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Chivas to play Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés in December

The Liga MX side will travel to the Basque Country to face Athletic on 11 December with the return fixture set for July 2023.

Chivas to play Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés in December
José MéndezEFE

Chivas Guadalajara confirmed that they will play two matches against LaLiga side Athletic Club as part of the Basque club’s 125th anniversary. The two legged games will form part of the ‘Tree of Gernika Trophy’, with the first game to take place at San Mamés, on 11 December, while the second leg will be played at the Akron Stadium, on 16 July, 2023.

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“As part of the collaboration and joint development project between the Liga BBVA MX and La Liga Santander, Club Deportivo Guadalajara will return to international activity against a European rival, but this time with a very special trophy. Athletic Club are preparing to celebrate their 125th anniversary, an event that commemorates both the founding of the club and, above all, their unique identity in the world of soccer”, explained the Mexican side in a statement.

Shared values

Athletic Club president Jon Uriarte said: “It’s an honour to welcome Chivas to San Mamés. It’s great that this match, which has a very distinctive meaning, will serve as a prelude to the 125th anniversary celebrations.”

The sentiment was shared by Chivas president Amaury Vergara, who pointed out: “I think it sends a very strong message to the football community. These two teams believe in the talent of their people and they believe in their traditions and their values.”

Athletic have a policy of only fielding players from the Basque Country (Euskal Herreria) or those who have played under-age football in their youth academy at Lezama with CD Guadalajara having a policy of only fielding Mexican players in their first team.