Rapids sign Spanish defender Aitor Karanka

April 2, 2006

DENVER, CO -- The Colorado Rapids announced today the signing of Spanish defender Aitor Karanka to a multi-year deal. Details of the contract were not made public.

Karanka, who began his professional career in 1992 playing for Athletic Bilbao B, made his debut with the first team of the Basque Country club in 1993. He spent a total of seven seasons with Athletic Club before being sold to Spain's powerhouse Real Madrid in 1997.

During his five year stint with Madrid, Karanka played in all European competitions winning three European Champions League trophies (1997-1998 , 1999-2000 and 2001-2002).

After his five-year tenure with Real Madrid, Karanka returned to Bilbao to play for Athletic Club, where he was a fixture in the starting lineup from 2002 to 2005.

Karanka's debut with the Rapids is pending on his work permit authorization by the United States Government.