Can Aritz Aduriz Retire As Athletic Club’s Second All-Time Leading Goalscorer?
Aritz Aduriz has already written his legacy at Athletic Club. From scoring big goals to leading the team to a Spanish Super Cup win over Barcelona in 2015 Zorro is already a living legend. The 37-year-old has aged like a fine wine while always putting the club above all else. He embodies what it means to play for Athletic but one day – one unbelievably sad day – he will hang up his boots.
The striker has established himself as one of the best to ever wear the Zurigorri shirt and the statistics prove it. At this point in his career he’s scored 170 goals for Athletic, tied with Eneko Arieta for 6th on the all-time scoring list, which makes him the club’s most prolific goalscorer of the last 30 years. That is an impressive accomplishment, especially in today’s football, but Aduriz has the chance to reach even higher levels of mythology.
With 10 more goals Aduriz would surpass José Iraragorri (179) for 5th on the scoring list. Another 18 goals would put him in 4th place ahead of Guillermo Gorostiza (196). From there he has a realistic chance to move as high as 2nd on the all-time list if he can overtake Bata’s 208 career goals. Doing so would put Aduriz behind only the great Telmo Zarra whose 335 goals for Athletic will likely never be matched.
Those who know Aduriz well know that he isn’t concerned with personal achievements. Of course, he is happy to reach special milestones, but his priority has always been helping the team be successful. At 37 years old fans wonder just how much longer he will be playing football. It’s been an ongoing question for nearly five years now. Despite his age Aduriz has continued to perform at an extremely high level and only he knows when it will be time to say goodbye. He’s often said that he will continue to play as long as his body can handle it and he’s able to contribute to the team in a positive way.
Having already scored five goals this year Aduriz could absolutely pass Iraragorri but will he climb even higher? The Athletic striker needs 39 more goals to move into 2nd place which isn’t an impossible number to reach if he decides to continue playing next season. Regardless of where Aduriz ranks on the club’s all-time scoring list when he finally decides to hang up his boots, he will retire as a club legend and one of the very best Lions in the history of Athletic.