Earlier this season, Arit Aduriz announced that he would retire when the season ended. However, he could not wait until then because of the arrival of COVID-19. The injury did not allow him to play any more and there was yet another important Copa del Rey final.
Aritz Aduriz thinks every day about goodbye. There were times when he felt he was lucky to enjoy the privilege. This year Aduriz is 39 years old, quite old with a football player. His playing career has spanned nearly two decades, longer than he ever imagined. However, last summer he decided this would be the last season.
Aduriz knew that was not normal. “Usually football will leave you before you leave it,” he said. However, Aduriz can choose where and when to make a decision: June 30. That is the time when his contract expires, at Athletic Bilbao, the club he spent the most time in his career. “It felt like closing a trajectory when I retired at the place where I started,” he continued.
In early February of this year, Barcelona arrived in Bilbao for the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Athletic scored 1 goal late. That same night, Real Sociedad eliminated Real Madrid. In March, both teams took part in the final, which was originally set for April 18 in Seville.
This would be the perfect way to say goodbye to the pitch – a derby between the two biggest clubs in the Basque Country. The team he devoted most of his career to facing the team came from San Sebastian, the city he grew up with the club represented by the team his wife’s family cheered on. Neither team has won any major Spanish titles since the 1980s.
However, nearly 2 weeks later, this match was declared adjourned. Spanish soccer managers are still determined to complete the La Liga season. However, the fate of Copa del Rey is secondary. As a result, Aduriz’s farewell was also delayed, until yesterday.