Diego López (footballer, born 1981)
López playing for Espanyol in 2017
|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||41||(0)|
|2016–2017||→ Espanyol (loan)||35||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 May 2017.
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, following a brief spell with Sevilla, 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 campaign 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 matches.
López was everpresent in 2008–09, helping Villarreal finish fifth in the league as he did not miss one minute of action. More of the same in the following campaign, 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 Valencians took their 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 round. 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 Spanish Cup semi-finals. 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 season, even though Casillas had already returned to full fitness.
López retained his number one position at the start of the following campaign, when Carlo Ancelotti had replaced Mourinho. Casillas was played in both the Champions League and the domestic cup, however.
On 13 August 2014, Real Madrid and A.C. Milan reached an agreement over the transfer of López. He made his competitive debut on 31 August in the first matchday of the new season in Serie A, saving a late penalty from Antonio Candreva in an eventual 3–1 win over S.S. Lazio; on 14 September he suffered a right thigh injury against Parma FC, being sidelined for almost a month.
On 23 May 2017, López's move was made permanent.
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.
Style of play
López is a commanding and well-rounded goalkeeper, with a large and imposing physique, strong leadership qualities and good handling, which facilitates him in coming out to claim crosses. Possessing quick reactions, concentration and a good positional sense, he is also an effective shot-stopper.
|Real Madrid B||2003–04||Segunda División B||6||0||—||—||—||6||0|
|2004–05||Segunda División B||35||0||—||—||—||35||0|
|Real Madrid||2005–06||La Liga||2||0||3||0||1||0||—||6||0|
|Real Madrid||2012–13||La Liga||16||0||3||0||6||0||—||25||0|
- Real Madrid
- "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.
- "Diego López, a superar los récords de Pepe Reina" [Diego López, chasing Pepe Reina's records]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 2 May 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "El jugador incombustible del Villarreal" [Villarreal's tireless player] (in Spanish). UEFA.com. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "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 FC. 22 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Palop vs Diego López, enésima parte" [Palop vs Diego López, part umpteen] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Diego López, nuevo jugador del Real Madrid" [Diego López, new Real Madrid player] (in Spanish). Real Madrid C.F. 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 C.F. 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". Real Madrid C.F. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "AC Milan 3–1 Lazio: Inzaghi era starts with a bang". Goal.com. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "Diego Lopez injury: Updates on AC Milan star's thigh and return". Bleacher Report. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Teenage keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma plays in AC Milan win". BBC Sport. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "AC Milan official statement". A.C. Milan. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Diego Lopez named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for November". La Liga. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Calcio, Milan: Ceduto a titolo definitivo Diego Lopez all'Espanyol" [Football, Milan: Diego Lopez transferred permanently to Espanyol]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 23 May 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "Diego López, la única novedad de Del Bosque" [Diego López, only Del Bosque novelty]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 20 March 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Diego López: "Nueva Zelanda ya demostró contra Italia que tiene potencial"" [Diego López: "New Zealand has already shown against Italy they have potential"]. Marca (in Spanish). 12 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Crónica del Macedonia-España: 2–3" [Macedonia-Spain match report: 2–3.] (in Spanish). Europa Press. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- Fabiana Della Valle (10 August 2014). "Milan, Vecchi su Diego Lopez: "Odia prendere gol, anche in allenamento"" [Milan, Vecchi on Diego Lopez: "He hates conceding goals, even in training"]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Inzaghi blinda i pali con Diego López" [Inzaghi shields the posts with Diego López]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 19 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Diego Lopez's wife Iria Otero Rodriguez". Player Wags. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Diego López and Iria Otero will be parents of their second child in spring of 2015". The Press Portal. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Diego López". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- Diego López at ESPN FC
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