Association football player
|Birth||18 August 1975, Mondragón, Debagoiena, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country|
Aitor López Rekarte (born 18 August 1975) is a Spanish retired footballer. He played as a defender on the right side, and sporadically on the other flank.
His professional career was closely connected to Real Sociedad, where he played 13 of 15 total seasons, appearing in 338 competitive games.
Born in Mondragón, Basque Country, López Rekarte played a decade for local club Real Sociedad, with nearly 350 overall appearances with the first team. After being promoted to the main squad for 1997–98 he immediately became the undisputed starter, with his worst output consisting of 26 games in his second professional season.
In that first campaign, as Real finished third, Rekarte featured mostly at left back, as habitual starter Agustín Aranzábal suffered a long injury lay-off. Eventually, he also became team captain, only missing one La Liga match in 2002–03 for a final runner-up place.
In July 2007, López Rekarte switched to newly promoted UD Almería, but appeared scarcely throughout the season as the Andalusia team overachieved, being subsequently released. On 18 March 2009 he joined second division side SD Eibar, in a deal until the end of the campaign; after the latter’s relegation he chose to retire from football, at nearly 34.
López Rekarte earned one cap for Spain, in a friendly against Scotland on 3 September 2004 (1–1, in Valencia). Previously, he helped the nation’s under-21s win the 1998 UEFA European Championship.
López Rekarte was the younger brother of another professional footballer, Luis, who also played for Real Sociedad, also being a right back and an international.
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 1998