Matches between Basque institutions Athletic Club and Real Sociedad boast a family feel, with fans of both sides able to sit together in the stands and enjoy the fixtures in an amicable way. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some animosity on the pitch, with this derby as fierce as any other once the ball gets rolling.
Here, we look at some of the warriors to have become legends during Basque derbies past and present.
Telmo Zarra (Athletic Club, 1940-1955)
Until Lionel Messi came along, Zarra held most of the scoring records in Spanish thanks to his 15 wonderful years wearing the red and white stripes of Athletic Club. He saved some of his very best football for the big occasions, including the Basque derby against Real Sociedad. His record of 14 goals is the joint-record for this fixture, even going as far as scoring five goals in a 7-1 victory over La Real in the 1950/51 LaLiga season.
Jesús Satrustegui (Real Sociedad, 1973-1986)
The man who shares the record for goals in this fixture is Jesús Satrustegui, who netted 14 times across the 1970s and 1980s. The striker scored twice in each of Real Sociedad’s derby victories of the 1980/81 season (a 4-1 win at home and 2-0 win away) as the team from San Sebastián won their first-ever league championship, one which they retained the following year.
Nihat Kahveci (Real Sociedad, 2002-2006)
Turkish forward Nihat Kahveci only spent three and a half seasons at Real Sociedad but quickly became a legend at the Reale Arena due to his knack for scoring important derby goals. Across just seven Basque derbies he conjured up seven goals and lifelong memories.
Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad, 2009-2014)
Before joining Atlético Madrid and more recently Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann made his name at Real Sociedad and enjoyed a lot of success in the Basque derbies he contested. He didn’t taste derby defeat in any of his final four derbies against Athletic Club, winning three times and drawing once. On an individual level, he scored in each of those three wins. Since moving to the capital he’s become a global star but it all began at La Real.
Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club, 2002-2004, 2006-2008 and 2012-present)
Over three separate stints, Aduriz has become a fixture in this encounter, writing his name into the history books by scoring five goals across more than a decade of derbies. Now in his final season before retirement, Aduriz has one more chance to extend his legendary status even further with a decisive role in his last derby.