It has not been a good year for Gorka Iraizoz. After a decade as the starting goalkeeper at the San Mames, the 36-year-old lost his place to Lezama standout Kepa Arrizabalaga. In truth, Kepa was always going to become the starter at some point, but no one expected him to overtake Iraizoz this quickly. Back in March, Iraizoz said in an interview that he was not going to receive a renewal offer and that has finally been confirmed.
On Thursday, President Josu Urrutia gave a long press conference to discuss the state of Athletic Club. One of the things he mentioned is that Gorka Iraizoz would officially be leaving Athletic when the current season comes to a close.
“Some decisions for next season have already been made. I met with Iraizoz two months ago and told him that we would not be renewing his contract. I thanked him for his attitude, example, and work here at Athletic on and off the pitch over the last ten years. He has demonstrated what it means to be a Captain of Athletic Club. Next week we will hold a press conference for him, the same way we did with Gurpegui and Iraola. He is not decided what he will do next year.”
Saying goodbye to Iraizoz will be difficult for many Athletic fans. The 36-year-old has been the picture of consistency and given everything to the club for the last decade. However, with Kepa’s emergence the only way Iraizoz could have continued at the club would have been in a reserve role. It is unsure whether or not he will retire or look for another club at this point. Iraizoz will give a press conference at some point next week to say goodbye to Athletic and all the Athletic fans.