It took him 10 years and 323 games — but Athletic Bilbao left-back Mikel Balenziaga has finally scored the first goal of his career.
Balenziaga, 28, scored his team’s second in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sevilla at the San Mames stadium as he burst into the area and fired a diagonal shot past goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
“It happened very quickly and I had to watch it on the TV to remember it,” he told AS.
“Luckily, the ball went in. It’s beautiful to score a goal… you are overcome with joy because the goal helped us to win.
“It’s a fantastic feeling. If I had to wait another 323 games to see so much happiness, I would.”
Balenziaga’s colleagues threw an impromptu party in honour of his strike, and he said: “My teammates were really happy. So many years without scoring, and there were jokes and even bets.
“It gives me so much enthusiasm to see my teammates celebrate like this. They were as happy as I was.”
Athletic coach Ernesto Valerde praised Balenziaga, who has started all his team’s games this season, telling the club’s official website: “I hoped that one day Mikel would eventually score.
“His goal was a beauty and was very important for us. More than anything, I’m happy for him. He is a key player.”
Athletic, who are fifth and on a four-game winning run in La Liga, host Rapid Vienna in the Europa League group stages on Thursday and travel to Malaga on Sunday.