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Iker Bilbao, the centenary hero of Amorebieta

Maika Salguero

The midfielder from Larrrabetzu, author of two historic goals for the Zornotzarras, reaches 100 games defending the blue shirt

The name of Iker Bilbao will have a very special place in the almost centenary history of the Sociedad Deportiva Amorebieta. The midfielder from Larrabetzu, all pride on the green, will remain in the memory as the player who led Urritxe’s men to achieve their first promotion to the Second Division with that goal he scored against Badajoz in the Nuevo Vivero final played on 22 of May, unleashing madness among the zornotzarras.

Not only that, but ‘Bilbo’ was also the player who scored Amorebieta’s first goal in his first adventure in professional football. It was August 29, another date to remember, with a left-footed shot from the crescent of the area that also helped the Zornotzarras achieve their first victory in LaLiga SmartBank, coming back against the mighty Almería.

Last Saturday, in the match against Girona, Iker Bilbao, at 25 years old, reached yet another milestone. He played his 100th match in the blue jersey, and he did it probably at the best moment of his sports career. Since he landed in Urritxe in the 2018/19 campaign, along with Iñigo Vélez de Mendizabal on the blue bench, he has been a key player in the team.

He is not a footballer with flourishes, although he has a powerful left foot strike that has already given him more than one joy in the form of a goal. He also performs well from set pieces. But if Larrabetzu stands out for something, it is because of his enormous physical display in each game. Defend, pursue, persist to the end. And that has made him one of the ‘strong men’ of Vélez de Mendizabal. A few gallons that he has earned game by game, as the coach from Vitoria likes to say.

It has been during the previous seasons, where its presence in the eleven was unquestionable, and it is also being so this year in the Silver Division. He has only missed two games in the entire campaign, one of them due to suspension. The other was the league premiere in Montilivi, this time due to some minor inconvenience. The rest, has disputed everything. It is enough to look briefly at the statistics to ascertain the specific weight of Bilbao in the team. He is the fourth player with the most minutes played, just behind the other three that make up the backbone of this Amorebieta: Oier Luengo, Markel Lozano and Gaizka Larrazabal.

Iker Bilbao has even been able to wear the captain’s armband in a couple of games. Quite an honor for a player who is shy in front of the microphones but who does not shrink on the pitch. Two goals and as many assists has been in his debut in Second. These are, more or less, his usual figures since he arrived at Urritxe (a total of 9 goals in 4 seasons). His tenacity and ambitious character will surely continue to provide joy for him and Amorebieta that will help bring the blue ship to a successful conclusion.

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