Ernesto Valverde hailed Aritz Aduriz’s “extraordinary” goal during Athletic Bilbao’s 1-0 victory over Marseille in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday.
Aduriz netted his 26th goal of the season, when he hit a high ball first time on the volley from some way out and sent a dipping drive over Steve Mandanda, leading to both calls for a Spain call-up and praise from his Coach.
“I liked the maturity of my team against great opponents,” he said after the game.
“We achieved a good result, have won here and forced Marseille to win in Bilbao, but the tie remains in the air.
“In the first half, there were no chances, and in the second we could’ve done better with our chances.
“Then there was Aduriz’s wonder goal, which was extraordinary. Players like him have to appear in games like this. His goal alone made it worth attending the game.
“[On Benat Etxeberria missing the return leg due to a yellow-card ban], he was an important player who had a great game, but our big squad means we can replace him adequately.
“[On the Basque derby against Real Sociedad on Sunday], playing on Thursdays is a setback, but if you want to play in European competition, it must be so.”