Real Sociedad and Basque brilliance ushering success in Europe

Xabi Alonso’s success with Bayer Leverkusen and the potential to deliver the German club its first Bundesliga title. Aston Villa finding new levels of success under Unai Emery and challenging for the top four in the Premier League. Real Sociedad winning its UEFA Champions League group to set up a tie with PSG in the round of 16. Even Arsenal’s continued development and prosperity under Mikel Arteta. Each of these things has one common theme, and it comes from the Basque region of Spain, which has become a hotbed for managerial success and progress in Europe.

Real Sociedad has worked to develop talents in the Basque area that have gone on to great heights across Europe. Now, the product of that development is on full display. The two coaches massively exceeding expectations at their respective clubs come from similar upbringings, Xabi Alonso and Unai Emery. Both began their playing careers in the Real Sociedad system. Now, they have taken their career starts across Europe, where their clubs are the beneficiaries.

Unai Emery never broke into the Real Sociedad first team as a player. Yet, comments during his managerial stint in Sevilla indicate that what makes Real Sociedad stand out is the culture of the area. The area leaves a lasting impression on those who come from it.

“I have a txuri-urdin [Euskera for blue and white] feeling, I spent ten years at La Real, I follow it from afar but very closely, because a little piece of my heart will always be txuri-urdin, and I know what La Real means to Guipuzcoa,” Emery said in 2015.

Explaining why Real Sociedad produces great coaching minds

Having a feeling of connection only goes so far tactically on the pitch. Unai Emery and Xabi Alonso are only two of the coaches who came from the upbringing in the Real Sociedad youth system. Current Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil and Julen Lopetegui laid their roots with Real Sociedad.

One thing each of these managers have in common is diligence. Every…


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Author : Kyle Fansler

Publish date : 2024-02-13 17:09:46

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