Claudio López (footballer)
|Full name||Claudio Javier López|
|Date of birth||17 July 1974|
|Place of birth||Río Tercero, Argentina|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Striker / Winger|
|2008–2009||Kansas City Wizards||57||(13)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 November 2010|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 April 2010
López began his professional career with Estudiantes de La Plata in his native Argentina in 1990 as a 16-year-old. However, he moved to Racing the next year, where he would remain until he transferred in 1996 to Spanish club Valencia.
After a slow start in 1996-97, Claudio López would enjoy a prolific spell with the Chés over the 3 years that followed, averaging 20 goals each year between 1997–98 and 1999-2000. That included a season best in 1998-99 which saw him find the net on 30 occasions across competitions to become the club's top scorer (3rd best in la Liga behind Raul and Rivaldo, despite taking fewer penalties than his rivals).
Valencia entrenched its status as one of Spain's emerging clubs throughout the late 1990s, rising from its usual mid-table position to 4th in 1998-99 and 3rd in 1999-2000, which was Lopez's last season with the club. The Argentine formed a devastating partnership with Romanian Adrian Ilie and played alongside such stars as Jocelyn Angloma, Santiago Canizares and Gaizka Mendieta, who would later be his teammate at Lazio as well.
López remained with Valencia for five years, helping the team to be runner-up in the UEFA Champions League in the 1999–2000 season, when he was transferred to Lazio of Serie A for a sum of €35 million. During the first half of his spell in Italy's capital, he was partnered with compatriot Hernán Crespo in the front-line. Unfortunately, López suffered from injury problems during his time at Lazio. During the 2000–2001 UEFA Champions League, he scored an olympic goal against Anderlecht in the Olympic Stadium.
After Crespo left for Inter Milan in the summer of 2002, López was partnered with newcomer Bernardo Corradi. They formed a solid partnership that yielded a combined 25 Serie A goals as Lazio finished 4th to qualify for the Champions League under new coach Roberto Mancini. The Argentine scored 15 of those goals, his best league tally during his time spent in Italy; the 4th place finish for Lazio was also the best the club would achieve until 2011-12.
In December 2002 he made headlines during a Serie A clash with Inter that ended 3-3: after netting a hat-trick that gave his side a 3-0 lead, Claudio López improvised an "Aserejé" goal celebration with teammate Bernardo Corradi, inspired by the dance routine of Spanish band Las Ketchup. In an interview 13 years later, he explained that the unexpected celebration had happened because "crazy Corradi enjoyed doing such things!"
In the UEFA Cup, López found the net twice to help his team reach the semi-finals, where they would be knocked out by Jose Mourinho's FC Porto. That would be the last time Lazio would ever reach this stage of any European competition.
The following season was less successful for Lazio as they only finished 6th in Serie A and crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage. Claudio López only found the net 4 times over 36 appearances. He did manage however to win his second piece of silverware with the Roman club as they overcame Juventus in a two-legged Coppa Italia final.
Mexico, return to Racing
López joined Club América for the 2004 Apertura, where he played in 17 games, scoring four goals. The following season, Clausura 2005 brought better results, with López scoring a total of 14 goals overall and helping the team to its tenth League championship in its history. It was his first and only league championship with any team. Claudio was instrumental to the team's success, also helping them win the CONCACAF Champions' Cup by scoring two goals in the Final over Tecos UAG. He played the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.
In 2007 López returned to Racing, 11 years after his departure from the club, and the country. In most of those games, usually coming in as a late sub, López scored several important goals.
Major League Soccer
On 7 March 2008, it was announced López had signed with the Kansas City Wizards on a free transfer. López fell under the league's designated player qualification, which means only the first $415,000 of his salary counted against Kansas City Wizards’ team salary cap. He later had his contract restructured to take him below designated player status.  He scored on his debut for Kansas City against D.C. United on 29 March 2008.
On 23 February 2010 the Argentine striker left after two seasons Kansas City Wizards. "We would have liked to have Claudio back in 2010, but unfortunately it became clear early in the contract negotiations that we could not give him what he desired," Wizards Manager Peter Vermes said.
After the 2010 MLS season Colorado declined López's contract option and Lopez elected to participate in the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Draft. López became a free agent in Major League Soccer when he was not selected in the Re-Entry draft.
López had a distinguished career with Argentina. After winning a silver medal with the Under-23 team during the 1996 Summer Olympics, López made appearances in both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. He scored a goal against the Netherlands in the 1998 FIFA World Cup quarter-final, when he kicked the ball between Edwin van der Sar's legs to tie the match temporarily, although Argentina were ultimately defeated 2–1.
Style of play
A talented, hardworking, and well-rounded forward, with notable tactical intelligence and versatility, López was capable of playing anywhere along the front-line, as a striker, in a supporting role, and on the wing. He was highly regarded for his pace, technique, and dribbling skills, as well as his powerful striking ability with his left foot. He was also an effective set-piece and penalty taker. Throughout his career, he was known by the nickname "El Piojo", meaning "the louse".
López was sponsored by sportswear company Nike and appeared in Nike commercials. In a global Nike advertising campaign in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, he starred in a "Secret Tournament" commercial (branded "Scopion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam, appearing alongside football players such as Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Edgar Davids, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti, Ronaldinho, Luís Figo and Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Eric Cantona the tournament "referee".
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|United States||League||Open Cup||North America||Total|
|2008||Kansas City Wizards||Major League Soccer||28||6||2||1||30||7|
|Argentina national team|
- Primera División de México: Clausura 2005
- Campeón de Campeones: 2004–2005
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 2006
- El fichaje estrellado: Claudio ‘piojo’ López
- "La Repubblica/calcio2002_partite_a: Inter, la grande rimonta All'Olimpico finisce 3-3". www.repubblica.it. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "ESCLUSIVA - El Piojo Lopez: "Ho la Lazio nel cuore! Aserejé? Colpa di quel pazzo di Corradi!"". www.lalaziosiamonoi.it (in Italian). Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- KC OnDemand.com Article Detail Archived 29 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Claudio Lopez a Wizard no more | Sounders Insider – The News Tribune Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Blog.thenewstribune.com (23 February 2010).
- Wizards part ways with Claudio Lopez Archived 19 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Colorado signs Argentine Claudio Lopez. Usatoday.Com (2 April 2010).
- Massimiliano Cappello (9 May 2015). "Che fine ha fatto? Lopez, una vita al massimo della velocità" [Whatever happened to him? Lopez, a life at top speed] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "A lighter shoe, cooler kits, a faster ball, a Secret Tournament – every touch counts". NikeBiz. Nike. Archived from the original on 2 June 2002. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Cozens, Claire (3 April 2002). "Cantona hosts World Cup with a difference". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Claudio López". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
- Stats do not include 1/2 in Supercoppa Italiana.
- "Claudio López". www.coloradorapids.com. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Claudio López at Major League Soccer
- "Guardian statistics". Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- Profile and statistics of Claudio López at Football Database
- "Racing Club's official website". Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2017. (in Spanish)
- Argentine Primera statistics at Fútbol XXI (in Spanish)[dead link]
- "rallyargentino.org.ar". Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2017.