It was bad news for the players, board and fans of Athletic Bilbao when defender Yeray Alvarez was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December. Alvarez amazingly returned to action in February and was named in Spain’s squad for the U21 European Championships, just 46 days after surgery to remove the affected testicle. However, in June, Alvarez suffered a setback when it was discovered during a routine checkup that the disease had returned, robbing him of the chance to play at the U21 European Championship.
In July, Alvarez was shown love and support from his Athletic Bilbao teammates as they all shaved their heads while he was undergoing chemotherapy. “We want him to feel as comfortable as possible here and we did this not only for Yeray but for all families that suffer from this disease.” said midfielder Oscar de Marcos.
Alvarez also took to Instagram to thank the players and fans for their support, saying he would return stronger.”When it seemed like it had knocked me down, I got up and fought back,” the defender wrote. “Don’t worry, I’m going to win this fight. With all the people that support me, if it comes back to knock me down again, I will come back a thousand and one times.”
Yes, he won the fight. Athletic Bilbao have confirmed that Alvarez’s treatment was successful. It is only a matter of time before the 22-year-old returns to action.