Yes, we all know. Aritz Aduriz has aged like a fine wine and all that. The striker enters the new season at 36 years old and will turn 37 in February. Despite his age he is still scoring goals. A lot of goals. When Aduriz returned to Athletic Club in 2012 no one could have predicted this. It was the last season of Fernando Llorente and Aduriz was being viewed mainly as a backup that could potential fill in for a while. Five years later and Aduriz has now scored over 100 goals in his Athletic career and has become one of the most dangerous strikers in La Liga.If there is anyone who is well aware of Aduriz’s age, it is the man himself. He is constantly asked in interviews how he continues to play at such a high level and his answer is always the same. “I enjoy training every single day”. Aduriz is one of the hardest working men in football and it shows. He takes incredible care of his body, is always looking for ways to improve, and has a passion that many see die out well before the age of 36. Simply put, he loves the game and coming to Lezama every day to train with his teammates. That love is what continues to push him today.
Naturally, he is also often asked what does the future hold. Aduriz has been very open about the fact that he only takes it one day at a time because he knows that is the wisest thing to do at his age. He cannot afford to think too far into the future and rather chooses to live in the moment. When pressed about his future Aduriz has said on more than one occasion that he will continue to play as long as he still enjoys it and can compete at a high level. Looking at the numbers, he has shown no signs of slowing down since returning five years ago. In fact, Aduriz has steadily improved.
During his final season with Valencia Aduriz managed to score a total of 9 goals. His first year back with Athletic saw him double that number. He again netted 18 goals in his second season but really took off in his third when he scored a total of 26. The following year he amazed everyone by scoring 36 total goals, including four in the Spanish Super Cup win over Barcelona. Last year that number dropped back down to 24 but it is important to remember that Athletic did not compete in the Super Cup again and only placed in half as many Europa League matches so there wasn’t as much of an opportunity for goals.
So is this the last season of Aritz Aduriz? Honestly, there just isn’t anyway of knowing. It could be. The striker could suffer a dip in form and decide to hang up his boots next summer. Then again he could simply continue playing at the same level that he has and choose to sign another one year contract and do it all again next year. He recently admitted that he feels better this summer than either of the two previous years because he is healthy and had the entire summer to rest and recuperate. Aduriz’s future is still a big unknown right now, but one thing is certain – fans need to enjoy every second of him now while they still can. If Aduriz has it his way he will continue playing.