Markel Susaeta, Ander Iturraspe, And Mikel Rico Receive Special Tribute After Last Game At San Mamés
There was plenty to celebrate after Sunday’s match at San Mamés. Athletic had taken all three points in their last home game of the season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo and will go into next weekend with a very good chance of qualify for Europe. When the final whistle sounded no one left their seats because a very special moment was about to take place.
Everyone knew that this would be the farewell match for Markel Susaeta, Ander Iturraspe, and Mikel Rico. The three veterans will be leaving the club this summer and Athletic announced beforehand that a deserved tribute would take place after the game ended. The celebration would actually start much earlier when fans began to chant Susaeta’s name in the 14th minute.
Late in the second half the fans would once again make their presence felt, this time chanting for Susaeta to be brought on. They would get their wish in 79th minute when Ssuaeta replaced Iker Muniain and put on the captain’s armband for the last time at San Mamés. Once the match was over Susaeta embraced his teammates, sharing a special hug with Aritz Aduriz, as the Cathedral continued to celebrate.
The team then made a tunnel for Susaeta, Iturraspe, and Rico who came back out onto the field from the locker room to massive applause. Carlos Gurpegui then presented the three with framed shirts before they took a lap around San Mamés as the fans gave a standing ovation. Afterward, they actually went into the stands to celebrate with the fans who sang, clapped, and chanted together in what was a very beautiful moment.
The three veterans rejoined their teammates who took turns tossing them into the air. Rico was lifted first, followed by Iturraspe, and finally Susaeta. Throughout their careers the three made more than 1,000 appearances for Athletic and have given absolutely everything for the club they love so dearly. Sunday’s tribute was a special way to say thank you and goodbye to three great Athletic Club players.