Iker Muniain 18 Winger/Midfielder Athletic Bilbao
18 years old. Iker Muniain is just 18 years old.
Since first appearing at Bilbao in 2009 as a raw but gifted sixteen year old, Muniain has followed the Cristiano Ronaldo plan and spent time bulking up his physical appearance to match his blinding ability on the ball.
Now on the radar of all of Europe’s big clubs, Muniain and Bilbao are more than happy with each other and may stay that way for some time yet. If the Pamplona born winger continues to progress as he has in his first two seasons then offers are going to arrive with increasing frequence for rapidly increasing amounts. Whatever price you can think of, double it and then double it again - mark our words; Muniain will be worth it. So far he has taken everything and everyone in his (rather quick) stride with a confidence that has yet to tip into arrogance. Each new challenge has been conquered accordingly.
Muniain's strengths are obvious - technically adept, his crossing is consistently good and he has that wonderful ability to run as fast with the ball as without. If we had to point to a weakness, it’s perhaps that he’s not as ruthless as he could be in front of goal. For his age Muniain is already one of the best, if not THE best, in his position in the world and Athletic fans are loving every minute.
"2011/2012 brings us Muniain v2.0; bigger, stronger, wiser and still isn’t intimated by a soul. “He’s still a teenager” I say to myself every time I watch him play, the reason being I'm having a hard time believing it. Could be the leader of the ‘Bielbao’ movement in the Basque Country" – David Cartlidge (Spanish Football.info)
C+ *THE* future star of world football.