Athletic and its surroundings today congratulate José Ángel Iribar, the legendary Txopo, on his 78th birthday. The one who was an international goalkeeper happens to be the footballer with the most official matches played throughout the centennial history of the rojiblanco club. The goal of Zarautz defended in 614 matches, distributed in 18 consecutive leagues, the colors of the Bilbao entity.
Beyond the merely football aspect, professionals who are or have come to be at certain times under the discipline of Athletic highlight the personal and human character of Iribar. An authentic reference inside and outside of Lezama. The Txopo, by the way, debuted as a lion the same day as another historic rojiblanco, the late Fidel Uriarte., who also made the years on March 1.
Iribar made his debut for Athletic in Malaga under Ángel Zubieta on September 23, 1962, with a 2-0 defeat. The many Malacitanos, yes, Carmelo conceded before having to be replaced due to injury. The Txopo has a total of 614 games in 18 seasons divided between the League (466), the Cup (93), the Recopa (6) and the UEFA (49). Conquered two Cups (1969 and 1973), a Zamora Trophy (1969-70) and a European Championship for national teams (1964), with 49 international matches. He hung up his boots in the 1979-80 campaign.
Fidel Uriarte, another historic Athletic player who would have turned 76 today, did start in that debut match against Málaga. The one who was a forward played 394 matches as a lion, scoring 120 goals over twelve seasons. He won two Cups and a Pichichi (1967-68) and was international six times.