Interviews become part of the life of Nicholas ‘Nico’ Williams (Pamplona, Navarra, 2002). The first he did was with the media of his club, Athletic. The second, with EFE. He recognizes that for a “kid” his age it is sometimes “difficult to manage” everything that happens to him, but that he does not have “little birds in his head” thanks to what his environment has instilled in him.
After participating in all Athletic Club matches to date and launching a call-up with the Spanish Under-21 team, he is proud to “open the way” to the black race and to wear the shirt of an Athletic team with which he hopes to “do great things” this season. Before that, he will be under Luis de la Fuente at the start of qualifying for the 2023 European Championship that will be held in Georgia and Romania.
Question: He was called up due to Rober González’s injury. Did you catch him already with the vacation tickets?
Answer: Yes, I had already planned to go a couple of days with the family to spend a couple of days, but super proud and grateful to be here.
Q: How are these first days meeting new colleagues and the coach?
A: I knew someone from the U19 like Turrientes, Francés or Yeremy and the rest have welcomed me very well.
Q: What has the coach transmitted to you?
A: Quite confident and above all that he plays like I do in my club. And be calm.
Q: You won the European of the category two years ago, semifinals in the last, Olympic silver, does it add more pressure to those who start this generation?
A: Not really. We are a very strong team and we know that we are going to compete very well and that we are going to go all out.
Q: You are a talisman. He has played five games with the Athletic Club first team and they have won two and drawn three. Russia wins then, right?
A: (laughs). Yes, it is clear that we are going to win by being the talisman as people say.
Q: Your brother Iñaki said about you that the most important thing was not to have birds in your head. How do you experience your first steps with Athletic and the call of the U21?
A: It is true that for a boy my age it is difficult to manage all these things that are happening to me, but my parents, my family and my environment have instilled in me some essential values and I do not have any little birds in my head. You have to keep going and work hard.
Q: You talk about your family, who suffered a lot to get to Spain. How was your youth?
A: My brother suffered a little more than me financially, I have had it easier, so to speak. We come from a humble family. Very grateful to my parents and my brother for everything they have done for me.
Q: And now the reward begins to arrive playing in the Athletic first team and with the U21. What does it mean to you?
A: It is a pride to wear the Athletic shirt because few can do it, to represent a part of Euskadi and the black race; be able to open that path to others.
Q: You talk about paving the way for black players. Last weekend there were racist insults at Liverpool-Chelsea and his brother suffered them a few seasons ago on the Espanyol pitch. Have you experienced a similar situation?
A: Thank God I have not had. What to say? Those acts in the XXI century cannot be given and we hope that they will be eliminated.
Q: Let’s talk about soccer. Does the goal have or is it worked?
A: I think it is talent. The goal, normally, is scored, although it is also important to work on it with different finishing exercises because you gain experience and score many more.
Q: You did it in Second B, but now the elite are coming. What changes have you noticed?
A: Yes it is true that the rhythm is totally different, faster and more dynamic. At first it was difficult for me to adapt, but I am picking it up little by little.
Q: Winger or forward?
A: I look more comfortable as a left or right forward. Far right far better.
Q: Aguirrezabala, Vencedor, Oihan Sancet, you, those of the absoluteâ? Lezama returns to bear fruit.
A: Yes, it seems that we are in the heyday of Lezama. We are pretty good.
Q: With this generation, what goals do you set for yourself?
A: I see that there is a pretty good atmosphere in the dressing room and I think this year we are going to do great things with the team.
Q: It is important to achieve that feeling that you all have of belonging to the club. Something that seems to be being lost in football.
A: Yes. We are all from the house and that helps a lot for those of us who come from below. Athletic is like a family.