Macarthur FC’s Beñat Etxebarria and Markel Susaeta have today announced their retirement from football.
Two of the most experienced players to grace Australian shores during the 16 year history of the A-League, the Basque duo were instrumental in Ante Milicic’s side during the Bulls inaugural season.
Having almost scored with his very first touch in the A-League, Beñat’s 72nd minute free-kick against the Western Sydney Wanderers, will always hold a special place in the hearts of Bulls fans. The Basque maestro thundering strike into captain Mark Milligan’s back, deflecting the ball in for the club’s first competitive goal, will forever be on many highlight reels.
Etching his name into the club’s history books, Markel Susaeta showed his experience and class, netting the Bulls first goal on home soil in match week 3 against the Wellington Phoenix, following a lovely, flighted pass from Beñat.
The pair finish their careers having played on some of footballs biggest stages including Champions League, Europa League and LaLiga.
Markel Susaeta’s decorated career spans 507 games for Athletic Bilbao, including 379 LaLiga, 54 Europa League and 6 Champions League appearances, before heading down under first with Melbourne City in 2019 and then with Macarthur FC.
Beñat Etxebarria finishes his career having played 459 professional matches, 242 games for Athletic Bilboa, 118 for Real Betis Balompié, before playing his first club football outside of Spain, for the Bulls this season.
Bulls Head Coach Ante Milicic paid tribute to the pair.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have had players of Beñat & Markel’s calibre join our football club, and to have them part of our inaugural playing squad was very special.”
“Whether on the training park or during matches, the knowledge and experience they have shown and provided the younger players in our squad has been invaluable.” Added Milicic.
“We wish them and their families safe travels as they head back to Spain.” Milicic said.