Diego López Rodríguez
López signing autographs with Villarreal
|Full name||Diego López Rodríguez|
|Date of birth||3 November 1981|
|Place of birth||Paradela, Spain|
|Height||1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|2000–2003||Real Madrid C||41||(0)|
|2001–2002||→ Alcorcón (loan)||0||(0)|
|2003–2005||Real Madrid B||33||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:58, 11 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
After spending seven years under contract with Real Madrid, in representation of its various teams, he made a name for himself in La Liga with Villarreal, appearing in 230 official games over the course of five seasons. In 2013 he returned to Real Madrid.
López was born in Paradela, Lugo, Galicia. A youth graduate from hometown's CD Lugo he moved to Real Madrid at almost 19 and, after a loan at another side from the capital, AD Alcorcón, he eventually moved up to Real's B-team, starting in his second season, which ended in Segunda División promotion.
López served as first-team backup to Iker Casillas in the following two La Liga campaigns: in the closing stages of 2005–06 he appeared in back-to-back away wins, against CA Osasuna (as Casillas was sent off) and Racing de Santander, adding a UEFA Champions League group stage game at Olympiakos FC, a 1–2 defeat.
In late June 2007 López signed for Villarreal CF for a reported fee of €6 million, and started the season as second-choice to Uruguayan Sebastián Viera but, after a string of fine performances – he played in the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Cup – he was awarded first-team action, finishing the season with 21 appearances.
In 2008–09 López was everpresent, helping Villarreal finish fifth in the league as he did not miss one minute of action. More of the same in the following season, but the team could only rank seventh, thus out of the European zone; however, as fifth-placed RCD Mallorca was expelled from European competition due to bankruptcy, the Valencian took its place in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League.
López featured in all but one league games in 2011–12, being ejected against Sevilla FC in a 2–2 home draw, in the second game of the campaign. The Yellow Submarine would eventually be relegated after a twelve-year stay, with the player conceding 50 goals in his appearances.
Return to Real Madrid
On 25 January 2013, López returned to Real Madrid after Casillas suffered a hand injury which ruled him out for 12 weeks, signing for €3.5 million until June 2017. Shortly upon arriving, he stated he had always dreamed of coming back to the club.
López played his first game in his second spell on 30 January 2013, in a 1–1 home draw against FC Barcelona for the season's Spanish Cup semifinals. On 5 March, he made a string of saves as Real beat Manchester United 2–1 at Old Trafford to qualify for the last-eight in the Champions League (3–2 on aggregate). After the match, coach José Mourinho said: "Diego López was the best player in my team"; he retained his position until the end of the campaign, even though Casillas had already returned to full fitness.
López retained his number one position at the start of the following season, when Carlo Ancelotti had replaced Mourinho. Casillas was played in both the Champions League and the domestic cup, however Lopez played every league match apart from the final two where Carlo Ancelotti decided to let Iker Casillas gain match fitness ahead of the Uefa Champions League Final .
On 13 August 2014, Real Madrid and A.C. Milan reached an agreement over the transfer of Diego López. He made his competitive debut on 31 August as the club began the Serie A season with a 3–1 win over Lazio; he saved a late penalty from Antonio Candreva.
As third goalkeeper, López was first called up by Spain for two 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in late March/early April 2009, both against Turkey. He was named by national side boss Vicente del Bosque for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, in the same predicament (behind Casillas and Pepe Reina), and did not play any matches there.
- Real Madrid
- La Liga: 2006–07; Runner-up 2005–06; Runner-up 2012–13
- Copa del Rey: 2013–14; Runner-up 2012–13
- UEFA Champions League: 2013–14
- As of 11 May 2014
|Real Madrid B||2003–04||6||0||—||—||0||0||6||0|
- "Osasuna 0–1 Real Madrid". ESPN Soccernet. 30 April 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Racing Santander 2–3 Real Madrid". ESPN Soccernet. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Olympiakos 2–1 Real Madrid: Second-string". ESPN Soccernet. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Diego López signs at Villarreal". UEFA.com. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Villarreal claim battling draw". ESPN Soccernet. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "El Sevilla ficha a Diego López, un portero de altura para el nuevo proyecto" [Sevilla signs Diego López, tall goalkeeper for new project] (in Spanish). Sevilla's official website. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Diego López, nuevo jugador del Real Madrid" [Diego López, new Real Madrid player] (in Spanish). Real Madrid's official website. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Diego López: "Volver al club de mi corazón es algo muy especial"" [Diego López: "Returning to the club of my heart is quite special"] (in Spanish). Real Madrid's official website. 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Varane keeps Real hopes alive". ESPN FC. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Mourinho can't recall Casillas with Diego Lopez in such fantastic form". Goal.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Ancelotti’s bizarre solution to keeper issue: Lopez plays Liga, Casillas plays Europe [Marca]". 101 Great Goals. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Official statement: Diego López". realmadrid.com. 2014-08-13.
- "AC Milan 3-1 Lazio: Inzaghi era starts with a bang". Goal.com. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "Crónica del Macedonia-España: 2–3." [Macedonia-Spain match report: 2–3.] (in Spanish). Europa Press. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- "Diego López". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
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