Athletic Bilbao

The first club on this list is quite obvious. Athletic Bilbao is the club that first comes to mind when it comes to football clubs with transfer restrictions.

Eight LaLiga titles (4th most successful club), 23 Copa del Rey (2nd most successful) and 3 Super Cups (3rd) is a score that makes them the most successful club on this list. This is especially highlighted when we consider the reputation of these competitions compared to other clubs. Although they have Super Cup trophies from 2015 and 2021, the last major trophy was won in 1984 when they took the double crown. In addition, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, they are one of the three clubs that has never been relegated from the highest rank of Spanish football.

Although I believe you are familiar with their transfer policy, for the sake of those few who missed that information, the rules are as follows.

Athletic Bilbao is often called the “pride of the Basque Country”, referring to the fact that Bilbao is the largest, but not the capital, city of the Spanish province of the Basque Country. This province is one of the territories from which this club draws players, but it is not the only one. Players from the neighboring province of Navarre and from Northern Basque Country located in France can also play for Athletic.

However, recently the club’s leaders have started finding ways to “stretch” this rule. Thus, players whose ancestors are originally from the Basque Country can play for the club, or players who have gone through the youth ranks of another Basque club even if they have no other connections with this region.