Aduriz Drops Emotional Farewell Message To Athletic Club, Fans

Athletic Club Bilbao retiree Aritz Aduriz delivered an emotional farewell speech during a formal press conference organized by the Laliga club inside its cathedral – the iconic San Mames Stadium on Friday.

The former Spanish national team player, 39, announced his retirement as a professional footballer on Wednesday after medical advice that he needs a hip replacement.

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Aritz, his wife and two daughters received royal treatment by Athletic Club players and officials in a brief closed-door ceremony and in strict accordance with security measures against covid-19.

"I can't imagine this farewell or everything that happened to me, because when I was a child, I never thought of wearing Athletic's shirt on a single occasion", quotes Aduriz on the Athletic Club website.

Read too: Aduriz retires at 39 as Athletic Club and Laliga

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“I am impressed with all the love I have received these days. It is not a time to be sad, but to be happy, because I always did what I liked and I liked it a lot. That's why I came here.

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Aduriz, wife and daughters applaud applause as they walk around the hall made up of Athletic Club players and officials

Aduriz says of his long-standing injury: “I have struggled with pain for a long time and, more or less, I managed to hold out and help the team a little, but less and less. But after that confinement, it was definitive and it was not a balanced fight; the scale soon went to the side of the damaged hip. All bodies have their limits and even more so for a professional athlete. There was nothing to be done. At the moment, the team is better off without me. "

He reiterates that not saying goodbye in front of a crowded stadium is not a disappointment for him, as he has had several tributes from San Mames fans during his long career at the club.

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Aduriz delivers an emotional farewell speech

“I don't feel the need to have the tribute of the people, because the Cathedral gave me a lot. For me, it was like receiving a tribute every Sunday, ”said Aduriz.

“A place on the barge? [Cup celebration] I do not need this. The important thing is that we can promote it and that all Athletic fans like it. And I am like one more, because that is what I will be from now on, one more fan hoping to celebrate the World Cup. "

“We always say Athletic is special and I feel it. The group of people we have here is bestial and that's what makes us different. It is like a group of friends who are competing against the rest of the world. And I leave so many people here who understand what it means, that I don't have to tell them anything because they will transmit it perfectly to the next generations. "

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