Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic Bilbao, is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, in the Basque Country.
They are known as Los Leones because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés. Mammes was an early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was later made a saint.
The club is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. Athletic have won La Liga on eight occasions, fourth most in the history of the league. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to Barcelona, having won it 24 times. The club also has one of the most successful women's teams in Spain, which has won five championships in the Primera División Femenina.
The club is known for its cantera policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks, as well as recruiting players from other Basque clubs like Joseba Etxeberria and Javi Martínez.
San Mamés Stadium