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African All Stars

Inaki Williams 'freaked out', credits discipline, genetics for his 237 consecutive La Liga appearance record

2:10 AM SGT 7/9/22
Inaki Williams
The Ghana forward believes taking care of his body and diet has helped him maintain the feat of playing in every top-flight tie since April 20, 2016

Ghana forward Inaki Williams has revealed the secret to his incredible La Liga record while admitting the numbers also make him "freak out".

Williams kept intact his record of playing in every Spanish top-flight match since April 20, 2016 on Sunday as he shook off injury concerns to make it 237 consecutive appearances for Athletic Bilbao in their 1-0 loss to Espanyol.

The striker, who was called to the Black Stars squad by coach Otto Addo on Tuesday, has credited his record to a number of things, including discipline and genetics.

"I take care of myself, eat well, rest and good genetics,” Williams said when quizzed about the secret to his record.

“There is a lot of talk about this record. I have not been very aware of what I have been achieving.

"It is a cluster of things that everything indicates that it is very difficult for it to be repeated.

"I am happy, I also freak out with these numbers."

There had been concerns that Williams’ record would come to an end before Sunday’s match when he went down with what was suspected to be a sprained ankle in last week’s 4-0 victory over Cadiz, but he recovered just in time to keep his six-and-a-half-year feat ongoing.

Williams began his career at Athletic Bilbao in 2012 and made his La Liga debut in December 2014, starting in a 1-0 home loss to Cordoba.

He broke the record for the most consecutive appearances in La Liga in October 2021, the record having been held by Juanan Larranaga, a legend of Basque rivals Real Sociedad.

Williams has now made 344 appearances for the club while scoring 74 goals and opened his 2022-23 account when he netted once in the win over Cadiz.

The Basque-born forward is set to make his Black Stars debut this month after being called up to the Ghana squad for the Brazil and Nicaragua friendly matches at Stade Oceane in France on September 23 and Estadio Francisco Artes Carrasco in Spain four days later, respectively.

Williams will hope to make a good impression in the matches to stay in contention for a place in the World Cup-bound squad.