The club football season is officially over for Athletic Club, but that means that international competition is just getting started. The Spain National Team, as well as the U21 squad, will play several matches over the next few months and there will be a few Lions who are included in that as well. Originally, Yeray and Inaki Williams were called up to the U21 team, but they will be making a stop with the senior team first.
On Wednesday, the RFEF announced that a handful of players would join the Spain National Team until the U21 matches begin later in June. Among those listed were Athletic defender Yeray and winger Inaki Williams. The other players called up were Hector Bellerin, Alvaro Odriozola, and Saul Niguez.
The two Lions will join club teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga under the direction of Julen Loptegui for the time being. Spain will play next week in a friendly against Colombia before kicking off their World Cup Qualifiers four days later against Macedonia. With Wednesday’s game being a tune-up match for Macedonia, it isn’t guaranteed that Yeray or Inaki Williams will actually see game time with La Roja.
The Athletic players will return to join the U21 team before their first Euro Group Stage match which will take place on 17 July. Competing on the international stage is great for these players, but there is one issue that needs to be worked out. Athletic will be playing the first leg of their Europa League qualifier on 27 July but Spain’s U21’s will not finish their group stage matches until August. That means that Athletic could be without key players as they try to advance to the next stage of the Europa League, but nothing has been decided at this point.