Julen Guerrero has called time on his long career with Athletic Club Bilbao at an emotional press conference in the Basque city.
The midfielder retires from the game after 14 seasons in the Athletic first team which harvested 101 goals in 372 Primera División appearances. The 32-year-old was captain of the club he joined at the age of eight and for whom he made his debut in September 1992. In 1995, as an in-demand Spanish international, Guerrero signed a long-term contract with Athletic which was due to expire next summer.
However, after managing only four league starts last term, he said today: "I have thought about it during the holidays and I think it is the right time to go. Given the circumstances – and I think the situation is improving at Athletic – I think it is in the club's interests. But it has been a tough decision to make." Guerrero will now work as a coach in the Athletic youth system. The elegant playmaker scored 13 goals in 41 matches for Spain, including at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. He was last capped in October 2000.
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