He just hung up his boots after ten years in Lezama. Ainhoa Álvarez (Galdakao, 25-6-1994) leaves football at just 26 years old because he wants to dedicate himself to teaching. After seven seasons in the first team of Athletic and the 2015-16 League to her credit, the Atletico is looking for a job.
Why are you hanging up your boots?
Everything has been put together a little. The fact of not having many minutes, having spent the whole year preparing the competitions for professed … I must also look at the long term and in the end soccer does not give me that stability that I am now looking for.
Did you end your contract on June 30?
Yes, it ended just this year.
Didn't they offer to renew it?
I had not spoken to them and the day I was with Joseba Aguirre I told him my intentions and that's it.
Have you thought much about it during confinement?
No. I signed one more year knowing that this was going to be my last year. From the beginning I had decided. I have taken this year as a farewell, to enjoy all the training sessions, with another philosophy.
Are you bored of soccer?
No. I love playing soccer, but I have no other choice. It is not the same as the boys, who at the moment they leave have the possibility of living from soccer. I have been preparing the oppositions since September that in theory were going to be in June, although in the end everything has been suspended. I feel like working and I have already started to move threads, to take resumes in schools, ikastolas and others. Let's see if something comes out.
Teacher in what specialty?
It would have to be high school or high school and physical education, which is what I know.
Didn't you consider signing for another club?
No. It was an all-or-nothing decision because to exercise as a teacher you lose the time that football takes from you.
In your case, ten years in Lezama …
I started with 15 and until I was 26 years old. I entered as a girl and have grown as a person, footballer and athlete. A renewed Ainhoa, another person.
Have conditions changed a lot in Lezama?
When I arrived there was only the B and, at the earliest, you could enter with 15 years. Now the theme of the quarry is promoted from a young age. Conditions were different. We started training in the afternoons, now it is already in the morning …
Some of her older colleagues say that soccer cost them money in their day.
In B no one had a salary or anything and now, even if it is something, it is being seen that women's football is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm glad a lot for the girls who are now in the C, children and cadets. They are going to have a milk progression.
But with what they earn now in Athletic, does it not give them a living?
A day, yes; but in my case, being a teacher, I don't see myself as a footballer until I am 35. If you continue until that age, then you go to schools without any professional experience. So I decided to leave him quite young.
How have injuries been treated?
I have had two cruciate ligament tears, one in each knee. The first when I entered when I was 15 years old and the second just after winning the League.
Have they tried to convince you not to quit?
Some already knew more or less that sooner rather than later I was going to make that decision and they understand me. Not having many minutes, you do not enjoy the same.
He leaves with a League to his credit.
Something few can say. That year everything went well for us. Super proud.
That season, by chance or not, was the one that played the most games.
Those who played in my position were injured and I felt important in the sense of being able to contribute as well.
What they can't get rid of is the cup's name.
I have already told them to invite me to the celebration party (laughing). I have the thorn of not being able to take advantage of that possible title.
Will Athletic win the League again?
With our philosophy, each year is more complicated because all the teams sign and the market moves; but at the same time we are strengthening our quarry. We will always compete, that is fixed, the top positions.
And from now on, what?
I am going to do sport because I love running, cycling … I will go to Lezama to watch all the games, I will continue preparing for the competitions, I will look for a job that I like, if it is my thing, and to enjoy life in a different way because apart from soccer there are other things that I have missed during all these years.
Damaris, Maite and Amaiur they leave Athletic, perhaps thinking about their future. “Everything comes together. They are quality players, they will decide what suits them best. If they want to play titles and others, they have it more feasible in other teams. I'm happy for them, that everything goes well, they are 10 people and players, “he says
that of Galdakao.
Ainhoa Tirapu also leaves it. “This is the year that there will be the most casualties. They will have to strengthen the team a little bit, “he points out Ainhoa.