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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 16:48 UK

Etxeberria will play for nothing

Joseba Etxeberria
Etxeberria wanted to give something back to the fans

Joseba Etxeberria has signed a one-year contract extension with Athletic Bilbao which will see him play the final season of his career for nothing.

The former Spain international agreed the deal with his current contract due to expire at the end of this season.

Etxeberria said he wanted to end his career as an Athletic player, adding: "I wanted to do this gesture but never did I want to set a precedent."

Midfielder Etxeberria, 31, joined the club from Real Sociedad aged 17.

He hopes to reach the landmark of having played 500 games when he retires after a 15-year career at San Mames.

"It's an idea I've had for years," added Etxeberria, who played at the 1998 World Cup and two European Championships for Spain.

Club president Fernando Garcia Macua said: "From the club's standpoint there are not words enough to thank such a gesture."

see also
Etxeberria rejects Everton move
24 Jan 05 |  Everton

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