Aritz Aduriz: Spain’s oldest goalscorer to retire at 39

Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz has announced his retirement from professional football.

With La Liga on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 39-year-old is set to have a hip replacement.

Aduriz, who is the oldest player ever to score for Spain, was set to play in an all-Basque Copa del Rey final against Real Sociedad in April.

“Many times, I have said that football will leave you before you leave it,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Yesterday, the doctors told me to go see the surgeon, sooner rather than later, to get a prosthetic to replace my hip and try to go about my everyday life, as normally as possible. Unfortunately, my body has said ‘enough’.

“I can’t help my team-mates the way I would like to, nor the way they deserve. That is the life of a professional athlete. Simple.”

Aduriz scored 141 goals in 296 appearances for Bilbao, while he also played for Valencia and Mallorca.

He also won 13 caps for Spain, becoming the country’s oldest goalscorer in 2016, aged 35 years and 275 days.

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