Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz has announced his retirement from football aged 39 to have a hip replacement operation.
Aduriz will not complete the current La Liga season when it restarts after being suspended due to coronavirus.
The forward made his decision known to quit the game via a Twitter announcement.
“Many times, I have said that football will leave you before you leave it.” He wrote.
Aduriz was told on 19 May to seek a consultation with a surgeon almost immediately, to receive a prosthetic hip.
He admitted that it was his body telling him that it has had enough of football.
And that he no longer feels he can contribute to games in the same way that he used to.
Effectively letting down his teammates.
Yet Aduriz also accepted that this was the life of a professional athlete.
End of a Long Career
The 39- year-old has enjoyed a long career playing in the top flight in La Liga.
He has scored 172 goals in 405 appearances for Bilbao, in two spells at the club.
Overall Aduriz has played in 573 matches for Bilbao, and also Valencia, Real Mallorca and Real Valladolid.
He also scored four times in 17 appearances in the Champions League for Bilbao and Valencia.
Spain’s Oldest Goalscorer
Aduriz departs the world of football as the oldest player ever to score for Spain.
He hit the back of the net in a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia in 2016, when he was 35.
Overall he played just 13 full internationals, in an era where there was fierce competition for places.
As Spain won both the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, and their first World Cup in 2010.
Aduriz appeared as a substitute in three of Spain’s four matches at Euro 2016.