Ronald Araujo, and how it could be a blow for Barça. He also labelled the Uruguayan international as one of the best defenders in the world.

“Araújo’s absence? I always had bad luck because he watches me, and his level is amazing. One of the best defenders in the world, and you watched how he stopped Vinicius, who is considered one of the best dribblers in the world,” he said.

“Barcelona will certainly miss him, but their team is great and there are players with great experience,” he added.

Araujo will indeed be unavailable for Barça this weekend, due to a suspension. He should be back for the next league game against Real Madrid.

Williams went on to talk about his duel with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, adding, “I have scored six goals against ter Stegen, and I hope to score again in the next match because we need to win, as it will give us a strong impetus to qualify for Europe.”

He also revealed his interaction with the Barcelona goalkeeper earlier in the year, adding, “After the end of the Super Cup, when we were able to beat Barcelona, ​​I respectfully asked for ter Stegen’s shirt, and currently I put it in a frame at my house.”

The Ghanaian international also praised Xavi and how he has had a positive impact on Barcelona since taking charge. There had been some criticism directed towards the Barça manager recently over the defensive style they employed against Real Madrid. Commenting on that, Williams said:

“This is nonsense. Barcelona fans had lost their passion and hope. Xavi brought that back through hard work and ambition. Barça has recovered in La Liga and it is difficult to score goals against their team.”

Finally, Inaki was asked to comment on speculations that suggest Athletic Club fans will throw banknotes in Barça colours, in response to a recent investigation that has revealed the club’s involvement in the Negreira case.

“What they will do does not violate the law, this is their right, but I do not interfere in the matter and do not encourage them in what they will do. I put myself out of the matter and I hope we enjoy a great match,” Inaki said.

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