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 Athletic Bilbao All Stars 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:31 pm
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Athletic Bilbao All Stars



Stadium: Estadio San Mamés (39 750)





:SPA: José Angel IRIBAR
:SPA: Raimundo LEZAMA




:SPA: Roberto BERTOL
:SPA: José Luis PANIZO
:SPA: Estanislao ARGOTE


:SPA: Txetxu ROJO




:SPA: Carmelo CEDRÚN


:SPA: Manuel ETURA
:SPA: Inaki SÁEZ


:SPA: José Ramón GALLEGO
:SPA: Ángel María VILLAR


:SPA: Ignacio URIBE
:SPA: Carlos Ruiz HERRERO















Athletic Club as an institution, along with its supporters are characterized by their desire to defend values which are becoming increasingly uncommon in football and in sports overall in the 21st Century. Our pride, reflected to the hilt in the club’s policy concerning the Young Player's Reserve, has become a uniting force which outweighs the discrepancies to be found in our daily lives, making our philosophy different to any other and different to the way football is understood throughout the world.
Athletic Club is located in Bilbao, in the province of Biscay (The Basque Country). The club's sporting philosophy is governed by a code which states that only players, who have come up through the club's young players' reserve or the young players’ reserve of the other clubs in The Basque Country, which includes the following territories: Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Araba, Nafarroa, Lapurdi, Zuberoa and Nafarroa Behera or players that were born in these territories, may be signed up.

Athletic Club emerged in a Bilbao that was waking up to industrialization. Bilbao, the small mercantile and commercial city circumscribed by the perimeter of the seven streets and Bilbao La Vieja, opened its doors to become a city that welcomes industrial and financial experiences of a diverse nature. There was a railroad, large iron/steel mills, small and large shipyards, metallurgical workshops, mining, chemical plants, banks, cultural and recreational societies, magazines and daily newspapers, along with a very powerful business class. The Bilbao of those years gathered the necessary requirements for a prominent sector of its population to enthusiastically embrace the then novel practice of the 'sport". The development of the sport in Bilbao was neither accidental nor exceptional, it arose in a rather specific geographic and temporary sphere, as a bourgeois and, consequently, urban fashion. The birth and installation of the first gymnasiums in the villa must equally be interpreted as another manifestation of this social dynamism. The Bilbaoan bourgeoisie was a very active social group, enormously attracted to everything that came from Europe, and most especially for everything "English". There had even been talk about the "Anglo-mania" that invaded Bilbao in those years. In addition, Bilbao then welcomed a cultivated foreign colony, whose presence facilitated the integration of habits, fashions and customs until then unknown to our country. The liking for sports was limited to the Neguri aristocracy and the wealthy Bilbao bourgeoisie: lawn-tennis, regattas, motorcycle races, cycling, "pelota" (hand-ball, Jai-Alai...) and football were the sports par excellence. With regards to the practice of football, a small newspaper clipping from the Noticiero Bilbaíno gathered, in the year 1894, a challenge that would go down in football history. A local fan challenged the English colony to a football match at the Lamiako grounds. The match was disputed on 3 May 1894 with the adverse result for the locals of six "goals" to nil. But the seed germinated robustly and the Bilbaoans were soon interested in the practice of this sport.

In 1898, a group of 33 sportsmen, among which some met at the Zamacois Gymnasium to practice and talk about football, constituted a team that, without having legal form, denominated Athletic Club, with the definitive Athletic Club founding assembly being held on 5 April 1901 at the Café Garcia. Football was being lived with a mixture of passion and sense of expectancy in view of its novelty. At that time, Athletic's main rival was Bilbao FC. The number of spectators that came by train to the Lamiako grounds was greater each time –sometimes reaching 3,000 spectators-, and rare was the day that the spontaneous field, an equestrian training ground, did not register a full house. The only thing missing was the organization of important encounters that would allow the Basque team to make achievements. This opportunity came with the first state organized tournament to mark King Alfonso XIII's coronation in 1902. This trophy, the first obtained by Athletic under the name "Bizcaya" with a team made up by players from Athletic and Bilbao, was achieved after defeating "Español" by five to nil, the "New Club" of Madrid by eight to one and "Barcelona" by two to one. In 1903, Bilbao FC decided in its General Meeting to dissolve the Society and merge all its members in Athletic. That same year, Athletic overcame a harsh crisis in which its dissolution was considered. Once those critical times were resolved, successes kept accompanying Athletic: Spanish Champions in 1903, 1904, 1910 and 1911. Football matches increased and great players emerged, such as Belauste or Pichichi. The grounds, first Lamiako (Leioa) and later 1910 Jolaseta (Getxo), no longer met the appropriate requirements for the practice of a sport whose followers grew day after day. A team that had been champion so many times, with important stars, needed to have a permanent pitch in the city.

Under the presidency of Alejandro de la Sota, on 20 January 1913, the foundation stone of the new Athletic Club stadium was set in the lowlands of San Mamés, being inaugurated seven months later, on August of that same year. Athletic and Racing of Irún faced-off. The match ended with a 1-1 draw. Seve Zuazo had the honour of the initial kick-off and Pichichi of being the author of the first rojiblanco goal in the "Cathedral". The inauguration of San Mamés was the prelude of a series of accomplishments which lead Athletic to be considered the best team in the State. They not only had an enviable squad, their nickname the "lions" came from this era, but also had the best coaches imported directly from England. Mr. Barnes who was merited with encouraging team work, improving player performance, obtaining a more polished technique and, most importantly, instilling discipline among the players. With these bases, a luxurious and formal team, it was not strange that sporting achievements soon became a reality. The achievement of the original trophies of the Regional Championship and Copa after the successive victories in 1914, 1915 and 1916, was the reflection of a job well done. That was the team immortalized by Jose Arrue: Ibarreche between the posts, Solaun and Hurtado forming an iron-clad defence, the tenacity of Eguía, the colossus Belauste who imposed his presence in the midfield as did his brother Ramon, or the unsettling forward line made up by Iceta, German, Apón, Zuazo and Rafael Moreno, "Pichichi". Spectators followed the matches with a sense of expectancy, but most especially the championship games between Basque teams, primarily, Arenas de Getxo, Racing and Sporting de Irún and Real Sociedad de San Sebastián, and those organized at Christmastime against foreign teams, which gave the opportunity to study other "football schools". The rojiblanco fans were easily accustomed to victory and the latter en masse greetings. Few could imagine in mid 1910 that difficult times were imminent for the Bilbao team, by having to face teams that had, covertly, professionals among their ranks.

Athletic took five years to win another title. In the 1919-20 season, the Regional Championship was once again conquered, and with a renewed team, the Copa championships of 1921 and 1923 were achieved. The 1920s also earned Athletic's players international recognition. The occasion was at the famous Antwerp Olympic Games, where the Spanish national team won the Silver Medal with a significant rojiblanco representation, made up by Jose Mari Belausteguigoitia, Sabino Bilbao, and Rafael Moreno "Pichichi", Txomin Acedo and Sesumaga. Athletic had its head office in "La Alcazaba" and a social structure of over 2,000 members. These were times of change. Professionalism was an indisputable fact, football was starting to be considered the reigning sport for spectators, and the Liga (League) was on the verge of being born. The 1928-1929 season went down in history as the first Spanish football League while the 1929-1930 as the first double rojiblanco triumph. At first, the birth of the regularity tournament was the subject of harsh criticism, faced with the idea that the event could bore fans due to the accumulation of matches; nothing further from reality. This competition soon left behind the interest provoked by regional championships, friendly matches, European tours, etc., to become a point of reference each season. A League which had started out with ten teams, the nine that had previously disputed a Copa final (the Basque teams of Arenas de Getxo, Real Sociedad, and Real Union of Irun, the Catalans F.C. Barcelona, RCD Español and Europa, and the Madrilenians Real Madrid and Athletic Club Madrid), in addition to the champions of a knock-out competition between the teams provisionally designated to form the Second Division (Racing de Santander).

Coinciding with the start of the Liga, the rojiblanco club reunited one of the better squads in its history which, without a doubt, which achieved more victories: 4 League titles, 4 Copa, 6 Regional Championships and 2 Basque Cups. We are talking about 16 official titles in 8 years. It was a time of victories and records, some of which have not been broken to date. A truly glorious and intense stage in Athletic's history, that launched its members into football stardom, as well as their coach Mr. Pentland, along with Blasco, Castellanos, Urkizu, Garizurieta, Mugerza, Unamuno, Lafuente, Iraragorri, Chirri, Bata, Gorostiza, Roberto and Cilaurren, are still prevalent in the memory of the fans. It was a team made up by, as would be the standard, members from Athletic's lower ranks and home-grown Biscayan players. That's how the following were drafted: Blasco (1926) from the Acero, Unamuno (1927) and Roberto Echevarria (1928) from Alavés, Lafuente (1927) and Bata (1929) from Barakaldo, Gorostiza (1929) and Cilaurren (1932) from the Arenas...with Chirri (1925), Garizurieta (1927), Ispizua (1928) or Iraragorri (1929) coming from the Athletic reserves team. The English "Mister", Fred Pentland, deserves a separate mention as part of this great team; the manager who, in his two phases (1922-1925 and 1929-1933), obtained the most official titles for Athletic Club, 12 altogether. With his cigar and bowler hat, he was an authentic celebrity in pre-war Bilbao. This team did not play together very long, in any case, the historic forward line of Lafuente, Iraragorri, Chirri, Bata and Gorostiza, the physical qualities of the great defence Leonardo Cilaurren, or the guarantee Blasco the goalkeeper -all of them internationals-, remain in the memory of fans.

By this time, football was already something completely professional, Athletic players received an average of 750 pesetas a month and 20 duros (5 pesetas) for each match won. Only the great Carmelo Goyenechea (who retired after the 1928-29 season) continued as an amateur, anachronistic reflection of past times. The team's pace was fundamental to the economy of the Club, money was only received via fees and tickets, therefore, in the glorious season of 1929-30 a surplus of 172,482 pesetas was obtained which the Board of directors destined to the expansion of the San Mamés grandstand by 400 spectators. Subsequently, more difficult years arrived, in which the Board of Directors invented the Day of the Club (General Assembly of 22 July 1932) so as to not have to sell its talents. Spectators continued attending San Mamés. By 1934, the club already had 4,044 members. The end of this cycle was quick, abrupt, and definitive due to the war, while the desired transition between generations did not take place due to the conflict.

The war, inevitably, struck the Bilbao Club with force. It was not a time for leisure activities. The military mobilization affected Athletic players, in San Mamés funds were collected to fight the insurgent army, like that "pro-aviación Euzkadi" match of 1937; those are the years of the European and American tour by the Euzkadi national team... Of the 3000 members the club had before the civil war, they dropped to 587; in a country where phrases such as "ration cards", "evacuation" and "exile" were minted, it was difficult to reorganize the team. However, little by little, "the return to normality" prevailed. Perhaps, one of the greater accomplishments in Athletic's history has been to successfully achieve the complete renovation of the team after the war. The great champion team prior to the conflict was dismantled after the war, and it became necessary to create another that would be able to attain the same sporting accomplishments as its predecessors. Only Gorostiza, Oceja, Unamuno, Garate and Urra were still donning the red-white jersey. The system for recruiting new players was the organization of a tournament among teams from Biscay that had at least five members younger than 17 years of age. The wealth of the Biscayan cantera (youth teams) was soon validated, seeing that from this competition, figures such as Bertol, Panizo, Arqueta, Gainza, which Zarra or Iriondo who were to be included shortly, arose. This spot on policy of signings lead to Athletic being able to form one of the most successful and remembered teams in its history. Similarly the reappearance of the team made the members return, as there were 1500 members registered for the 1940-41 season.

The promises soon became real, and the postwar period team won nothing less than 5 titles (the 1942-43 League and the 43, 44, 45 and 50 Copas), as well as being runners-up on 6 occasions (3 Leagues and 3 Copas). As a result Athletic got back on track, connected with its supporters, as shown by the spectacular welcomings with which they were received, and were considered the Copa Kings having made it to 7 finals in 13 years. In the words of famous journalist Monchin, "the final will be played between Athletic and another team". This is the time of the great rojiblanco forward line (Iriondo, Venancio, Panizo, Zarra and Gainza), although it would be unfair to forget the rest of the magnificent team: Lezama, Oceja, Bertol, Ortuzar, Mieza, Arqueta, Ortiz, Garate, Celaya, Unamuno... It was therefore a great team where teamwork was prioritized but in which the great quality of some individualities also stood out: Zarra, the best goalscorer in the history of the League, 6 times Pichichi -top goalscorer- and authentic social phenomenon, Panizo the player who changed the conception of football in Bilbao, Gainza the fireproof winger... On the other hand, the competitions were becoming more and more demanding. The League went from twelve teams in the 1939-40 season to fourteen in 1942-43 and sixteen in the 1951-52 season. Also, the first foreign players (Kubala, Ben Barek, Di Stéfano...) began to arrive.

During these years the most radical and definite transformation was made in San Mamés with the construction of a new storey in the main grandstand which was now without any columns and with just one icon which would become the symbol of the field as of the 1952-1953 season: the 'san Mamés Arc". The 1953-54 season was considered by the specialized press as the "The decline of the Gods". It was truly a time of transition, but soon figures as important as Arieta, Carmelo Uribe, Mauri, Maguregui...began to strengthen; names that assured the continuity of a champion team. Once again the generational gap took place without any problems. Still present was the extraordinary game of the eleven comprised by Lezama, Celaya, Oceja, Nando, Bertol, Mieza, Garate, Iriondo, Venancio, Zarra, Panizo, Gainza... when another great team was created, the "Eleven Villagers", thanks to the wealth of the Biscayan cantera (youth teams); that of Carmelo, Orue, Canito, Garay, Mauri, Maguregui, Arteche, Marcaida, Arieta, Uribe and, again, the great Piru Gainza. It is the team of Fernando Daucik; the one that won a League (1955-56) and two Copas (1955 and 1956), the one that officially debuted in European competition and disputed the electrifying match against Manchester United in the European Cup, and the one that won the 1958 Copa, without the Czech as coach, against the powerful European champion, Madrid, at the Bernabeu. All in all, a team that brought joy to the red-white fans in the 50s and who added to the sporting curriculum of the Club.

During the two decades to follow that is the sixties and seventies, one of the most unfairly treated stages in Athletic history took place. Yes it's true, that there were not so many triumphs as in the past (the 1969 and 1973 Copas were won and the 1969-70 League Cup and the 1966 and 1967 Copas were held up high), nevertheless, this was a period when a definite step to get behind the cantera (youth teams) was taken. The (1961) Youth team was officially created and Bilbao Athletic (1964) made their reappearance. The opening of the football academy in the installations of Santa Maria de Lezama (1970), allowed for the promotion of the youth teams" policy to be signed in gold letters. Here the future was planned starting from the lower-division teams, work which went unmentioned, not so eye-catching but equally important as the work done by the premier team, which would guarantee the sporting achievements that the premier team were to obtain in the future. The good work being done with the lower division teams were soon to offer its rewards and thus, in addition to the triumphs harvested by the Youths (they won the Copa from 1962 to 1967), soon afterwards they would join the Athletic players, a player who stood out was Txetxu Rojo. Txetxu, after having played with the Youth team for 2 seasons became part of the he professional team in 1965/66 season and remained there until the 1981/82 season and is the second player who has played the most number of matches in Club history.

If Txetxu Rojo was considered to be a charismatic player, what can be said about another legendary Athletic figure: Jose Angel Iribar Kortajarena, 18 seasons (from 1962/63 to 1979/80), with a match record of 467 League titles, 93 Copas, and 55 European Competition titles. A top goalkeeper who continued in the footsteps of the great Athletic goalies (Ibarreche, Vidal, Blasco, Lezama, Carmelo), and who have made that position a special one for the fans. With regards to San Mamés, during this period some important changes were made giving the stadium a similar appearance to the one it has today. The Southern Stand was built in 1957, the Northern in the 1961, lights were installed in 1964, and the Eastern Stand was inaugurated in 1972. If we include the changes made as a result of the 1982 World Cup the final result would be the current stadium. Therefore, a crucial period in which the Club's structures were completely modernized, which allowed the club to compete on equal terms against the rest of the teams who counted on 'support" such as having two foreign players in their side following the 1972-73 season. It was in the year 1973, when Athletic celebrated its diamond anniversary. 75 years of sporting unity at the service of Basque Football.

After the diamond anniversary and after having won their twenty-third Copa title, many people had already perceived that the path Athletic were taking would become more and more difficult in light of the course this sport of the masses was taking. If in the past one could count on one hand the number of foreign players in Spanish football -the well-known controversy of native players over nationalized ones-, well after the 1972/73 season, each team had the possibility of having two foreigners in its ranks, a fact which meant a substantial change to Hispanic football, however, today this number may seem ridiculous.
It started with the signing on of these two foreign players and then went on to the free signing on of European Community players in accordance with the Bosman Law, as well as the inclusion of four Non-European Community players in the starting eleven line up in the 1996-97 season, only 24 years have gone by since then. An incredible step forward, let's not forget, for a sporting competition. Step by step things got more complicated in order to maintain the red-white philosophy, and although the debate regarding the maintenance of this philosophy was talked about in the streets in the mid-90's, the supporters, in general, reacted by sustaining this policy of support to the youth teams.

A time of major transformation when football became a source of daily news, the permanent centre of attention for the fans and the general public and was considered "public property". Change is the word that best defines the last decade of XX century: Champions league, a world-wide league is spoken about, biennial World Football Championships... The clubs of yesteryear are now companies, the budgets through the roof, the out of the ordinary benefits becoming increasingly more important and necessary... It's safe to say that there has never been so many organizational innovations made in football history, not even in the 20's when a choice had to be made between professionalism and amateurism. With reference to the sport only, the League was becoming more and more competitive increasing the number of matches bit by bit, with eighteen teams in the 1972-73 season, twenty in the 1989-90 season, and twenty-two in the 1995-96 season, a far cry from the ten founding teams of the 1928-29 championship. More and better players are demanded by the big teams, which implied the signing on of new players... and changing with the times without altering the essence of the club.

In spite of the difficulties, Athletic achieved some amazing feats, like being runners-up in the Copa and the UEFA in 1977, and, especially, the titles in 1980's, the prodigious years of the Clemente era, with victories against some of the best players in the world (Maradona, Schuster, Hugo Sanchez, Stilike...), which allowed an entire generation, to sing the Alirón song for the first time. Years of Leagues and Copa triumphs, of barges... from joy and overflowing euphoria which seemed endless. On the other hand, after so much success and Clemente's departure, the 1985-86 season took a dangerous turn dividing the masses because of the signing on of players, the new generation switch which was much more difficult than expected, and the unusual coming and going of Club coaches (ten all in all from the 1985-86 season to the 1995-96 season). The positive aspects of the "post-Clemnete" period was the sensation that Kendall caused in Bilbao, the game deployed by Heynckes, that magical night against Newcastle, the debut of players like Alkorta, Urrutia, and, especially, Julen Guerrero, who was the captain during this decade.

With greater stability, Luis Fernandez then took charge, revolutionary for the team and the fans, in 1998 Athletic had the honour of being the first club in first division to celebrate its 100th anniversary, which was topped off with the club being the League runners-up of that season. Concerning the institution the club's new song (1983), the receptions on the barge, the inauguration of new Club Headquarters at Ibaigane in 1988, and, mainly, the celebration of the Club's Centenary should be highlighted. After the hangover as a result of the Centenary celebrations, the club was runner-up in the 1997-98 league season, and then participated in the Champions League the following season, and then Fernandez's reign came to an end in 2000. Later two well-known people, Txetxu Rojo, and Jupp Heynckes were to sit on the bench, and in the 2004-05 season the team made it back to Europe, via the UEFA, under the guidance of an ex-player Ernesto Valverde. After Valverde had left, the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons were the darkest in Athletic history, breaking almost all the negative records of the club. Tremendously difficult times not only on a sporting level (the most negative of all the times in the standings as far as the league is concerned) but institutionally speaking with resignation of President Fernando Lamikiz as well.

This black two-year period is now behind the club and, at the moment, the team is coached by Joaquin Caparrós, a young team, with top footballers, where the generational changing of the guard is taking place without any major traumas, and where people from the youth teams (cantera) in Lezama are being got behind. It is also during this time, after years of negotiations with local political institutions, that a vital project for the viability of the club has been crystallized: the construction of the new San Mamés Football Field, which will commence in 2009. That Club, which was founded more than a century ago in the image of the English clubs, is now an organization with more than 33,000 members. A Club which is famous for upholding a peculiar trait which was published in an article in its day by the French sports newspaper L'Equipe, when defining the club as a "unique case in the history of football world-wide". This peculiarity is none other than maintaining the tradition of having Basque players, or players from the Basque Youth teams, a policy which has enabled the Club, throughout its entire history, to be at the top. Joaquin Caparrós'S first season at the front of the team is a calm season, in which we must highlight the convincing victories in Mestalla or Vicente Calderón. Ends up in eleventh position in Liga, with 50 points, and reaches the quarterfinals in Copa, where Racing brings down the rojiblanco team. The 2008-2009 season will always be remembered for the Copa Final that Athletic Club disputes in Valencia against FC Barcelona. After 24 years, Athletic once again reaches a final and Bilbao and Biscay in general bend over backwards for the team. The end result is not in our favour, but the memories are unforgettable for the whole rojiblanca family. In Liga, the team did not maintain enough regularity to feel relaxed and there were some complicated moments. But after defeating Betis in San Mamés, four days before disputing the final, salvation was unequivocal.

Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:56 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:38 pm
Posts: 1681
What about Aritz ADURIZ in reserves? He single-handedly gave the club his first title after 30 years :lol:
And if Llorente is here, Javi MARTINEZ surely can be in reserves too ;)

Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:47 pm

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:51 pm
Posts: 670
Well, Aduriz played in Athletic (and still playing :lol: ), for 8 years (but intermittently), and 3 years in Athletic youth team... He should be in the reserves. And I love him, even the referees respect him a lot because he never try to cheat like the 99% of nowdays players. :lol:

Llorente played 9 years in Athletic, being the star of the team 8 years... Javi Martínez only played for 6 years, and 5 of them were important for the team, he could be in the reserves too, if we don't replace anyone from Reserves and just add him (and Aduriz) go ahead, is good

Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:37 pm

Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:26 am
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Location: Aragua De Barcelona, Venezuela
Added both players to Reserves...

Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:32 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:38 pm
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Shouldn't Javier Irureta be in the team? He was a key player from the team that reached final of both Copa del Rey & UEFA Cup in 1977 and surely deserves his place here..

Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:26 am
Posts: 2231
Location: Aragua De Barcelona, Venezuela
Concerning players that you think at least deserve a place among reserves, just add them ;)

Just when a player from the 1st team is likely to be swapped for another of reserves i think that you should ask for suggestions :)

Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:14 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:38 pm
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Okay, added him to reserves :)

Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:52 pm

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:43 am
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Location: 日本(茨城)
Best eleven.
Spoiler: show

Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:30 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:11 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Spain
gordon#21 wrote:
Best eleven.
Spoiler: show

I think this XI, which includes Gainza, would be better
Spoiler: show

Captain: José María Orúe
Short free kick: Julen Guerrero
Long free kick: Julen Guerrero
Free kick 2: José Luis Panizo
Right corner: Julen Guerrero
Left corner: Piru Gainza
Penalty: Aitor Larrazabal


Nihil sub sole novum

Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:41 pm
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