Eunate Arraiza has two reasons to celebrate. The full-back currently leads the Primera Iberdrola in terms of assists, having set up five goals so far this campaign. What’s more, she made her 241st appearance in the red-and-white stripes against UDG Tenerife, placing her in Athletic Club Women’s top-10 all-time appearance makers.
The Athletic player’s five assists puts her joint top of the assists leaderboard with Caroline Graham Hansen (FC Barcelona). Although Eunate is capable of scoring exquisite goals, such as her free-kick against FC Barcelona in the semi-final of the 2018 Copa de la Reina, she has always stood out for ability to create goals.
The lioness, who is completely deaf in her left ear, has been involved in all nine Primera Iberdrola fixtures so far in 2020-21, starting five matches and coming off the bench in four. Eunate is yet to score, but always incisive in attack and assured in defence, her teammates are making the most of the no.14’s excellent service from the left flank.
For last year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Athletic Club spoke to Eunate as she attended a sign-language class. The left-back has been deaf in her left ear from birth, but she never let that stop her from achieving her dreams. “We’re normal people, we’re capable of doing absolutely anything. Those who believe we can’t are wrong,” she told the Club.
Eunate, in the top 10
In her nine seasons as a lioness, Eunate has played in 241 matches and is ninth in the record appearance makers’s list. She has overtaken Gurutze Fernández, the legendary forward who made 240 appearances. Eunate is not far off surpassing other legends, such as Tzibi Juristi (262) and Arrate Orueta (270). The defender, who recently extended her contract until 2022, has set a target of reaching 250.
“Every season is more difficult and it will be hard to surpass 300, but I’m only thinking about getting the three points from every match,” Eunate told the Club, whilst also admitting that breaking into the top-10 appearance makers is “a great award on a personal level”.
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