Jose Angel, el “Topo”, Iribar, one of the greats of the goal Athletic

José Ángel, el “Txopo”, Iribar, uno de los grandes de la portería del Athletic
Txopo Iribar is one of the best goalkeepers in the history of Spain, FOTO; Brand

Last update 1 March, 2023 por Alberto Llopis

Para muchos, Iribar ha sido the best goalkeeper in the history of Athletic Bilbao. It has always boasted the Basque Country land of good goalkeepers. Por allí, They have come Andoni Zubizarreta, Carmelo and Andoni Cedrún, Artola, Voluntary or the very Arconada. Sin embargo, Possibly the greatest of them all is another classic from the Athletic goal: José Ángel Iribar, el “Topo”. A myth for bilbaino box, thanks among other things, to their 18 seasons at Atletico and 614 official matches.

El Txopo Iribar, one of the best goalkeepers in the history of Spain

Born in Zarauz, town in neighboring Guipúzcoa a 1 de marzo de 1943, this man who was going to turner represents today and almost certainly the pride of the Basque goalkeeper. Why Iribar It was the prototype of what would come next: an archer insurance, sobrio, no concessions to the supporters but with very few glitches and had a virtue that made him stand out from the rest: its ability to draw by hand beyond the center line divides the field. A gun over 50 meters that made him able to assist their peers in advantageous positions in front of goal.

Hated by many, who said he was a goalkeeper lucky that the ball was, the truth is that nobody gets to what reached Topo If you do not have the quality that treasured in his day Iribar. Because beyond their stops are data, these figures are inexcusable that serve to objectify his career. 446 matches in league, 93 the Generalissimo Cup (who won twice) y 49 the selection. A team with which he would win the Eurocopa de 1964 (of goalkeeper) and you come to play Mundial de 1966 y la Eurocopa de 1968. Something anecdotal if one takes into account that Iribar It has been one of the few Basque sportsmen who has been in favor of Basque independence and has even reached military in political parties as HB clear trend independence.

The man who wore black

Siempre de negro, Iribar was the goalkeeper million pesetas, that was what the Athletic paid for his transfer to Baskonia in 1962, and also the goalkeeper who replaced Carmelo Cedrun in front of the three sticks of San Mamés. Pero, above all, was the goalkeeper who marked an era with its stretched, his way of being and 17 years showing an irreproachable conduct in their favorite team, el Athletic. And it is not in vain “Iribar, Iribar is cojonudo…there is none like Iribar”.

Julio Muñoz

Journalist, specialist in international football and retro. I write in and you can follow me at @ juliomv1982


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