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Gurpegi prolongs Bilbao stay

SoccerNews in La Liga 12 Nov 2013

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Carlos Gurpegi has extended his contract with Athletic Bilbao by a further 12 months the club have announced.

The 33-year-old has been a member of Bilbao’s first-team squad since 2002, and was handed his debut by Jupp Heynckes in a 5-2 defeat at Villarreal in March of the same year.

Gurpegi was banned for two-years in November 2003 after testing positive for nandrolone, the ban was initially suspended but his appeal was ultimately unsuccessful and the sentence was served from July 2006.

But he returned in April 2008 and has re-established himself as a regular member of Bilbao’s starting XI.

Gurpegi has started every game for Ernesto Valverde’s outfit this term, making 13 appearances in total to help the club to fifth place.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Athletic Club and Carlos Gurpegi have signed a renewal whereby the player will remain until June 30, 2015.”

The defensive midfielder commented: “Playing here is a dream and I am very grateful to the club. Everything has been easy and I am very happy.”

Gurpegi will look to continue his ever present record this season when Bilbao travel to Malaga after the international break.

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