Part of the pre-season tradition at 1. FC Union Berlin is the IFA-presented friendly match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei ahead of the new Bundesliga season. At 15:30 on Saturday July 31, 1. FC Union Berlin will welcome traditional Spanish top-flight side Athletic Bilbao to Köpenick.
In recent years, 1. FC Union Berlin have taken on teams like Celta Vigo and Queens Park Rangers to finish off preparations for the campaign. While the IFA exhibition cannot go ahead this year due to organisational reasons, the match is still fitted into the calendar.
Whether the match can be played in front of supporters remains to be seen. Information about tickets and attendance will be provided in due course.
Athletic Club: Supercup winners and never relegated
Known as Athletic Club – Athletic Bilbao in English-speaking countries – the Lions have won the Spanish championship eight times and never dropped out of the top division. The club is known internationally for its outstanding youth development and policy to promote players from their home Basque region.
Some of Bilbao's biggest achievements have come outside of La Liga. The team from San Mames have won the Spanish Cup 23 times – second only in all-time rankings to Barcelona. Defeated finalists in the Cup, Bilbao went on to win the Spanish Super Cup this season against Barcelona. In Europe, Bilbao have lost twice in the UEFA Cup final (1978 and 2012) and most recently, got to the last 16 of the Europa League in 2018.