Athletic Bilbao: ‘You had courage, you put your head between the heels of your boots’

From ram to ram. From matador to matador. Isma Urzaiz, one of Athletic’s reference nines in recent times says goodbye to the killer Aduriz after his recent retirement. The Navarrese occupies the 12th place in the scorers’ ranking in the history of the Bilbao club, with 129 goals in 11 campaigns. The San Sebastian has lowered the blind in sixth place, with 172 goals in 12 courses. Two who have worn the same number on their back as the red and white jersey, number 20.

Through the official Athletic magazine, whose latest issue is a tribute to Aduriz, the one from Tudela points out that “I still remember that freckled young man who appeared in the first team in the preseason of 2002. When a puppy went up to Athletic, we were all expectant to be able to observe the quality of the player, and more if it was about a forward ”.

And the newcomer passed the veterans test from the start. “From the first moment I appreciated that you had what I consider a player must have to be in the elite, in addition to the usual characteristics, whether technical, physical, etc. In particular, there is a quality that I give a lot of emphasis to, courage ”, he says. Urzaiz.

The one from Tudela, who played 419 games as a lion, clarifies that this bravery of Aduriz The one he talks about refers to “the ability to put his head between the heels of his boots, the possibility of taking an unexpected blow … That is something that has been inherent to you -he goes directly to Donostia-, in addition to your undeniable quality throughout your career ”.

Urzaiz also rescue difficult moments for Aduriz in which he had to leave Bilbao. “I remember your departures from Athletic, never a bad word for anyone, whether it was a correct decision or not,” he highlights. And it reveals conversations between the two, like the one they had when the last rojiblanco killer had to pack his bags for Mallorca. He told him that if that was what the future had in store for him, he was “going to face it as always, head on.”

The Navarrese emphasizes that “you only knew how to do things that way, with your successes and your mistakes. That, and what you experienced, led you to be able to leave the legacy with which you retire. What you gave us later, everyone has appreciated, enjoyed and shared with you, which is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a professional ”.