Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Aitor Karanka

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Aitor Karanka de la Hoz (born 18 September 1973) is a retired Spanish footballer who played mainly as a central defender (on occasion, he occupied the left back position).

Except for a brief spell in the United States, at the age of 32, he played solely for Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, appearing in 275 La Liga games over the course of 13 seasons, winning a total of seven major titles with the latter.

Club career

Born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, Karanka played as a youth with hometown's Deportivo Alavés and finished his formation with Basque neighbours Athletic Bilbao. He made his senior debuts with the reserves of the latter in 1992, spending almost two seasons with the team in the second division. Along with Julen Guerrero, he was a member of Athletic's U-19 team that won a national cup and league double in 1992.

Karanka was promoted to the main squad by Jupp Heynckes in 1993, making his La Liga debut on 15 September, playing the 90 minutes in a 3–1 home win against UD Las Palmas, going on to feature in exactly 100 league matches in his three full seasons, before joining the German coach at Real Madrid in 1997. With the capital team, he was used mostly as a backup, but...
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