Coronavirus: Copa del Rey final and retirement not important amid pandemic - Aduriz

By Sports Desk April 05, 2020

Aritz Aduriz does not see his retirement nor Athletic Bilbao's Copa del Rey final with Real Sociedad as important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The veteran striker, who has scored 172 goals in over 400 appearances for Athletic, announced his intention to retire at the end of this season back in August.

His final season as a player is set to be marked by an all-Basque Copa del Rey final between Athletic and La Real.

Originally scheduled to take place on April 18 in Seville, the Copa showpiece - along with the vast majority of sport around the world - has been put on hold.

It is not clear when the final will be played. However, Aduriz accepts even an occasion as momentous as the clash with La Real has little significance amid a crisis that has killed over 12,000 people in Spain.

"This coronavirus crisis is forcing us to think twice and consider what matters," Aduriz told Athletic's official website. "And now my retirement, or football in general, or if we will play [the Copa del Rey final] or not doesn't matter.

"I think there are many other more important things to stop and solve. I'm sure with everyone's help together, with each of us playing our role, we will get ahead of it. That's what I'm focused on at this moment and that's the most important thing."

Aduriz was born in San Sebastian, where Real Sociedad hail from, but he expects a respectful reception from their fans if and when the final goes ahead.

He added: "Maybe all of us are keeping in mind the Copa del Rey final, but we're prioritising other things now.

"We're all going through a tough time where many people are struggling a lot and even passing away…so, the final of the Copa has its importance, but maybe not that much now.

"There are other things we need to solve together, and if the day [of the final] finally comes, I'm Donostiarra [people originally from San Sebastian]. I've always felt very comfortable in Donostia [the city's Basque name] and that won't change whatever happens in any football game. I'm sure they will treat me in the same way, no doubt."

Asked about recognition for his achievements from Athletic fans, Aduriz replied: "If we've learned something from this pandemic or virus that we're struggling with, it's that we should think twice about what is important.

"I sincerely believe the people who really deserve a statue and recognition are clear nowadays, and it's not me or any football player.

"I would build a statue to those who are battling every day at the very front line against the virus in all the hospitals. They're showing us what really matters.

"We have to realise what's important and what isn't. And this is probably showing us that football isn't important enough for this kind of recognition."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Kane wants exit amid Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea links, Allegri favourite for Madrid job Rumour Has It: Kane wants exit amid Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea links, Allegri favourite for Madrid job

    Where will Harry Kane play in 2021-22?

    The Tottenham star Kane reportedly wants out of his boyhood club.

    Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are ready to pounce…

     

    TOP STORY – KANE SEEKING SPURS DEPARTURE

    Harry Kane has told Tottenham he wants to leave the club in the off-season, according to widespread reports in England.

    Frustrated at a lack of silverware in London, Spurs star Kane would reportedly prefer to remain in the Premier League amid links to champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    Kane is believed to be open to a LaLiga switch, with Barcelona among his admirers.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The front page of Diario AS claims former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane if the Frenchman leaves Real Madrid. Club great Raul, who is currently in charge of the Castilla team, is another option. It comes as Madrid push to bring in a franchise player in the form of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich's David Alaba are also wanted amid links to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and United midfielder Paul Pogba.

    - The Sun says City are considering a mega move for Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Messi is reportedly open to reuniting with Pep Guardiola in Manchester on a one-year deal.

    Barca are weighing up the futures of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto, reports Mundo Deportivo. Due to their financial situation, the players could be asked to take a pay cut as Lyon captain Memphis Depay prepares to arrive on a free transfer. City forward Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia, Haaland and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum have also been linked.

    - Lille's Jonathan Ikone is Dortmund's top priority as the Bundesliga club prepare for life without Jadon Sancho, according to France Football. Sancho has been tipped to join United or Liverpool, while Dortmund are also eyeing PSV sensation Donyell Malen, Ajax forward David Neres and Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP.

  • Paris will see best Draxler ever! - PSG playmaker sets out ambition after signing contract extension Paris will see best Draxler ever! - PSG playmaker sets out ambition after signing contract extension

    Julian Draxler is hopeful Paris Saint-Germain will see the "best Draxler ever" after he signed a three-year contract extension with the club.

    The attacking midfielder will remain with PSG until June 2024 having agreed to a deal following a season in which he has made only 12 league starts.

    Despite being used in a rotational role behind the established front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria, Draxler has excelled as a creative force for PSG.

    Indeed, he has created 30 chances in Ligue 1 in 2020-21, more than any other PSG player outside of their starting attacking trident.

    Across Draxler's PSG career, that tally is only topped by the 41 chances he laid on for his team-mates in the 2018-19 campaign, when he provided seven assists.

    And Draxler is hopeful of not only recapturing that form but improving on it after extending his stay with a PSG side that must better Lille's result on Sunday to avoid losing the Ligue 1 title for the first time since 2017.

     

    "The club's ambitions have become a reality. We played in the semi-final of the Champions League this season and in the final last season," Draxler told PSG's official website.

    "We have progressed a lot, and even though we have been through highs and lows, the project is a very attractive one and I am happy to be able to continue here.

    "I have been playing a lot more in recent weeks, it's important for me to be able to maintain my rhythm and play matches.

    "I feel very good and you can see that in the final weeks of this season.

    "We will have a better pre-season this summer than we did last year, we hope that everyone will be ready and that Paris will see the best Draxler ever!" 

  • Real Madrid midfielder Kroos tests positive for COVID-19 Real Madrid midfielder Kroos tests positive for COVID-19

    Real Madrid have announced Toni Kroos – who was already in isolation – has tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out of action for LaLiga's finale.

    Midfielder Kroos missed Sunday's 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao due to health and safety protocols having come into direct contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.

    The Germany international had remained away from the club since Friday, when Madrid issued a statement revealing he had returned negative test results at that stage.

    However, he will now miss the final game of the season for Los Blancos, who remain in the running to retain their league title in Spain.

    "Real Madrid announces that our player, Toni Kroos, tested positive in the COVID-19 test he underwent today," a statement from the club read on Monday.

    "Kroos has been in isolation since Friday, May 14 after having come into direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19."

    Madrid's triumph at the weekend leaves them still two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid going into the closing weekend of the campaign.

    It had appeared Zinedine Zidane's side were going to take over at the summit, only for their city rivals to stage a comeback at home against Osasuna. Luis Suarez scored a late winner at the Wanda Metropolitano to grab a 2-1 triumph that keeps them in pole position.

    Madrid host Europa League finalists Villarreal on Sunday, while Diego Simeone's Atleti travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid.

    Kroos' health will also be of great interest to Germany coach Joachim Low, too, considering the delayed Euro 2020 tournament begins next month.

    The former Bayern Munich player missed the World Cup qualifiers in March due to injury, meaning his most recent international appearance came in the 6-0 Nations League loss to Spain in November 2020.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.