Unai Simón: “I arrived at the EURO in the year of most maturity, I have learned from my mistakes”


The goalkeeper of Athletic Club and the Spanish team, Unai Simón, defended being in the moment of “most maturity” of his career, after having learned from “the mistakes of the past” and aware that he must “give normality” to all situations, knowing that in their area “the media focus is bigger”, before starting a Euro Cup in which the objective is to win the tournament.

“It’s probably the year with the most maturity. Last year I got hurt quite a bit… I had quite a few ‘screws’, I wasn’t very successful in many situations, and this year I learned from past mistakes. On the subject of maturity, I think he is the best, I hope that next year is also better than this one and that he continues to grow,” the goalkeeper analyzed his personal moment in statements to the media at the Spanish team’s ‘Media Day’ in Las Rozas. during the concentration for the EURO.

The goalkeeper said that in football you go through “ups and downs,” and when negative moments come “you have to act in the same way as when you are at your best” and “try to give it normality.” “You’re not so good when you keep a clean sheet or with Zamora, nor was it so bad last year when you don’t manage to get into Europe. Football works this way, and what it’s about is enjoying every moment and being prepared to give the best,” he reflected.


Zamora also made up its mind on the last day and no matter what happened, I was going to come here with the same attitude. It is always important for oneself, for the team, that Zamora’s long-standing effort is achieved, but it is a prize from a competition outside of what the Euro Cup is. Here we all start from scratch, trying these days, after the days off, to get back into the rhythm and give everything on the field. Zamora is important for the club, for me, but it does not mean that I will have the position on the field.

“The only thing that changes between the club and the national team is that the media issue, the press, is bigger. What we have to do on the field is the same, work for a clean sheet, be reliable, the same thing I do in I do it for Athletic here in the national team, the only thing that changes is the impact that the position has in the media,” he added about his role.

Already in ‘Euro mode’, Simón highlighted the power of the group over individualities, despite having “determining” players and “three Champions League winners this season.” “You don’t win with individuals, you have to work as a team, work as a group and I think that’s what we have to focus on, if we are already a good group, to be better, to be able to achieve this goal of winning Europe” , remarked the goalkeeper.

“Our goal is to be champions. We have to do a good job in the group stage, because there is a lot of difficulty. Get through this group stage and whatever lies ahead. Be superior to our rivals, try to play our game, to be the Spanish team that our people want us to be and then more things may happen, better or worse, but what this team has to aspire to is to achieve something,” he added.

For this, the mix between young people and veterans presented by the coach’s pre-list, Luis de la Fuente, is “fundamental”. “Veterans always feed on the young and the young on the veterans. Players like Lamine Yamal or Pau Cubarsí, who are 17 years old and maybe a little inexperienced, have an incredible personality that very few of us had at their age” , he highlighted.

“It is essential for the role that the coach entails in them, what he tells them on the field, the game plan that he instills in them, that they accept it, that they assume it and that with the personality they have they move forward, because they are qualified for quality, we see it day after day,” he praised the youngest.

Specifically, regarding the FC Barcelona winger he highlighted his “good shot” and “quite good defensive tasks”, with “good routes”. “He is an important player for us. We cannot base our entire game on him, as if he were the star of our team, because we have great players who also, within his field, play a fundamental role,” he analyzed.

“The most important thing about the 26 of us who can go to Germany is that each one of us is doing his best, and all for the good of the team. He is 16 years old and he is doing this type of things, he is playing at the highest level of world football “I enjoy him, I admire him a lot because it seems to me that he has a personality that is not normal. The only thing we can do is enjoy him, take advantage of his quality,” he added about Yamal.

Finally, Simón insisted that the footballers have not had “any type of relationship with everything that has happened”, regarding Luis Rubiales and the subsequent controversy in the entity that has surrounded Pedro Rocha and other officials. “We are a group that has always been forged at the base of the field, we didn’t care at all about what happened outside, neither the press nor anything of that nature. I think we formed a great team, more than a great team. And it is fundamental to have a good Euro Cup,” he concluded.