The Spanish soccer team was greeted at the Boise Airport by fans and officials Thursday night as it prepares to play Club Tijuana on the green grass of Albertsons Stadium on Saturday night.
Henar Chico of Boise, president of the local Athletic Bilbao fan club, showed her support by giving a welcoming hug to midfielder Carlos Gurpegui after he and his teammates arrived on a chartered flight from Austria, where the team had been training and playing a preseason match.
Athletic’s plane was greeted by a water cannon salute from a local fire truck.
“That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced in my life,’’ said Joseba Criswell, 19, of Winnemucca, Nev. “That was awesome. It was like watching The Beatles come to America.’’
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Athletic is scheduled to attend a fan gathering and autograph session from 3-4 p.m. Friday at the Basque Center and the Basque Soccer Friendly headquarters in BoDo.
Club Tijuana is scheduled to arrive at the Boise Airport terminal at 9:45 p.m. Friday, and plans to sign autographs at noon Saturday at The Riverside Hotel.