Aritz Aduriz Agrees To Contract Renewal Through The Copa Del Rey Final
Aritz Aduriz’s final season wasn’t supposed to go like this. After announcing in August that he would be retiring at the end of the campaign the striker enjoyed a farewell tour that was cut short by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Aduriz’s biggest dream was to play in the Copa del Rey final with a chance to win a major trophy with Athletic and the 39-year-old isn’t going to miss the historic Basque Derby.
According to an exclusive report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Aduriz and Athletic have agreed to extend the striker’s contract through the Cup final. The renewal will not become official until the date for the match is announced which is when Aduriz will sign the contract. The final will be his last game before retiring and the club will hold a tribute for the legend at San Mamés once it’s safe for fans to fill the stands.
Although Aduriz hasn’t publicly confirmed the news, he did hint at it in an interview with #Vamos on Movistar on Monday.
“If the club wants, I would be willing to continue as long as it takes. It was clear at the beginning of the season that it was going to be my last year. In my case, there is no problem because I wasn’t planning on going to another team. It’s a different situation and the least of the problems. It’s a very simple situation.”
For Aduriz, the chance of lifting the first Cup title since 1984 would be incredible, although he’s quick to point out that there are far greater matters at the moment.
“I would love to be able to end my career by playing in the Cup final, but there are much more important things that must be resolved first. After that we will have time to talk about playing football and when to play the final. How could I not want to continue until the end? It’s what we all crave and dream of. Hopefully we can play it as soon as possible, but other circumstances must be prioritized at this time.”
The biggest question surrounding the Cup final is whether or not fans will be able to attend. Athletic, along with Real Sociedad and the Spanish Football Federation, are willing to postpone the match as long as possible to ensure that fans can attend.
“I can’t imagine playing a game of this magnitude without fans, but it’s possible because of the seriousness of the current situation. It may be the only way. In my opinion, football without fans loses its meaning and essence. The circumstances are atypical and difficult to resolve in the short term so we will do what needs to be done and what we are told to do.”
Aduriz has scored 172 goals in 407 games with Athletic and will retire as one of the greatest forwards in the history of the club. At 39 years old his legacy at San Mamés is already established, but Aritz Aduriz will not be hanging up his boots until after the historic Copa del Rey final against Real Sociedad.