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The Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia, and Spain's national team keeper is a legend, both in his homeland and in world football, after a hugely-successful 19-year career in which he played more than 950 matches.
‘Zubi’, as he was known, first came to prominence after winning back-to-back Liga titles at the San Mames in 1983 and 1984. Two years later, he moved to Camp Nou where his career really took off. In Catalonia, Zubizarreta claimed four league titles and was part of Johan Cruyff’s so-called ‘Dream Team’ that won the Catalan’s first-ever European Cup at Wembley in 1992.
However, it is probably his feats with La Furia Roja for which the keeper will be best remembered.
He represented his country on 126 occasions between 1985 and 1998, at the time a Spanish record, which included going to the finals of seven major tournaments, some as national captain.
Calm under pressure, steady under crosses, adept at using his feet and playing as a ‘sweeper’ (Cruyff encouraged him to do regularly while at Barca), he was also a phenomenal shot stopper and an expert at closing down angles when faced with an opposition player running through on goal.