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Iker Muniain, the new precocious Spanish kid

Every now and then a young Spanish talent emerges into the football spotlight: Raul Gonzalez, Fernando Torres, Bojan Krkic, Pedro Rodriguez and Sergio Canales are examples of young stars who burst onto the scene with great expectations that they will go on to become top players in world football.

Some of them become world class stars, but not all of them meet expectations.

Athletic Bilbao’s attacking midfielder Iker Muniain is in this important stage in his fledgling career. The 19 year-old has broken all the newcomers’ records of his club.

He was the youngest player to debut and score in an official match, at only 16, and is the youngest scorer in La Liga.

His cheek, courage and technical and mental qualities have catapulted him to a place in the senior Spanish team, whose last match was an overwhelming 5-0 win in a friendly against Venezuela this week.

Important match

Spain's manager Vicente del Bosque chose Muniain to play the final 18 minutes of this important match, the last before finalising his Euro 2012 squad.

Muniain is one of the star players in Bilbao’s outstanding season. The club, whose philosophy is based on young and only regional players, is reaping the fruits of their fantastic coaching work over the last few years.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team is fifth in La Liga and in serious contention to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Furthermore, Athletic will face Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey in May and are still alive in the Europa League. A clash with Manchester United in the Round of 16 poses one of the toughest challenges of their abilities this season.

Personal and team success is giving Muniain the opportunity to make important accomplishments this year and get started on his way to becoming one of the best Spanish players in the future.

Make way for Iker Muniain.

By Ivan Molina 


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