iker muniain - Rising Star - Basque Hope





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Published on Mar 3, 2010

Iker Muniain Goñi (born 19 December 1992 in Pamplona, Navarre) is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish first division, as a forward.

A product of Basque giants Athletic Bilbao's youth ranks, Muniain made his first team debut on 30 July 2009, in an Europa League qualifying match against BSC Young Boys. He entered the field as a 59th minute substitute for Gaizka Toquero, in an eventual 01 home defeat. He became the youngest player ever to wear Athletic's shirt in an official game, at 16 years, 7 months and 11 days old.

One week later, Muniain scored his first goal for the club, in the return match in Switzerland. Athletic won 21, and qualified for the playoff rounds. In this match, he again entered the club's record books, as the youngest ever player to score a goal (16 years, 7 months and 18 days) in an official match.[1]

On August 30, 2009, another record, as Muniain appeared (and started) in the 10 home win against RCD Espanyol (200910's opener), becoming the youngest player to have donned the club's shirt in La Liga; two weeks later, he scored again in European competition, 30 at home against FK Austria Wien, after a good team move involving Andoni Iraola and veteran Joseba Etxeberria.[2]

Muniain became the youngest player to score in a first division match, as he netted in a 22 draw at Real Valladolid on October 04, 2009, aged only 16 years and 289 days.[3][4]

On 1 December 2009, Muniain signed his first professional contract with Athletic, running until June 2015.[5] On the 6th, after nearly one month out due to injury, he returned to action, scoring as a 51st minute substitute to give Athletic the lead, albeit in a 12 loss to Valencia CF. He set up both goals in Athletic's next game, a 21 away win at Real Zaragoza.

Debutó con el primer equipo del Athletic el 30 de julio del
2009 en San Mamés, en la fase previa de la UEFA Europa League que enfrentó al Athletic con el BSC Young Boys suizo y que ganó este último equipo por 0 goles a 1. En el encuentro de vuelta de la eliminatoria, el 6 de agosto, anotó el gol de la victoria que dio el pase al conjunto vasco a la siguiente fase, convirtiéndose en el jugador más joven en marcar gol en partido oficial con el Athletic en toda su historia.

Debutó en Primera División el 30 de agosto de 2009, con motivo de la primera jornada de liga de la temporada 2009/10. Con este estreno se convirtió en el futbolista del Athletic más joven en debutar en la máxima categoría, y en el decimocuarto futbolista más joven en jugar en Primera.[2]

Unas semanas después, el 4 de octubre de 2009, se convirtió en el futbolista más joven de la historia en lograr un gol en la Primera División de España.[3] Además, a finales de 2009 fue nominado al "Golden Boy", premio que se entrega al mejor futbolista mundial menor de 21 años, sin embargo no logró llevarse dicho galardón.[4] [5

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