Javier Urruticoechea

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Urruti
Personal information
Full name Francisco Javier González Urruticoechea
Date of birth (1952-11-17)17 November 1952
Place of birth San Sebastián, Spain
Date of death 24 May 2001(2001-05-24) (aged 48)
Place of death Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1967–1969 Lengokoak
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1972 San Sebastián
1972–1977 Real Sociedad 66 (0)
1977–1981 Español 120 (0)
1981–1988 Barcelona 120 (0)
National team
1979 Spain U23 2 (0)
1974 Spain amateur 2 (0)
1980–1981 Spain B 5 (0)
1978–1980 Spain 5 (0)
1979–1980 Euskadi XI 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is González and the second or maternal family name is Urruticoechea.

Francisco Javier González Urruticoechea (17 November 1952 – 24 May 2001), aka Urruti, was a Spanish footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

At FC Barcelona, a club known for goalkeepers like Franz Platko, Antoni Ramallets, Juan Velasco and Ricardo Zamora, he became a legend, playing 307 La Liga games over the course of 16 seasons and also representing in the competition Real Sociedad and Español.[1]

Urruti represented Spain in three World Cups. In May 2001, he died in a road accident near Barcelona.[2][3] An annual golf tournament, the Trofeo Javier Urruti, is played in his honour.

Club career[edit]

Born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Urruti played as a junior with Lengokoak before joining Real Sociedad in 1969, spending three full years with the reserve team. For the next La Liga seasons, he maintained an interesting battle for first-choice status with legendary Luis Arconada.

After Arconada finally settled Urruti moved to RCD Español, where he won the Don Balón award in 1981 (Spanish Footballer of the Year),[4] moving across the city after that campaign to join FC Barcelona.

In his third year Urruti won the Zamora Trophy, while playing in all the matches safe one. Alongside the likes of Steve Archibald and Bernd Schuster, he was a prominent member of the Catalonia team coached by Terry Venables that won the league in 1985 and then reached the final of the European Cup in the following year; on 25 March 1985, in a game against Real Valladolid, his penalty save against Mágico González effectively clinched the title.

During the second leg of the European Cup semi-final against IFK Göteborg, Urruti successfully protested to the referee about a conceded goal after he spotted the ball had gone out of play – Barcelona were trailing 0–3 from the first-leg and the decision kept them in the game. They eventually drew level and in the subsequent penalty shootout, he saved a crucial penalty and then scored one; the final against FC Steaua Bucureşti, however, was a major disappointment as, although he saved two shots in the shootout (after 0–0 in regulation), his Romanian counterpart, Helmuth Duckadam, stopped all four.

After Andoni Zubizarreta, another Basque, arrived from Athletic Bilbao in 1986, Urruti was pushed to the bench and only appeared in one league match in his final two seasons combined, later being the club's goalkeeper coach. On 24 May 2001, he died after his car hit the central barrier of a ring road in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, at just 48.[5]

International career[edit]

Urruti played five times for Spain in a two-year span, and was a member of the Spanish squads for the 1978, 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, also being picked for UEFA Euro 1980. His debut came in a friendly with Norway on 29 March 1978, in Gijón; however, his struggles at the club level translated to the international front, as he was never able to replace fellow Basques Arconada and Zubizarreta.

Urruti also gained two caps for the Basque Country national football team.

Honours[edit]

Barcelona
Individual

References[edit]

External links[edit]