As an alternative of carrying black to mourn, goalkeepers throughout Spain’s La Liga wore black in matches this weekend to have a good time one of many nation’s most well-known netminders on his eightieth birthday.
Spanish membership Athletic Bilbao invited goalkeepers from golf equipment in their very own nation and the world over to put on black kits this weekend to honour José Ángel Iribar, who turned 80 on March 1. Iribar appeared in 614 matches over 18 seasons with Bilbao, and in addition performed for the Spanish nationwide staff within the 1964 Nations Cup and the 1966 World Cup.
Iribar — who earned the nickname “Txopo” (“Poplar”) for his towering presence between the goalposts — famously wore black kits throughout his time with Bilbao.
La Liga and the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees each granted permission for each goalkeepers in La Liga matches over the weekend to put on black.
Previous to this weekend’s matches, La Liga goalkeepers posed for pictures with one another carrying black kits. Some solely wore black for pre-game festivities, then wore a unique color throughout the precise match. Right here’s a take a look at all of the goalkeepers:
Athletic Bilbao gamers additionally wore particular warmup shirts with Iribar’s identify and the number one printed on the again.
Apart from his stellar play on the pitch, Iribar additionally grew to become identified for his outspoken assist of the Basque folks. Earlier than a recreation in December 1976 — a few 12 months after the demise of dictator Francisco Franco — Iribar and Actual Sociedad captain Inaxio Kortabarria carried a Basque flag, the Ikkuriña, to the centre circle of the Atotxa Stadium in San Sebastián. Publicly displaying the flag had been unlawful below Franco’s rule, and technically nonetheless was when the sport between the 2 Basque Nation sides was performed. However thanks partly to this show, the Ikkuriña was legalized in January 1977. At this time, variations of it are nonetheless prominently displayed on Bilbao’s and Sociedad’s kits.