Signing for Athletic from Arbuyo, he gained legendary renown as a tough-tackling defender, in the Basque mould, though not without skill. The kind of whole-hearted performances that make a player loved by the home fans and hated by opponents. A particular incident with a bad tackle on Maradona, when playing against Barcelona, has gone down in Spanish footballing history. With the gallows humour typical of tough defenders, he has had the boots in which he performed this infamy encased in perspex as a relic.
After leaving Athletic in 1987, he played for three seasons with Atlético Madrid before retiring in 1990.