Aritz Aduriz Announces Retirement From Football

Aritz Aduriz Barcelona

Aritz Aduriz has announced his retirement from football (AC)

When Aritz Aduriz took to the microphone during a press conference back on 9 August there was no surprise when the striker announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. At 39 years old Aduriz has enjoyed a much longer career than most footballers, but there comes a time when every player has to hang up the boots. In the months that followed it looked as though Aduriz would have a storybook ending to his career.

With his first touch in the opening game of the season Aduriz scored a bicycle kick to defeat Barcelona 1-0 at San Mamés. The celebration was incredible, but it would eventually turn out to be Aduriz’s last goal. As Athletic reached the Copa del Rey final the team rallied behind Aduriz, wanting to send him off on La Gabarra, then the pandemic struck.

Football came to a halt and as weeks turned to months the decision was made to postpone the Cup final until next season when fans could safely attend. The future of Aduriz was immediately brought into question. Would the legend renew his contract for another year? The prevailing belief was that Aduriz would continue until the final which would be his last game.

Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. It’s been two weeks since Athletic returned to training at Lezama and Aduriz is still dealing with a hip injury that has plagued since for several years. The injury even caused him to miss three months of the current season and, although he eventually recovered enough to take the field again, Aduriz has admitted that he’s been playing through a lot of pain.

Because of the injury and other factors Aduriz won’t play football again. On Wednesday the 39-year-old posted a message on social media announcing that he was officially retiring. After meeting with doctors he was informed that he needs to undergo hip replacement surgery which will end his career. Aduriz wants to continue playing, but his body can’t take anymore.

Aritz Aduriz Celta

Aduriz retires as one of the best players in Athletic history (EC)

Aritz Aduriz should be ending his career by riding La Gabarra and lifting the Copa del Rey trophy above his head. Even though that won’t be happening he is retiring as one of the very best players to have ever worn the Athletic shirt or stepped on the grass at San Mamés. From his humble beginnings at Lezama to reaching 405 matches and scoring 173 goals, Aritz Aduriz says goodbye as a club legend, icon, and hero.

The time has come. Many times I have mentioned that football will leave you before you leave it. Yesterday the doctors recommended that I go through the operating room, sooner rather than later, to put in a prosthetic to replace my hip and try to go about everyday life as normally as possible.

Unfortunately my body has said enough. I can’t help my teammates the way I would like nor the way they deserve. This is also the life of a professional athlete. Simple, very simple.

Unfortunately we are living through situation much more grim and painful; the pandemic that we still suffer has left us with irreparable damage and we have to keep fighting it together. So I don’t want you to worry about me, this is just an anecdote. Let’s forget about the ending we dreamed about because we will have time to say goodbye. And yes, the time has come to say goodbye and this is how the road ends for me – unforgettable and marvelous, from beginning to end. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Aritz Aduriz

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