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Bittor Alkiza Fernández (born 26 October 1970) is a Spanish retired footballer who played for both Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.[1][2]

Bittor Alkiza
Personal information
Full name Bittor Alkiza Fernández
Date of birth (1970-10-26) 26 October 1970 (age 48)
Place of birth San Sebastián, Spain
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Osasuna (assistant)
Youth career
Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1991 San Sebastián 32 (8)
1991–1994 Real Sociedad 92 (11)
1994–2003 Athletic Bilbao 287 (8)
2003–2005 Real Sociedad 38 (0)
Total 449 (27)
National team
1990 Spain U19 3 (1)
1990 Spain U20 1 (0)
1998 Spain 3 (1)
1993–2002 Basque Country 9 (0)
Teams managed
2013–2014 Real Sociedad (assistant)
2015–2018 Numancia (assistant)
2018– Osasuna (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Although his natural position was that of left midfielder, he could also play as a central one. He had a more than remarkable technique and a powerful mid-range shot coming in second line, combined with good passing and tackling abilities.

During 14 seasons, Alkiza amassed La Liga totals of 417 games and 19 goals.

Contents

Club careerEdit

Born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Alkiza made his professional debuts with local giants Real Sociedad, being promoted to the first team at only 20 and amassing more than 100 official appearances in his first three seasons (92 in La Liga). After an aborted transfer to Real Madrid, he eventually moved to Basque neighbours Athletic Bilbao in 1994, for 220 million pesetas.[1][3][4]

Alkiza was also an automatic first-choice at his new club, not scoring so often as the attacking duties in midfield were more often than not the task of future Athletic great Julen Guerrero. In the 1997–98 campaign he only missed one game – playing 3,146 minutes – as the club finished in second place and qualified for the UEFA Champions League; in the subsequent competition, even though Athletic ranked last in its group, it did draw 0–0 at home against Juventus FC, the finalist of the previous three editions, with him playing the full 90 minutes.[5]

In summer 2003, after more than 300 official appearances for Athletic, Alkiza returned to Real Sociedad who was due taking part in the season's Champions League.[6] At 33 his debut campaign was satisfactory, but he eventually retired from the game the following year after not being able to heal a degenerative injury from early seasons;[7] both teams combined, he surpassed the 500-games mark.

Alkiza later rejoined his last professional club, being charged with Real Sociedad's youth teams.[8][9]

International careerEdit

Alkiza played three times for Spain, in a two-month span. His debut came on 23 September 1998 in a friendly with Russia, in Granada: he scored the match's only goal, netting from outside the area.[10][11]

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 23 September 1998 Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain   Russia 1–0 1–0 Friendly

Personal lifeEdit

Alkiza's father, Iñaki, also played for some years with Real Sociedad, later serving as the club's president.[1][12] He was also a relatively important local politician.[13]

He broke the "curse" that stated that players from Real would never succeed at Athletic (Loren, Luciano Iturrino or David Villabona).[14]

Coach Javier Irureta, who managed him at Athletic in 1994–95, said of Alkiza: "I guarantee that if you pass him the ball he will not return a melon".[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Qué fue de… Alkiza" [What happened to… Alkiza]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 17 August 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Athletic Club-Real Sociedad: jugadores en los dos bandos" [Athletic Club-Real Sociedad: players on both sides]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 9 May 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  3. ^ "El Athletic ha pagado casi 15 millones a la Real en 21 años" [Athletic have paid almost 15 million to Real in 21 years]. El Correo (in Spanish). 1 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Los otros realistas que acabaron en el Athletic" [The other realistas who ended up at Athletic]. El Correo (in Spanish). 2 July 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  5. ^ "El Athletic hace más méritos" [Athletic deserved to win more]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 22 October 1998. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Una década de operación renove" [One decade of Extreme Makeover]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 4 July 2003. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  7. ^ "'Makila' también para Karpin y Alkiza" ['Makila' for Karpin and Alkiza as well]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 1 June 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Bittor Alkiza será director de formación hasta 2013" [Bittor Alkiza will be youth system coordinator until 2013]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 28 June 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Loren: "Para Urrutia el derbi era el partido más importante"" [Loren: "To Urrutia the derby was the most important game"]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 1 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Camacho debuta con épica" [Camacho has epic debut]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 24 September 1998. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Alkiza: "Me he sentido a gusto en el campo"" [Alkiza: "I felt comfortable on the pitch"]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 24 September 1998. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Su padre ha sido el último en enterarse" [His father was last to know]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 2 July 2003. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Iñaki Alkiza: "Con Anoeta tuvimos que pasar por el aro, porque era eso o nada"" [Iñaki Alkiza: "We had to go through the hoop with Anoeta, it was either that or nothing"]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 27 April 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Illarramendi no es el primero que vuelve a la Real Sociedad" [Illarramendi is not the first to return to Real Sociedad]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 11 September 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  15. ^ ""Si le pasas el balón no te devolverá un melón"" ["If you pass him the ball he will not return a melon"]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 6 February 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External linksEdit