Pablo Orbaiz

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Pablo Orbaiz
Pablo orbaiz.jpg
Orbaiz as an Athletic Bilbao player (2008)
Personal information
Full name Pablo Orbaiz Lesaka
Date of birth (1979-02-06) 6 February 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth Pamplona, Spain
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1998 Osasuna B 27 (2)
1996–2000 Osasuna 69 (2)
2000–2012 Athletic Bilbao 263 (10)
2011–2012Olympiacos (loan) 24 (1)
2012–2013 Rubin Kazan 23 (0)
2013–2015 Valle Egüés ? (3)
Total 406 (18)
National team
1997 Spain U17 5 (0)
1996–1998 Spain U18 15 (0)
1998–1999 Spain U20 12 (0)
1999–2001 Spain U21 14 (0)
2002–2005 Spain 4 (0)
2005 Navarre 1 (0)
2005–2007 Basque Country 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Pablo Orbaiz Lesaka (born 6 February 1979) is a Spanish former footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.

After starting out with Osasuna, he went on to play 11 years in La Liga with Athletic Bilbao,[1] appearing in a total of 318 competitive matches and scoring 13 goals.

Club career[edit]

Osasuna / Athletic[edit]

Born in Pamplona, Orbaiz began his career at hometown's CA Osasuna, exclusively playing in the second division with the team and contributing with 29 appearances and one goal in his final season as the Navarrese returned to La Liga after a six-year absence.

After that he moved to neighbours Athletic Bilbao, where he was a very important midfield element from the start. In the 2004–05 campaign he played 35 league matches and scored three goals, adding eight appearances in the UEFA Cup. However, he also suffered very serious knee injuries in 2002–03 and 2006–07, only taking part in a combined 14 games.[2][3]

In the 2009–10 season, Orbaiz continued to be an automatic first-choice when healthy. However, during one month (February–March 2010), he was sent off twice for dangerous challenges – both of which resulted in two-match bans – at Villarreal CF (1–2 loss)[4] and at home against Getafe CF (2–2, he also scored the opener in the latter game).[5] For the following campaign he was promoted as team captain, after the departures of Joseba Etxeberria and Francisco Yeste.[6]

Later years[edit]

In late August 2011, after another season of regular use by manager Joaquín Caparrós – 26 games, 1,675 minutes – as Athletic once again qualified to the Europa League, 32-year-old Orbaiz was loaned to Olympiacos F.C. in Greece, joining a host of compatriots at the Piraeus club, including manager Ernesto Valverde.[7] Afterwards he was released by Bilbao, signing for one season with FC Rubin Kazan and reuniting with compatriot and former Olympiacos teammate Iván Marcano.[8]

International career[edit]

Orbaiz made his debut with Spain on 21 August 2002 in a testimonial match for Ferenc Puskás against Hungary,[9] representing the nation in a further three matches. Previously, he helped the under-20s win the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship.[10]



Athletic Bilbao



Spain U20


  1. ^ Orbaiz: "Jugar la Champions es un sueño para mí" (Orbaiz: "To play in the Champions League is a dream for me") Archived 23 July 2012 at; Deia, 1 September 2011 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Orbaiz out for season; Sky Sports, 9 January 2003
  3. ^ Orbaiz blow for Bilbao; Sky Sports, 19 October 2006
  4. ^ Drama as Villarreal defeat Bilbao; ESPN Soccernet, 13 February 2010
  5. ^ Leon strikes late; ESPN Soccernet, 20 March 2010
  6. ^ "Athletic Club has a new captain". The Offside. 25 July 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  7. ^ Pablo Orbaiz loaned to Olympiacos; Athletic Bilbao, 30 August 2011
  8. ^ "Pablo Orbais in "Rubin"". Rubin Kazan. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Poca luz para tanto estreno" [Too little light for so many premieres] (in Spanish). El País. 22 August 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Qué fue de los campeones del mundo sub20" [What happened to the under-20 world champions] (in Spanish). Marca. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2017.

External links[edit]