José Ángel Iribar is one of those extraordinary footballers that you don’t come across every day. He was known as the Basque Giant and also as the Saint of San Mamés. This basically shows the devotion that fans of Athlétic Bilbao had for this extraordinary player. You can make kabaddi betting online at the 1xBet platform today, and use this platform to also wager on amazing football matches.
José Ángel Iribar Cortajarena was born on 1st March 1943 in a location called Zarautz in the Basque Country. He began his professional football journey with Athletic Bilbao in 1962. At the moment of his debut, nobody knew, however, he was going to make history for the Basque team. With a whopping 18 seasons under his belt, he became the undeniable backbone of the team. Throughout his career, he made 466 league appearances, which is an absolute record. Right now, it is possible to make online betting at the 1xBet platform, where kabaddi wagers can also be made on the best players of this sport.
Iribar wasn’t just about longevity; he was about brilliance, too. Under his safeguard, Athletic Bilbao lifted the La Liga trophy on 2 occasions (in 1983 and 1984) and the Copa del Rey on two occasions as well (1969 and 1973). As expected, thanks to him, the goal of Athletic Bilbao was quite protected during the period when he featured
Being Called for the National Team
When you’re as good as Iribar, it’s only natural for the national team to come knocking. He earned his 1st cap for Spain in 1964 and went on to represent the country 49 times. At the 1xBet platform, you can claim victory online: betting adventures are also waiting for you at this website and in its football section.
This legendary goalkeeper was also part of the squad that won the 1964 European Championship. This was the first major title ever won by the Spanish national side. However, there were other important instances where he competed representing the Spanish side, which were:
- the 1964 Nations’ Cup;
- the 1966 FIFA World Cup;
- and various qualifying and friendly matches.
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After his incredible run, Iribar finally hung up his gloves in 1980. However, he didn’t leave football completely, not at all. In fact, the legend transitioned into a coaching role and later into the management side of things.
With a mind like his, it was evident that football still needed him, just in a different capacity. Overall, he had various spells between 1983 and 1987 as head coach of Athletic Bilbao and Bilbao Athletic, with the latter being the youth team of the former.
He was also the coach of the Basque Country national team on many occasions, which participated in various non-official matches against other teams.
If you ask any Athletic Bilbao fan about legends of the club, Iribar’s name would probably be the first to roll off their tongue. His commitment, passion, and downright brilliance on the field have etched his name in the annals of football history. The club recognized this, too. In a touching gesture, Athletic Bilbao retired the number 1 jersey in his honor in 1995. Not many football teams retire the number 1 kit due to mostly practical reasons. This shows how important Iribar was for Athletic Bilbao.
Away from the limelight, Iribar was known to be a down-to-earth, humble guy. Despite his status as a footballing legend, he never let fame get to his head. Whether it was sharing a joke with teammates or acknowledging fans, he always exuded warmth and humanity.
José Ángel Iribar is so much more than just a legendary goalkeeper. He is a person who portrayed the best that Spanish football could offer. In addition to being a legend of both the Spanish national team and Athletic Bilbao, he also established himself as an important and respected figure. It is for those reasons that he managed to be greatly respected by the entire football community.