With a philosophy that permits employment of players born in, or with a close tie to, their home region only, it would seem to be impossible for a football club to survive in the top tier of a major European league as its rivals draw in superstars from around the world. Yet once again, Atletico Bilbao finished closer to the top than the relegation zone of Spain’s La Liga.
It’s a tough place, Aberdeen. The Granite City. Home to just under a quarter of a million inhabitants, the iced wind blows in from the North Sea, and helicopters still transport hardened workers to the diminishing oil fields nearby. And whilst it might now be home to the highest concentration of millionaires in Britain it remains an odd choice of destination for a flame haired footballing superstar to make as his career developed in the 1990s.