Perhaps there is nothing as common a sight in the Spanish La Liga as seeing Inaki Williams take the field for his side, Athletic Bilbao.
Sturdy as oak, the 27-year-old forward hasn’t missed a single league game in over 6 years, having recently broken the record for most consecutive games in the league’s history.
While featuring in Bilbao’s win over Deportivo Alaves almost three months ago, Inaki had surpassed former Real Sociedad defender Juan Antonio Larranaga, who had amassed a record 202 consecutive appearances between 1980 and 1994.
And with another start in Bilbao’s recent 3-1 win over Osasuna, Inaki has now gathered an unprecedented 215 appearances in La Liga.
He began his flow while coming on as a substitute for Iker Muniain during Bilbao’s clash against Atlético Madrid as far back as April 2016. Ever since then, Inaki has chalked up appearances in every domestic match for Los Leones, scoring 42 goals during the period.
In total, Inaki has made more than 300 appearances for the club after having made his senior debut back in 2014.
And while he remains far off from leading the appearances charts for the club, topped by José Ángel Iribar with more than 600, Inaki has presumably done enough to earn reverence at Bilbao.
And the significance of his recent achievement was not lost on fans, who took to social media and left fitting tributes behind.
Speaking of the COVID pandemic, one fan was all praise for the 27-year-old’s endurance, considering how the virus had already battered the best of the lot in Europe.
Football squads around Europe are being decimated by Covid, seemingly dozens of players getting infected every day. But Iñaki Williams powers on, tonight playing his 215th consecutive league game game Athletic Club. Hasn’t missed a game since April 2016.— Andy West (@andywest01) January 3, 2022
While another outright declared Inaki to be immune from the virus.
Inaki Williams doesn’t even catch COVID.— Fredrick (@RickyxLaw) January 3, 2022
He has not missed a game in SIX years straight.
He also drew a comparison with another legend of the game, Dirk Kuyt, known for his enduring stamina and consistency that saw him make 179 consecutive appearances between 1999 and 2006.
Inaki William is another Duracell as Dirk Kuyt. #OsasunaAthletic— Egbeyinka moses (The unbearable) (@Ryhnogee) January 3, 2022
Another tribute, laced with a joke, appeared to suggest that Inaki had made as many appearances as Athletic Bilbao itself.