Gaizka Larrazabal, In The Shadow Of Two Athletic Legends
Athletic fans knew about Gaizka Larrazabal long before he was even born. In 1997 his father Aitor Larrazabal, arguably the greatest left-back in club history, was celebrating goals with a pacifier as he eagerly awaited the birth of his son. Growing up as the son of an icon is never easy, but Gaizka has never been bothered by the pressure and this summer he was officially promoted to the first team.
Wearing the Athletic shirt with the Larrazabal on the back will always see Gaizka compared to his father. The 21-year-old isn’t concerned with the expectations, but it is something that he will have to live with his entire life. The fact that Gaizka doesn’t play the same position as his father helps the situation, though it also means that he is standing in a second legendary shadow.
Gaizka’s promotion to the first team was in direct response to the departure of Markel Susaeta. Athletic needed to strengthen the depth on the wings and have put their faith in the 21-year-old. Not only is the young forward going to be looked at as the son of a legend, but he’s also replacing another in Susaeta who featured in over 500 games during his career.
Those who know Gaizka well know that he’s strong-willed and never afraid of a challenge. With the ability to score goals and create chances, the 21-year-old is only focused on building his own legacy at San Mamés. Standing in the shadow of two Athletic legends brings immense pressure, but the only shadow that Gaizka Larrazabal is concerned with is his own.