San José: charisma, versatility and lots of goals
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San José: charisma, versatility and lots of goals

With three games left to reach the 400 matches with Athletic Club, only one defensive player, Andoni Goikoetxea, has exceeded his 37 goals as a lion

San José: charisma, versatility and lots of goals
San José: charisma, versatility and lots of goals
Jul 7, 2020

Mikel San José (Pamplona, 09-17-2009) will leave Athletic Club as a significant player in the 21st century. With three games left to reach the 400 as a lion, divided into eleven seasons, he won his popularity in the stands for being a defensive footballer with a striking soul. His 37 goals are only surpassed by another red-and-white centre-back, none other than Andoni Goikoetxea. Certainly, after Caparrós set him as a defender and Bielsa made his first moves with him as defensive midfielder, he took advantage of the fact that Valverde settled him in midfield as an alternative to Iturraspe. His versatility led him to be called up by Del Bosque for the European Championship in France.

After arriving from La Txantrea as a junior, the player from Navarra decided to venture into the Liverpool subsidiary, where he stayed for two years. He was back as a centre in 2009 for his outstanding performance and aerial game, which helped to get the crowd to cheer his name every time there was a corner. He made his debut against Austria Vienna and for the second leg, in a match with a hostile atmosphere that bordered on a suspension for field invasion, he already left his mark with a sensational volley.

The player from Atarrabia has scored some very significant goals, thanks to his intuition and ability to head and the skill of his shots. His goal to Barcelona in the first leg of the Supercup is unforgettable, with a difficult lob to Ter Stegen from midfield that opened the way to the title. Aduriz, with four more goals between San Mamés and Camp Nou, would complete the job.

A starter in the historic win at Old Trafford, he missed both the UEFA Europa League and Cup finals that year, but played the entire match in the 2014-15 season at Camp Nou. He can also boast of scoring the first red-and-white goal at the new San Mamés against Celta, which partially equalled Charles’ in a 3-2 win for the Lions. He also has two goals in the Champions League, against BATE Borisov and Shakhtar. The latter goal was the only away win for Athletic in the competition.


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