||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
López training for Catania in 2011
|Full name||Maximiliano Gastón López|
|Date of birth||3 April 1984|
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2006–2007||→ Mallorca (loan)||29||(3)|
|2009||→ Grêmio (loan)||25||(12)|
|2012||→ Milan (loan)||8||(1)|
|2012–2013||→ Sampdoria (loan)||17||(4)|
|2014–||→ Sampdoria (loan)||5||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 January 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
López started his career in 1997 with River Plate. On 19 August 2001, at the mere age of 17, he made his senior debut against Talleres de Córdoba. That same season, the player was officially promoted to the senior squad, following 5 years with the youth program. With River Plate, he was a standout striker and the club won the Torneo Clausura in 2002, 2003, and 2004. López remained with the club until his transfer to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in January 2005. With River Plate, Lopez made over 60 appearances, scoring nearly 20 goals.
In January 2005, FC Barcelona signed López for €6.2 million following an injury to striker Henrik Larsson. On his UEFA Champions League debut on 23 February 2005, he came on as a second-half substitute for Ludovic Giuly and within four minutes beat Chelsea defender William Gallas to score an equaliser with his first shot for the club in a 2-1 first-leg win. López failed to break into the club's first team: in his first season in La Liga, he made just 13 league appearances. He transferred to RCD Mallorca on loan for the 2006–07 season, where he failed to live up to the expectations, scoring only three goals in 25 matches, and hence returned to Barcelona in the summer of 2007, only to be sold subsequently to FC Moscow.
On 16 August 2007, López signed with FC Moscow after a transfer fee of €2 million was agreed with Barcelona. With the club, López made 22 league appearances scoring 9 goals, but on 13 February 2009, Brazilian club, Grêmio signed López on a season-long loan. He made his debut the following month in a game against Santa Cruz. His first goal for the club came against Esporte Clube São José on 18 March 2009. On 24 June 2009, López was accused of racism by Cruzeiro player Elicarlos in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores. López denied the charge and, so far, nothing has been proven. López scored four goals in the Copa Libertadores 2009, and the winner in the centenary Gre-Nal derby match. He was scouted as a transfer target by several European clubs including Calcio Catania, Chievo Verona, Genoa CFC and VfL Wolfsburg.
Catania and loans
On 20 January 2010 López signed a four-year contract with Catania, in the Italian Serie A. He scored his first league goal on 7 February 2010 in a 1–0 away win against Lazio. López went on to score 12 goals in 17 appearances as Catania managed a 12th place finish in the league. During the 2010–11 season, López only scored 8 goals, but finished as Catania's leading scorer. On 27 January 2012, López finally reached a deal with Milan and officially signed by Milan on a loan deal and definitive option to buy him in summer. He scored his first goal as a Milan player on 11 February 2012 in an away game against Udinese, equalising for Milan before going on to assist Stephan El Shaarawy to score the game-winning goal. Maxi López has been sent back to Catania after finishing his loan spell with Milan. After a string of unconvincing performances on the pitch, the Argentine will no longer be part of the Milan club. On 11 July, he joined Sampdoria on a season-long loan deal.
He returned to Catania from a loan spell for the duration of the 2013–14 season and on 28 January 2014, he rejoined on loan Sampdoria for the remainder of the Serie A campaign. He scored a winning goal in his first match back for Sampdoria against Genoa on 3 February 2014.
Maxi López represented his birth nation of Argentina at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 levels, also taking part to the 2003 South American Youth Championship. He is currently eligible for both Argentina and Italy, as he holds both citizenships and has never represented any national team at senior level. In July 2010 he explicitly stated he might accept a call-up from the Azzurri.
López's surprising change of luck from being a criticised forward in River Plate to being signed by world's giants Barcelona made him an Internet meme in his native Argentina. Satirical blogs were created lobbying for his inclusion in the Argentinian squad for the 2006 World Cup. After the Argentinian elimination from the cup (without López getting any caps at all) the nature of the meme changed to a series of reasons explaining his lack of time play on Barcelona with hyperbolic claims about López's virility, skilfulness and a supposed affair with the wife of Barcelona's coach Frank Rijkaard which closely resembled Chuck Norris Facts. In interviews, López has stated that he is Ok with this unexpected following and the Church of the "White Drogba", so called as he is known for missing a crucial penalty kick for River against arch-enemies Boca Juniors on the same week Didier Drogba missed one against Egypt in the final of 2006 African Cup of Nations.
Maxi López is currently divorced from an Argentine model, Wanda Nara. The couple have three sons, Valentino Gastón (born 25 January 2009), Constantino (born 19 December 2010) and Benedicto (born 20 February 2012).
- As of 31 January 2014.
- "LOPEZ, Maximilliano Gastón". U.C. Sampdoria.
- "Maxi Lopez al Catania" (in Italian). Calcio Catania. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Milito To Be Checked in Passport Scandal". goal.com. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
- Hunter, Graham (24 February 2005). "Substitute López turns the tide". UEFA.
- Lopez signs with FC Moscow
- "MAXI LOPÉZ IS OFFICIALLY PRESENTED". Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Lazio 0–1 Catania". ESPN Star. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- "Maxi Lopez – Performance Data 2010–11 season". transfermarkt.co.uk. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "'Tevez, Maxi want Milan at any cost'". Football Italia. 26 January 2012.
- Sampdoria snap up Lopez on loan; ESPN Soccernet, 11 July 2012. Retrieved on 12 July 2012.
- "It is a Maxi-Samp: López Decides the Derby Della Lanterna". UC Sampdoria. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Catania, Maxi Lopez: "Pronto a indossare la maglia della Nazionale italiana"" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- "Conocer a Wanda fue mi mejor golazo" (in Spanish). Ole. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Los hinchas copan la web" (in Spanish). La Manhana de Cordoba. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maxi López.|
- European Champions Cup/UEFA Champions League Winning Squads
- Maxi López – FIFA competition record
- Profile and statistics at FootballDatabase
- Guardian statistics
- team profile and statistics at FK Moscow website
- (Spanish) Argentine Primera statistics
-  Eurosport