Place of birth
Xabier Etxeita Gorritxategi
Date of birth
(1987-10-31) 31 October 1987 (age 28)
Athletic Bilbao (#16 / Defender)
Xabier etxeita convocado por la seleccion espanola
Xabier Etxeita Gorritxategi (born 31 October 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao mainly as a central defender.
Born in Amorebieta-Etxano, Biscay, Etxeita finished his development within Athletic Bilbao's prolific youth ranks at Lezama, after playing with hometown club SD Amorebieta. His first three games with the first team of the former, all in 2008–09's La Liga, were not without incidents: in his first, a 2–0 home win against neighbours CA Osasuna on 16 November 2008, he subbed in for injured Ustaritz, being sent off in the following against CD Numancia (same venue and result). On 21 December, he replaced Ander Murillo who also retired before half-time due to injury, in a 1–0 success at Real Betis; during the season, however, he was mainly registered with the B-side.
In the very last days of the 2010 January transfer window, Etxeita moved on a five-month loan to FC Cartagena in the second division. On 16 July 2010 he left Athletic and signed with another club in that level, Elche CF, quickly going on to establish himself in the starting XI.
On 4 June 2013, after contributing with 40 games and four goals as the Valencian Community team returned to the top level after more than 20 years, Etxeita returned to Athletic Bilbao on a free transfer. He only made his official debut on 7 April of the following year, featuring the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 away win over Levante UD.
Etxeita scored his first competitive goal for Athletic on 25 October 2014, netting the only in a league fixture at UD Almería. His second came on 4 March of the following year, as he helped to a 2–0 win over RCD Espanyol in Barcelona to make his team reach the final of the Copa del Rey for the first time in three years; he played the entire decisive match, a 1–3 defeat to FC Barcelona, and also started both legs of the subsequent edition of the Supercopa de España against the same opponent, which was won 5–1 on aggregate and brought a first trophy for the player.
Etxeita received his first call up to the senior Spain team in October 2015. He earned his first cap on the 12th, featuring the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 win in Ukraine – the last round, the nation had already secured the first position in its group – for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.
He also featured for the unofficial Basque Country regional side.