Basque football legend Aritz Aduriz announced his retirement. The last season of a man who seemed to play forever and scored more and more over the years (like Antonio Di Natale) is corrupted by a coronavirus.

“The time has come. I have repeatedly said that football will leave you before you leave it,” — Aduriz wrote. – Yesterday, doctors told me to see a surgeon, and the sooner the better. I need hip arthroplasty so that my daily life can remain the same as before.

Unfortunately, the body told me: “Enough.” I can no longer be useful for my partners as I would like, and I can not help them the way they deserve. This is the life of a professional athlete. Everything is amazingly simple. Unfortunately, we must go through more difficult and unpleasant situations: the pandemic that we all faced has caused us irreparable damage, and together we must continue to fight.

One way or another, you should not worry about me, I just told you my story. Let’s forget about the finals that we dreamed about, because we will have time to say goodbye. And yes, this time has come, and so my path comes to an end – amazing and unforgettable from the beginning to the end. I sincerely thank everyone…”.

Aritz’s career deserved a more beautiful ending. It was known for a long time about his plans to leave football: as early as last August, a man announced that the upcoming season (i.e. 2019/20) would be his last.

Of course, the oiled end is an offensive story. But it’s all the more offensive that one of the last matches of Aduriz in his career could be the final of the Spanish Cup, and what a match with Real Sociedad!

Aritz was born in San Sebastian and even worked in the Sociedad second team, but in 2000, when he was 18, he left for the modest Aurrera from Vitoria-Gasteiz, who played in the third division. The anthropometry of Aduriz and his ability to play with head helped him to attract the attention of the Athletic scouts — so he moved to Bilbao.

True, in Athletic, Aduriz played only three matches as the starting XI for three years — but in second team he scored 19 goals in 90 matches. At 23, Aritz signed contract with Valladolid. But he returns to Athletic for 3 million euros after three years.
At 28, Aduriz left the Basque Country for the last time — it seemed that the career of a powerful and not very clogged forward was slowly dying away — but in 2012 he was returned to Bilbao by Marcelo Bielsa. Further — the heyday, 37 goals in 35 years and a trip to Euro 2016.

When the season was suspended due to the coronavirus, Aduriz did not plan to end his career — he wanted to finish it beautifully, the derby in the Cup’s final. And the derby is friendly — the fans of the Basque teams do not quarrel with each other.

“We would like to say goodbye to you in the final of the Cup in our dreams. In any case, it was nice that you played against us for so many years, even with your hands (referring to 2006, when Aritz cheated on a judge and earned a penalty thanks to a hand game). We wish you all the best for your future. See you in San Sebastian!” — Sociedad said goodbye to Aduriz.

Aritz, of course, really was in poor physical conditions— this season he played less and less and scored only one goal against Barca.

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Chris Darwen
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