Sergi López Segú
López (right) attending a match with his brother Gerard
|Full name||Sergi López Segú|
|Date of birth||6 October 1967|
|Place of birth||Granollers, Spain|
|Date of death||4 November 2006(aged 39)|
|Place of death||Granollers, Spain|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
During his career he played professionally for three clubs, mainly Barcelona. He appeared in 62 La Liga games over the course of eight seasons (two goals), also representing in the competition Mallorca and Zaragoza.
Born in Granollers, Barcelona, Catalonia, in his early years López was a promising talent, and both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested in signing him for its youth squads. The former's scout, Oriol Tort, whom at that time also followed players like Sergi Barjuán and Pep Guardiola, convinced the López family to choose his club.
López started out in Barcelona's cantera, with younger brothers Juli and Gerard following later. He made his first-team debut on 6 November 1988, in a 0–0 away draw against Real Valladolid where he came on as a 46th-minute substitute for Gary Lineker; including Copa del Rey and European matches, he eventually totalled less than 30 appearances, and helped Barça win one La Liga championship, two Spanish Cups and the 1988–89 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup to which he contributed with one hour of play in a 0–0 home draw to Aarhus Gymnastikforening for the quarter-finals' second leg.
In the 1991 summer, López moved to RCD Mallorca, but was transferred to fellow league side Real Zaragoza after only one season. Although he never featured much, he still helped the Aragonese to a domestic cup, being discarded by manager Víctor Fernández for the final of the following Cup Winners' Cup; after a small spell with modest CF Gavà in Segunda División B, the 28-year-old retired due to recurrent knee problems.
Post-retirement and death
After his football career, López moved to Argentina where he married, and where his only child was born. The marriage failed eventually and this, in combination with the early end of his playing days, resulted in clinical depression. While still in Argentina he was taken to a psychiatric hospital, but was forced to return to Spain due to financial problems; he committed suicide by throwing himself under a train on 4 November 2006, at 39.
López's funeral, held on 6 November, was attended by many notable people from within the world of football. Former teammates Guillermo Amor, Txiki Begiristain, Guardiola and Sergi (Barcelona), Xavier Aguado and Santiago Aragón (Zaragoza) and Josep Serer (Mallorca) were all present, alongside Barcelona president Joan Laporta and player Samuel Eto'o, former Valencia CF president Pedro Cortés and the full squad and staff of AS Monaco FC (to support brother Gerard, who represented the French).
- Al Barça le faltó "punch" (Barça did not have enough punch); Mundo Deportivo, 7 November 1988 (in Spanish)
- Una clasificación muy gris (Quite grey qualification); Mundo Deportivo, 16 March 1989 (in Spanish)
- El jugador que amaba al fútbol más que a sí mismo (The player who loved football more than he loved himself); La Información, 4 November 2011 (in Spanish)
- Fallece Sergi López, ex jugador del Barça y del Zaragoza (Sergi López, former Barça and Zaragoza player, dies); El País, 5 November 2006 (in Spanish)
- Fallece Sergi López, ex futbolista y hermano de Gerard, arrollado por un tren (Sergi López, ex-footballer and brother of Gerard, dies, run over by train); 20 Minutos, 4 November 2006 (in Spanish)
- Barça brothers; FC Barcelona, 29 October 2009
- Sergi López recibió la última ovación (Sergi López received the last ovation); Mundo Deportivo, 7 November 2006 (in Spanish)
- Sergi López at BDFutbol