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Gurpegui in 2014
|Full name||Carlos Gurpegui Nausia|
|Date of birth||19 August 1980|
|Place of birth||Pamplona, Spain|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back / Defensive midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
He spent his entire professional career with Athletic Bilbao, which was marred by a two-year ban due to a nandrolone positive test. Over the course of 14 La Liga seasons, he appeared in 393 games all competitions comprised whilst scoring 22 goals.
A product of the famous Athletic Bilbao's Lezama youth academy, Gurpegui was born in Pamplona, Navarre, and made his first-team – and La Liga – debut on 31 March 2002 in a 2–5 away defeat against Villarreal CF, going on to establish himself as the first-choice holding midfielder in the following years with 121 games in four seasons. On 17 January 2004, he scored a late equaliser against FC Barcelona in a 1–1 draw at the Camp Nou.
Gurpegui was banned for two years on 3 November 2003, for testing positive for nandrolone in a 1 September 2002 game against Real Sociedad (2–4 away defeat, scoring both goals) the previous season. The ban was initially suspended after repeated appeals, with the player claiming that his body produced nandrolone naturally, but the appeals were in vain as he eventually was forced to serve his sentence, which ran until 23 April 2008; Athletic Bilbao, however, neither released the player nor took his number from the official squad, and he returned to action in a 0–3 away loss to Real Madrid, four days later.
In the 2008–09 season, Gurpegui was used mostly as a backup due to the emergence of youngster Javi Martínez, but regained his starting position in the following years, precisely alongside Martínez. On 28 November 2010, he headed home in the last minute against hometown's CA Osasuna, in a 1–0 home win.
Gurpegui was again relegated to the bench for the 2011–12 campaign, following the arrival of new coach Marcelo Bielsa. On 23 October 2011, after having replaced Andoni Iraola af half-time of an eventual 1–1 draw at Valencia CF, he also had to leave the pitch early into the second half, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
After Martínez left in the 2012 summer to FC Bayern Munich, Gurpegui was chosen by Bielsa as his next player to be reconverted from defensive midfielder to central defender. On 11 May 2016, already a fringe player, the 35-year-old announced he would retire from the game at the end of the season.
|Athletic Bilbao||2001–02||La Liga||4||0||0||0||—||—||4||0|