Aritz Aduriz Returns To International Football After Six Years; Scores First Goal For Spain

Athletic Bilbao striker, Aritz Aduriz scored his first goal for Spain at the age of 35 to give the European champions a fortuitous 1-1 draw away to Italy in a friendly on Thursday.

Lorenzo Insigne ended Spain’s run of six successive clean sheets when he finished off a counter-attack to give the hosts a deserved lead midway through the second half at the Stadio Friuli.

But Aduriz, who made his only previous appearance for Spain six years ago and was recalled thanks to his prolific form with Athletic Bilbao, replied three minutes later from Spain’s first shot on target.

The result ended Spain’s run of seven successive wins and they would have lost if had it not been for an inspired performance by their goalkeeper David de Gea.

Italy were missing midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti and defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, while Spain were without forward Diego Costa.

The hosts fielded a 3-4-3 formation and were far livelier than the pedestrian visitors, in particular Antonio Candreva who nearly put them ahead with a long-range shot in the first half which De Gea turned around the post.

Italy took the lead in the 67th minute when substitute Insigne diverted Emanuele Giaccherini’s low cross pass De Gea following a quick break.

They led for only three minutes before Cesc Fabregas floated a free kick into the area, Gianluigi Buffon failed to hold Alvaro Morata’s header and Aduriz fired the rebound into the roof of the net.

Insigne thought he had won the game for Italy with a delightful chip over De Gea but the Spain goalkeeper managed to tip the ball over the bar.

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