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Xabier Etxeita Gorritxategi (Basque: [ʃaβier etʃeita]; Spanish: [ʃaˈβjeɾ eˈtʃeita]; born 31 October 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao mainly as a central defender.

Xabier Etxeita
Personal information
Full name Xabier Etxeita Gorritxategi
Date of birth (1987-10-31) 31 October 1987 (age 31)
Place of birth Amorebieta, Spain
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Athletic Bilbao
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Amorebieta
2006–2009 Bilbao Athletic 66 (7)
2008–2010 Athletic Bilbao 17 (1)
2010Cartagena (loan) 14 (0)
2010–2013 Elche 97 (5)
2013– Athletic Bilbao 89 (3)
2018–2019Huesca (loan) 18 (2)
National team
2015– Spain 1 (0)
2014– Basque Country 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:03, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 December 2016


Club careerEdit

Born in Amorebieta-Etxano, Biscay, Etxeita finished his development within Athletic Bilbao's prolific youth ranks at Lezama, after playing with hometown club SD Amorebieta. His first three games with the first team of the former, all in 2008–09's La Liga, were not without incidents: in his first, a 2–0 home win against neighbours CA Osasuna on 16 November 2008,[1] he subbed in for injured Ustaritz, being sent off in the following against CD Numancia (same venue and result).[2] On 21 December, he replaced Ander Murillo who also retired before half-time due to injury, in a 1–0 success at Real Betis;[3] during the season, however, he was mainly registered with the B-side.

In the very last days of the 2010 January transfer window, Etxeita moved on a five-month loan to FC Cartagena in the second division.[4] On 16 July 2010 he left Athletic and signed with another club in that level, Elche CF, quickly going on to establish himself in the starting XI.

On 4 June 2013, after contributing with 40 games and four goals[5][6][7][8] as the Valencian Community team returned to the top level after more than 20 years, Etxeita returned to Athletic Bilbao on a free transfer.[9] He only made his official debut on 7 April of the following year,[10] featuring the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 away win over Levante UD.[11]

Etxeita scored his first competitive goal for Athletic on 25 October 2014, netting the only in a league fixture at UD Almería.[12] His second came on 4 March of the following year, as he helped to a 2–0 win over RCD Espanyol in Barcelona to make his team reach the final of the Copa del Rey for the first time in three years;[13] he played the entire decisive match, a 1–3 defeat to FC Barcelona,[14] and also started both legs of the subsequent edition of the Supercopa de España against the same opponent, which was won 5–1 on aggregate and brought a first trophy for the player.[15][16]

On 24 July 2018, Exteita was loaned to fellow top division side SD Huesca for one year.[17]

International careerEdit

Etxeita received his first call up to the senior Spain team in October 2015.[18] He earned his first cap on the 12th, featuring the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 win in Ukraine – the last round, the nation had already secured the first position in its group – for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.[19]

He also featured for the unofficial Basque Country regional side.[20]


Athletic Bilbao


  1. ^ Athletic 2 – Osasuna 0; Athletic Bilbao, 16 November 2008
  2. ^ Athletic 2 – Numancia 0; Athletic Bilbao, 30 November 2008
  3. ^ Betis 0 – Athletic 1; Athletic Bilbao, 21 December 2008
  4. ^ El Cartegena [sic] cierra la cesión de Etxeita (Cartagena close Etxeita loan); Marca, 26 January 2010 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  5. ^ 3–1: El Elche completa pleno de triunfos ante un rival que no inquietó (3–1: Elche go three for three against unassuming rival); Mundo Deportivo, 1 September 2012 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  6. ^ El Elche ratifica su liderato tras ganar al Almería (1–0) (Elche confirm first place after beating Almería (1–0)); El Mundo, 16 December 2012 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  7. ^ La estrategia del líder destroza al Sabadell (Leaders' strategy rips Sabadell apart); Marca, 6 January 2013 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  8. ^ El líder se estrella en la mano de Máyor (Leaders crash against Máyor's hand); Marca, 20 January 2013 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  9. ^ El Elche confirma que Etxeita regresa al Athletic (Elche confirm Etxeita returns to Athletic); Deia, 4 June 2013 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  10. ^ Etxeita sale a escena ocho meses después (Etxeita jumps the stage eight months later); Marca, 6 April 2014 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  11. ^ Bilbao strengthen grip on top four; ESPN FC, 7 April 2014
  12. ^ Etxeita da aire al Athletic (Etxeita lets Athletic breathe); Marca, 25 October 2014 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  13. ^ Como manda la tradición (Will of tradition); Marca, 4 March 2015 ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  14. ^ "Lionel Messi double gives Barcelona Cup final win over Athletic Bilbao". The Guardian. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Athletic Bilbao 4–0 Barcelona: Aduriz hits hat-trick in Supercopa shocker". Goal. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Barcelona lose Super Cup final to Athletic Bilbao". BBC Sport. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  17. ^ "El defensa Etxeita llega cedido al Huesca" [Defender Etxeita arrives on loan at Huesca] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Del Bosque reinforces Spain after injury setbacks". Goal. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Debutant Gaspar earns Spain victory in Ukraine". UEFA. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Catalunya 0–1 Euskal Selekzioa" [Catalonia 0–1 Basque XI] (in Spanish). Basque Football Federation. 26 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2016.

External linksEdit