The Williams lives a moment of maximum happiness. Nico, the youngest of the family, scored the goal that knocked Atlético down and classified Athletic for the final of the Spanish Super Cup which will be played on Sunday against Real Madrid. His third goal with the first team and also the third in this year 2022, after the cup double against Mancha Real to debut as a Christmas gift (on January 6).
With Iñaki as a mentor in the squad and in life, the family is experiencing a reward after all the difficulties they had to go through to settle in Spain. “I am very excited and happy. It’s not easy for the 19-year-old to come in and score a goal. I started crying when he scored the goal, I’m very happy and I haven’t been able to sleep much”, explained María, his mother, this morning at the Athletic concentration hotel in Riyadh. He traveled with his sister and the rest of the relatives of the red and white squad to the capital of Saudi Arabia to follow the evolution of his children in the tournament, leaving a beautiful image when not even the fences of the stadium could stop the hug with his two children.
Félix Williams and María Arthuer, the parents of Iñaki and Nico, they met in a refugee camp near Accra (capital of Ghana) and fled to Europe after being exiled from Liberia. Iñaki has told multiple times how his parents, with María pregnant, they had to cross the desert barefoot to reach Spain. They arrived in Melilla, climbed the fence and, after being detained by the Civil Guard, the turns of life took them to Barakaldo, where Iñaki was born.
Labor hardships moved the Williams to the middle zone of Navarra, where They lived poorly collecting and caring for animals, which is why Nico was born in Pamplona. That was where Iñaki began to attract the attention of the scouts and earn a name in the Swimming Club, agreed with Osasuna, who played alongside Tajonar. As AS told in 2015, it was at the Swimming Club that Javier Aristu had his eye on him. A quick movement with an Atletico scout, Félix Burgui, placed Iñaki in Pamplona.
For cadets, he trained from time to time in Lezama. Agent Félix Tainta managed to keep him on loan at Pamplona under a contract. He thrashed until he climbed to the two youth teams. Back at Athletic, he passed a test and was runner-up in the Youth Cup (35 goals). He would play for Basconia, in the Third Division, and despite undergoing meniscus surgery, in the middle of the year he was promoted to Bilbao Athletic. And in 2015, the losses in the front led him to settle in the first team of Athletic. Reason why Félix was able to return from London, where he worked, while María stayed with her children doing cleaning work. For his part, at the age of 10, Nico left Osasuna for Athletic until he became one of the revelations of the quarry and put his name next to his brother’s in Athletic’s lead.
While Iñaki faces his eighth season as a fixture in the lioness forward, a player who has exceeded 200 consecutive league games and that no one has been lost since April 2016, Nico is knocking on the door to be key in the future. The 19-year-old winger confessed today in Riyadh that “everything goes very fast. I was recently in Segunda B and I thank the coach for the opportunity and to my colleagues for how well they have welcomed me. For me, my brother is above all others, is above all the top. To equal my brother I have much and more. The truth is that I have many things to do. I am very young, I have to work hard to become much better. I have my feet on the ground, my mother helps me with it, my brother is also important, he tells me things so that I don’t get too high”. This Sunday, the Williams want to write another page in the history of Athletic.