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Jan 24, 2013

Muniain going nowhere

Athletic Bilbao attacker Iker Muniain says he is happy at the club and wants to stay and try to recapture his best form of last season.

Iker Muniain made his La Liga debut three years ago at the age of 16
Iker Muniain has won one cap for Spain

Muniain, 19, was among the Basque club’s stars as they swept through the Europa League - past Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Schalke - to last season’s final. He has recently been mentioned in the Spanish press as one of the potential La Liga players Josep Guardiola could take to Bayern Munich, where he would join former Athletic team-mate Javi Martinez.

However, the versatile player said on Wednesday that he was not thinking about leaving his boyhood club.

“I am happy here and I have a contract until 2015,” Muniain said. “I do not think about anything like that. I am going to take advantage of every minute I am at this club and enjoy it.”

Muniain admitted this season had not been as enjoyable - on a personal or team level - as he would have liked.

“In the last months my mood has not been as good, but now I am beginning to feel better and I hope to keep going like this,” he said. “It has been a bit of everything. I hope to keep improving and get my best form back as quickly as possible.”

The Spanish Under-21 international, who was unhappy when substituted by coach Marcelo Bielsa 79 minutes into Monday’s 1-1 draw at Real Betis, said his reaction had been one of frustration with himself, not his manager.

“I was feeling good,” he said. “I obviously respect the decisions of the coach. I was angry with myself because every player wants to play every minute. The day I am not angry when I am taken off I will start to worry.”

Athletic face high-flying Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Sunday evening, a challenge which Muniain said might help his team lift their game.

"The fans deserve something good,” he said. “Atletico Madrid are an ideal opponent.”

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