Hamburger have said goodbye to veteran striker Aritz Aduriz. The 38 year old stalwart and club captain fell down the pecking order at the Volkparkstadion, after Manager Marsden signed Sandro Wagner from Liverpool, and made only three starts this season – all in the cup competitions.
Indeed Aduriz’s last appearance was captaining the Cup side to victory over Barcelona in front of his adoring fans.
It’s also rumoured that the Red Shorts’ boss felt Aduriz’s stubble was unbecoming and a bad example to some of the younger players. That said, the gaffer wished Aritz well and noted that he believes he can still do a job for someone in the lower divisions.
Aduriz started his Top 100 career with his home club Athletic, of course, but was soon shipped out to Shakhtar Donetsk for a bargain £8m. That disrupted first season, was the only one where he failed to score at least ten league goals.
Perhaps more of a creator of goals than an out and out goalscorer in the Ukraine, Aduriz moved south-west across the Black Sea to Istanbul where he had his best ever goals per game ratio – 15 in 27 starting appearances for Galatasaray.
A brief and unsuccessful stint at Olympique Marseille was followed by a return to Spain and arguably his most successful period with Celta Vigo. 26 goals, 14 assists over a couple of seasons, including promotion from Division 5.
That got him a big move to Italy and Division 2 Internazionale under Alex McLean’s stewardship.
Aritz was a godsend for us when I was at Inter. He had just entered his ‘golden age’ and I was very happy to play him up top. He scored many a goal for Inter and kept us competitive. Because of his age I was happy to sell him, believing his scoring run couldn’t go on – but it did! A superb player who fought against the dying of the light.Alex McLean, Manchester City manager
Aritz moved from Milan to Verona, and dropped down the divisions again, and another promotion.
Hellas 1st priority after my return was to sign a top striker. Once we saw Adúriz was available we didn’t blink. The basque was exactly what we needed despite the age handicap & delivered what he was requested: goals & assists. Also brought us leadership & became one of our captains & a reference for our young talents. Key player in a campaign that culminated in the D4 playoffs win for the gialloblù. Long live to The Great Basque!André Libras-Boas, Hellas Verona manager
Aduriz’s most sustained and successful stint was still to come, however. Desperate to get out of Division 3 after seemingly becoming becalmed in the still waters of mid-table, Hamburger boss Marsden gambled the then still raw potential of the untested Karl Toko-Ekambi, for the proven goal menace that was the aging Basque.
Aritz recorded his best ever goal haul in his first season in northern Germany with 17, and formed part of the now legendary HSV VAT (Vazquez-Aduriz-Teixeira) attacking trident that won promotion to Division two the following season.
Although he never played in Division 1, Aduriz had a great Top 100 career, being a model of consistency throughout his ten full seasons.