Tiko (footballer)

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For other people with the same name, see Roberto Martinez (disambiguation).
Personal information
Full name Roberto Martínez Rípodas
Date of birth (1976-09-15) 15 September 1976 (age 40)
Place of birth Pamplona, Spain
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Osasuna B 62 (7)
1997–1999 Osasuna 38 (7)
1999–2009 Athletic Bilbao 198 (21)
2008–2009 Eibar (loan) 16 (0)
Total 314 (35)
National team
2002 Spain 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Martínez and the second or maternal family name is Rípodas.

Roberto Martínez Rípodas (born 15 September 1976), known as Tiko, is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a central or a defensive midfielder.

He was known for his powerful shots[1] and creative play, his long-range efforts being dubbed Tikotazo.[2] Over the course of 12 professional seasons he played mainly for Athletic Bilbao, appearing in 230 official games for his main club (nearly 200 in La Liga) and scoring 26 goals.

Club career[edit]

Born in Pamplona, Navarre, Tiko emerged through the ranks of hometown CA Osasuna, alternating between the A and B-sides for some time, with the former competing in the second division. His professional debut came on 10 May 1997, as he scored an injury time-winner at CD Badajoz (1–0).

In 1999–2000, Tiko signed with neighbours Athletic Bilbao, making his La Liga debut on 12 October 1999 in a 4–3 away win against Málaga CF. He would make 20 appearances all competitions comprised during the campaign, netting once.

From 2001 to 2006, Tiko was an undisputed starter in midfield for the Basque Country team, often scoring from free kicks and dictating Athletic's play. In his final two seasons he was severely hampered by injuries[3] and the emergence of Carlos Gurpegui and Javi Martínez, playing in just seven league matches combined.

In August 2008, deemed surplus to requirements, Tiko joined second level club SD Eibar on a one-year loan deal.[4] Upon his return to Bilbao following the former's relegation, he was immediately released, and retired from the game shortly after.

International career[edit]

Tiko topped a brilliant 2001–02 (32 games, seven goals) with his sole cap for Spain, playing in a friendly with the Netherlands on 27 March 2002 as the national team lost 0–1 in Rotterdam.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Tiko's younger brother, Francisco (nicknamed Txitxo), is also a footballer and a midfielder. He played exclusively in the lower leagues, also representing Osasuna B.[6]


  1. ^ Spain round-up: Tiko inspires win; UEFA.com, 12 January 2002
  2. ^ Peligro: "Tikotazo" (Danger: "Tikotazo"); Diario Equipo, 4 December 2003 (Spanish)
  3. ^ Athletic dealt Tiko injury blow; UEFA.com, 9 October 2006
  4. ^ Con las botas a otra parte (Taking your boots elsewhere); Diario de Navarra, 27 December 2008 (Spanish)
  5. ^ Ensayo preocupante (Worrying rehearsal); Mundo Deportivo, 28 March 2002 (Spanish)
  6. ^ Txitxo at BDFutbol

External links[edit]