Aritz Aduriz was sent off back in the 2006/07 campaign for a clear elbow to the face of Mahamadou Diarra during a Real Madrid vs Athletic Club match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but he has now admitted that it was not meant for the Malian midfielder.
The now-retired Basque striker, instead, confesses that he was hoping to make contact with Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos.
“Obviously, and I’ve told him many times, playing against Ramos was a nightmare at the time,” Aduriz told Radio MARCA when asked who was the defender that got on his nerves the most.
“The Ramos–Pepe partnership was a lot of fun to play against. I enjoyed it a lot, but I’ve said it to Sergio many times: it was tough.
“I have to say that I’ve never said it before: once I was sent off at the Bernabeu because I elbowed Diarra, a terrible elbow, horribly ugly, I’m not proud of it at all, but that elbow was for Sergio.
“I made a mistake in the jump. I have a terrible love and friendship with Sergio, but they were tough games.”
Haaland and Mbappe
The former Athletic goalscorer has offered his thoughts on Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, the two strikers of the future, and he has said that he would like them to end up at Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“Haaland and Mbappe both look spectacular to me,” Aduriz noted.
“If I were the president of Real Madrid, I would sign Haaland. For Barcelona, I would sign Mbappe.”
Aduriz was made to feel a part of Athletic‘s delayed 2020 Copa del Rey final against Real Sociedad, which they lost 1-0 in Seville a couple of weeks ago, but he will not have a similar role for this weekend’s 2021 final between the Basque side and Barcelona.
“I’m not going to the Copa final,” he stated.
“It’s not for me as a player, it’s for me as a fan. And as a fan I can’t go, so I’m not going. I’ll watch it at home with my family.”
The 40-year-old took the decision to retire at the end of the 2019/20 season and he is glad about how his life is going after football.
“I needed to be more Aritz and a little less Aduriz,” he noted.
“I went to live in Mallorca and I’m enjoying it. I’ve disconnected a little bit from football.”