Israel López (footballer)
|Full name||Israel López Hernández|
|Date of birth||September 29, 1974|
|Place of birth||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Height||1.66 m (5 ft 5 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 25, 2012|
Initially a right fullback who converted to the midfield during the prime years of his career, López made his debut at age 19 with UNAM in 1993. By the following year he was a starter in defense alongside players such as Claudio Suárez and went on to make 238 appearances for the club, but the middle and late 1990's were generally disappointing for Pumas. In 2001, he moved to Chivas and then joined Toluca in 2002. There he spent the most productive seasons of his career, moving into a three-man central midfield that also included Rafael García and playmaker Antonio Naelson. In his first season at the club, Toluca won the Apertura 2002 championship, and López scored in the final against Monarcas Morelia. He served as team captain in 2004 and won another championship in the Apertura 2005 campaign. In the following season López, a frequent scorer from free kicks, scored a career-high 6 goals. He joined Cruz Azul in 2006 before returning to Toluca for the Clausura 2008 season; he won the Apertura 2008 title, his third, with Toluca, but by now played less frequently. López departed Toluca in 2010 and spent his last top-flight seasons with Cruz Azul, Necaxa, Estudiantes Tecos, and Querétaro.
López also earned 26 caps for the Mexico national team. His first international match came on June 4, 2000 against Ireland in the U.S. Cup, playing in a squad filled mostly with fellow Pumas players. He returned to the team in 2003 on the strength of his performances with Toluca, appearing in four of Mexico's qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. López was on the preliminary list of players nominated for the World Cup squad, but he was one of three final cuts announced by coach Ricardo Antonio Lavolpe before the tournament. His final international match came against Ecuador in a 4-2 victory in Oakland, California on March 28, 2007.
- MedioTiempo. "Israel López - Gallos Blancos." Archived December 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- MedioTiempo. "Toluca 4 - 1 Morelia." Archived July 15, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- Owsiański, Jaroslaw. "International Matches 2001 - Intercontinental, April-June." RSSSF, February 2, 2005. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- FIFA. "FIFA Player Statistics: Israel LOPEZ." Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- MedioTiempo. "Fuera López, Huiqui y Lozano de la lista final." May 13, 2006. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- Espinoza Añazco, Fernando. "Ecuador - International Results - 2007 Details." RSSSF, December 14, 2007. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
- "Israel López Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
- Israel López at National-Football-Teams.com