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Athletic Bilbao has reached forgotten heights in Europe

Athletic Bilbao has reached forgotten heights in Europe

Last night with Panathinaikos 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, he secured for the fourth consecutive season the group stage of one of the two European club tournaments. The elimination of the Greeks in the playoffs for the Europa League was actually an achievement that the Basques were not able to repeat for 30 years.

For the last time in the 1980s, Bilbao had achieved a similar series of performances. In the period 1982-1987, they recorded five consecutive seasons in which they qualified for the actual part of the European tournaments - twice for the European Champions Cup (1983/1984 and 1984/1985) and three times for the UEFA Cup (1982/1983, 1985/1986 and 1986/1987).

The current series of "lions" started in the 2014/2015 season, when they ranked for the Champions League teams in qualifying (and came to them as the fourth in La Liga in the previous campaign). In the next season, after 7th in the league, they played qualifiers in the Europa League as a finalist for the King's Cup, and after the eliminations of Inter Baku and Zilina they joined the groups.

In the 2015/2016 season, Athletic came directly amongst the 48 participants in the second European Cup thanks to its fifth place in the league. Last season came 7th in the Primera Division, and this meant the start of the third round of the Europa League. There the first obstacle was the Romanian Dynamo Bucharest, and then Panathinaikos's order came.

Among other things, the Basques managed to join the groups with each of their last 11 European Tournaments (2 times in the Champions League and 9 times in Europa League).