Williams brothers build ‘monument to football’ on Athletic’s anniversary | Sid Lowe

Williams brothers build ‘monument to football’ on Athletic’s anniversary | Sid Lowe

Nico’s brilliant goal against Atlético brought Iñaki to his knees in a win that marked this team out as Athletic’s best in a decade

It could have been a scene from their childhood but for the 48,781 people there with them. Nico Williams had just curled in the kind of goal you’re not supposed to score with your wrong foot, falling as he sent the ball flying past Jan Oblak into the corner, and now he was standing at the north end of San Mamés, the place erupting into songs of praise. Atlético Madrid defeated, his Athletic Club teammates hugged him while all around fans who would have done likewise given half a chance began chanting his name. Then his big brother knelt down, invited him to lay his weight upon him as he always had and cleaned his boot.

When Iñaki Williams was little and Nico Williams was littler, he would often get his brother up in the morning, make his breakfast, prepare his clothes and take him to school. In the afternoon, he would be back to pick him up, bringing a sandwich. He would take Nico to games – sometimes he would referee – and to the park to play, dusting him down after. One day he won one, Nico told former Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, socking it to his sibling and prompting his brother’s mates to swap sides. Iñaki was 18, Nico 10.

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