Berenguer, in the shot that qualified Athletic for the Cup final David Ramos / GETTY
A month and a half ago, the most widely read football fans from Bilbao, history fans, began to remember an article written by José Ortega y Gasset in the newspaper El Sol, on November 15, 1930, and not because of its political content, which was the germ of the Second Republic, but because of its title: 'El error Berenguer'.
The protagonist of that text was then President of the Government, but the last name coincided with a 25-year-old footballer who came to Athletic this season with the season started, coming from Torino, and for which 10 million were paid in addition to agreeing on various bonuses for goals. Róber (Enis Bardhi, min. 45), Vezo, Clerc, Miramón (Coke, min. 107), Rochina (Nikola Vukcevic, min. 84), Malsa (Son, min. 84), Roger (Dani Gómez, min. 90 ), Morales (Sergio León, min. 89) and Jorge De FrutosAthleticUnai Simón, Yuri (Balenziaga, min. 107), Unai Núñez, De Marcos (Capa, min. 105), Yeray, Berenguer, Muniain (Jon Morcillo, min. 110), Vesga (Dani García, min. 96), Unai López (Unai Vencedor, min. 105) , Williams and Raúl García (Villalibre, min. 95) Goals1-0 min. 16: Roger. 1-1 min. 29: Raúl García. 1-2 min. 111: Berenguer. Yellow cards Óscar Duarte (min. 27), Unai Núñez (min. 41), Roger (min. 54), Rochina (min. 75) and De Marcos (min. 104)
The first steps of the Navarrese winger in San Mamés were not too lucky, so a footballer that Athletic wanted for five years had become a suspicious lump. However, almost all of those who then thought that the Bilbao club had made its particular “Berenguer mistake”, now gladly observe how Athletic will have to pay these incentives because with the Navarrese player Marcelino's team has reached two finals (Super Cup and Cup) and has won the first. And all this with the invaluable contribution of the footballer raised in the Osasuna quarry, who made his debut in the Navarrese team in 2016-17 and was later transferred to Torino with an anti-Athletic clause, according to which the Basque entity had to pay 1, 5 million to Osasuna if he ended up signing for Bilbao. After three seasons at Calcium, and after starting as a starter in the Turin team, Athletic got his transfer (with that compensation for Osasuna) .
Osasuna included a clause to receive 1.5 million for his transfer
He made his debut in the defeat of Mendizorroza (1-0) and, although he scored his first goal the next day against Levante (2-0), criticism of his game was not long in coming. Berenguer was considered almost an alien element. He looked like a good dribbler, but he seemed inconsistent and, at times, undetectable by his teammates. He started 12 times with Garitano in games where he did not contribute anything different and, when Marcelino arrived, he disappeared from the line-ups
In the Super Cup he played the last 20 minutes against Madrid and entered in 80 against Barça, which allowed him to play the entire extension. But his luck was changing. In the win against Getafe (5-1) he scored a goal after 12 games and began to show an unknown facet in San Mamés: in addition to his expertise in the band, which he was supposed to be, he displayed an unusual facility to infiltrate the areas sensitive area. He regained ownership and celebrated it with goals. He scored two in Carranza (0-4) , scored the next day against Villarreal (1-1) , and in the crucial Cup semifinal clash against Levante he qualified his team for the final against Barcelona with a shot from outside the area that stumbled on Vukcevic (1-2). It was his seventh goal of the season.
"In Italy you always have a defender blowing on the back of your neck," he explains.
It is now, with six, Athletic's top scorer in the League. Raúl García, with nine (four from penalties), is the one who has scored the most in the aggregate of all the rojiblancos tournaments. Williams has also scored seven goals in total, one from a penalty, but in 2,354 minutes, by 1,817 from outside Navarre.
Idilio cupbearer of Athletic
Berenguer enjoys a more attacking game than in Turin: “Football is different there, more defensive . You never just receive the ball, you always have a defender blowing your neck, you learn to play at the first touch because there are always several opponents surrounding you. In Spain there is more rhythm of the game, less defensive mentality ”, he recently confessed in an interview in EL PAÍS.
Berenguer was first uncovered in Cádiz and then in Valencia with two great performances. In the Cup match he was able to add a little more, but Del Cerro Grande converted his goal into a penalty. He also enjoyed another occasion in a back header shot that narrowly missed. The “Berenguer error” that many predicted is turning into a success.