Athletic Bilbao striker Aduriz to retire at end of 2019-20 season

By Sports Desk August 09, 2019

Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz has announced he will retire at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The 38-year-old forward has enjoyed a distinguished 20-year career, becoming a Spain international and Athletic favourite across three spells for the club.

Aduriz's star at Athletic has enjoyed a particularly impressive rise since returning to the club in 2012, but he will be 39 by the time the new season concludes and feels it will be time to focus on other facets of life.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Aduriz told reporters: "I wanted to communicate that this year is going to be my last year as a professional.

"I will leave football when I finish this season. It makes me especially excited to be able to leave it at Athletic.

"The aim of saying it now is to avoid distractions so I can focus everything on the team. Hopefully we can end the year with something very nice and we can offer all our fans something beautiful.

"I feel very happy to be able to leave football at Athletic. I will compete and enjoy every day until the end. We believe the end never comes, but choosing the end and where I will be at the end is an immense privilege.

"It is a thoughtful decision, which I could've taken last year, but circumstances have made it this year. It is a decision made with my family. I am very proud that I end at Athletic."

Although his first spell with Athletic as a youngster saw him mostly confined to the reserves and out on loan to Burgos in the third tier, Aduriz earned a move to Real Valladolid before returning to San Mames in 2006.

He featured prominently in his second stint with Athletic, but Fernando Llorente began to be preferred in the 2007-08 season, and Aduriz left for a solid two-year spell with Mallorca, scoring 23 LaLiga goals.

That form earned him a move to Valencia and, while his 17-goal haul over two seasons was good given he made only 31 starts, there was little resistance to his departure for Athletic ahead of the 2012-13 campaign.

This time Aduriz was top dog in attack, with Llorente struggling for form as he ran his contract down.

Aduriz's record of 14 strikes in 2012-13 was a personal best at the time, but there was better to come.

The burly striker followed up with 16 the following season, 18 the year after and then 20 in 2015-16, earning him a call-up to the Spain squad for Euro 2016.

Fittingly, Aduriz could feature against all three of his former employers, Valencia, Valladolid and Mallorca, in his final season, following the latter's promotion last term.

Related items

  • Naps, Presentation lock in top positions, challengers still around Naps, Presentation lock in top positions, challengers still around

    Naparima College locked into the top position on the Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division after a 2-1 win over high-riding newcomers Malick Secondary on Saturday. 

  • Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel but for how long?

    After a blistering start to life at Manchester United, initially as interim manager, the Red Devils have struggled to convince.

    United have won two of their opening five games ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham and Paris could be the location of a possible replacement…

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED AND BARCA BATTLE FOR TUCHEL

    Manchester United have sounded out Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, according to Le10 Sport.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal after initially replacing Jose Mourinho in December, but the Red Devils have been far from convincing following a brief upturn in results.

    United have reportedly informed Tuchel of their interest, though LaLiga champions Barcelona are also tracking the German as pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde after Saturday's shock loss at Granada.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - According to the Sunday Express, Tottenham have identified Leicester City star James Maddison as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen. Maddison has also been heavily linked to Manchester United.

    United, meanwhile, have been told it will take £90million (€101m) to lure Germany star Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, claims the Express. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool. As for United and their hopes of signing RB Salzburg star Erling Haaland, they could be scuppered by agent Mino Raiola. The 19-year-old made headlines with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. However, United's relationship with Raiola could thwart their plans, writes The Sun.

    - The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

    - Marca reports that Real Madrid are keen to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 16-year-old has dazzled in Ligue 1 this season.

  • Valverde accepts responsibility for Barcelona's worst start in 25 years Valverde accepts responsibility for Barcelona's worst start in 25 years

    Ernesto Valverde admits he is to blame for Barcelona's poor form after Saturday's 2-0 loss at Granada confirmed their worst LaLiga start in 25 years.

    Barca went down to goals from Ramon Azeez and Alvaro Vadillo as the promoted side moved top of the table, with Valverde's men seventh after five games.

    Seven points is the fewest they have collected at this stage of the season since a difficult 1994-95 campaign under legendary coach Johan Cruyff.

    Valverde's team have failed to win any of their past seven away games in all competitions, a run that dates back to last season, with pressure growing on the coach.

    Although Valverde has led Barca to the title in each of his two full seasons in charge, they lost last term's Copa del Rey final to Valencia after crashing out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion against Liverpool.

    Questions about Valverde's future have been a constant background presence throughout his time at the club, and the coach accepts the blame for poor results must lie at his door.

    "In the end the actors are the players and the coach is responsible," he told a post-match news conference.

    "I feel responsible for what has happened. You can lose but when you lose you have to deserve to win - and today we have not deserved it.

    "Away from home we are not reaping good results. When it happens in four games it is already a symptom that we are not too well.

    "Today we have not been well. Away from home we are not playing good games. We are dominating but we do not translate it into goal situations. It is also true that the opponent is scoring the first goal."

    Valverde gave credit to Granada, who have won three LaLiga games in a row without conceding a goal.

    "Granada deserve a lot of credit and we have to recognise it," the coach added. "They have been intense, strong, they have troubled us a lot.

    "The first goal has put the game in their hands and they hit us when they hurt us the most. They have made their game and that we have not played well is to their credit."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.