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Rafael Iriondo
Spanish football player/manager

Rafael Iriondo

Rafael Iriondo
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Spanish football player/manager
Was Athlete Football player Association football player Sports official Association football manager
From Spain
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 24 October 1918, Gernika, Spain
Death 24 February 2016, Bilbao, Spain (aged 97 years)
Star sign Scorpio
Sports Teams
Moghreb Atlethic Tétouan
Athletic Club
Atlético Tetuán
Barakaldo CF
Real Sociedad
SD Indautxu
Spain national football team
Real Betis Balompié
The details (from wikipedia)


Rafael Iriondo Aurtenetxea (24 October 1918 – 24 February 2016) was a Spanish football forward and manager.

He amassed La Liga totals of 285 matches and 89 goals over 15 seasons, with Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad. He subsequently became a manager, working for nearly 30 years and being in charge of both clubs.

Club career

Born in Guernica, Biscay, Iriondo arrived at Basque giants Athletic Bilbao in 1940, from Atlético Tetuán. He made his La Liga debut on 29 September in a 2–2 draw at Valencia CF and, during his 13-year spell with the club, would form an historic offensive partnership with Agustín Gaínza, José Luis Panizo and Telmo Zarra, helping Athletic to the 1942–43 league and four Copa del Generalísimo trophies.

After 328 official games for Athletic with 115 goals, Iriondo moved to another team in the region, Barakaldo CF, in 1953. After a couple of months, however, he returned to the top division and joined Real Sociedad, retiring shortly after the end of the 1954–55 season.

Iriondo started coaching immediately after retiring, with modest SD Indautxu in the second division. He continued in his native Basque Country in the following years, with Deportivo Alavés and Barakaldo.

In the 1968–69 campaign, Iriondo returned to Athletic Bilbao as head coach, helping the club to the 11th place in the league and the season's domestic cup. He would also manage the team for two full seasons in the mid-1970s, interspersed with stints at RCD Español, Real Zaragoza and Real Sociedad.

Iriondo's last coaching job was with Real Betis: he led the Andalusians to the 1977 Spanish Cup, but suffered top flight relegation in the following season. After 15 matches at Rayo Vallecano in 1980 (meeting the same fate) he returned to Betis for one final campaign in 1981–82, being one of three managers to help the team finish sixth in the first division; he died in Bilbao on 24 February 2016, aged 97.

International career

Iriondo earned two caps for Spain in as many friendlies, his debut coming on 23 June 1946 in a 0–1 loss to the Republic of Ireland in Madrid. This was the first national team game attended by general Francisco Franco.

Seven months later, in Lisbon, he scored against Portugal who won 4–1.



Athletic Bilbao

  • La Liga: 1942–43
  • Copa del Generalísimo: 1943, 1944, 1945, 1950
  • Copa Eva Duarte: 1950


Athletic Bilbao

  • Copa del Rey: 1969


  • Copa del Rey: 1976–77
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 09 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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