Hip replacement forces Bilbao hero Aduriz into retirement

Madrid (AFP) –


Iconic Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz announced on Wednesday that he has retired from professional football after revealing he needs a hip replacement.

Aduriz, 39, will be forever remembered in Bilbao for four glorious goals he banged past Barcelona while winning the 2015-2016 Supercup, and even last season he scored the goal that saw the Basques beat the Catalan giants in la Liga.

"This is how the road ends for me -- unforgettable and marvellous, from beginning to end," Aduriz said of his many seasons at Bilbao.

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

Aduriz topped the La Liga scoring charts twice, first with 18 goals in the 2014-15 season and then with 20 the following campaign.

He was also twice Europa League top scorer, in 2015-16 with 10 goals and with eight -- joint with Lazio's Ciro Immobile -- two seasons later.

After starting out at Bilbao in 2002 he moved on for spells at Burgos, Valladolid, Mallorca and Valencia before a return to Athletic in 2012.