| Fernando Tirapu Arteta|
November 7, 1951
| Pamplona, Spain|
Fernando Tirapu Wikipedia
Fernando Tirapu Arteta (born 7 November 1951) is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a defender or midfielder.
He featured professionally for Osasuna, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, making a total of 282 appearances in La Liga.
A native of Pamplona, Navarre, Tirapu began his career in his hometown at CD Oberena, from where he was signed by CA Osasuna in 1970, aged 19. At that time the latter club competed in Tercera División, but it was promoted at the end of his second season. By now a regular at El Sadar, he made his debut in the professional leagues on 3 September 1972 in a 0–1 home defeat to Racing de Santander, under manager Moruca; he scored his first goal a few weeks later against Pontevedra CF (2–1 away win), as his team went on to be relegated from Segunda División in 1974.
However, rather than moving down a level, Tirapu moved up when he joined La Liga side Valencia CF that summer. His first game in the competition took place on 7 September 1974, in a 1–2 home loss to Real Madrid. In his first year, he made a major contribution in nullifying the attacking threat of Johan Cruijff as Los Che battled to a 1–0 win over FC Barcelona; after playing regularly for three seasons at the Mestalla Stadium, during which the team did not challenge for major honours, he transferred to Athletic Bilbao in 1977, for a fee of around 23 million pesetas.
Tirapu was part of 'Operation Return' where Athletic sought to bring Basque players based around Spain 'home' to play for them. He made his debut under Koldo Aguirre in the opening game of the 1977–78 campaign, a 0–0 draw at Real Betis on 4 September 1977. Later that month he played in his first European game, against Servette FC in the UEFA Cup. during his stint in Bilbao he played 204 competitive matches, contributing with only one to the 1982–83 league conquest.
In 1983, Tirapu followed a route taken by several players when he moved back to Osasuna (who by now had returned to the top level). Two years later he finished his career, at the age of 34.
Tirapu never earned any caps for Spain, but he did feature for the unofficial Basque Country regional team.
Tirapu's younger brother, Mariano, was also a footballer. A goalkeeper, he also played for Osasuna among other clubs. Both are related to Ainhoa Tirapu, goalkeeper for Athletic Bilbao's women's team and the daughter of their cousin.Athletic Bilbao
La Liga: 1982–83