Born on November 3rd 1981 in Paradela, a little village of around 300 inhabitants in the Galicia region. I grew up with a great passion for football. Today when I look back on my childhood, I think back to the days I spent with 10-12 friends, watching professional football on TV with them. I never dreamt I would become a part of it. The same friends pushed me to do a trial for the local team, CD Lugo. I must confess that when I showed up at the pitch, I didn’t have any idea how to present myself, whether as a goalkeeper or a forward…it was a very funny moment when I look back on it! In fact at school I used to play as forward, but a good friend of mine convinced me to try as a goalkeeper because the team’s goalkeeper wasn’t very talented. I liked playing as a forward but I think that in the end it was my goalkeeper skills that came out and I followed the right path.
I played my first matches in Lugo’s academy and then moved up to the first team CD Lugo, where I played the 1999-2000 season. 2000 was a very important year for me as Real Madrid FC called me. The team that I have always supported. I played two seasons at Real Madrid C, during which I had an experience at Alcorcon. I was lent to them for the 2001-2002 season. Then the next step was to Real Madrid Castilla for the 2003-2004 season, where I had 31 appearances in my first season and earned confirmation for the following season. Thanks to my brilliant performances in those two seasons I was then ready for my big step.
REAL MADRID FC
In 2005 I had the privilege to be part of the first team, a significant step in my career, giving me the opportunity to really experience prestigious football. After two years with the first team, in which I conquered La Liga despite playing just a few games with the camiseta blanca, I believed that after which, it was time to leave this fantastic club to search for a team that permitted me to play more constantly. Thus came the call of Villarreal FC.
In 2007 Villarreal FC signed me up and I started a new phase of my professional career. In 5 years with the “yellow submarines” I played 215 matches but most importantly I experienced fantastic professional as well as personal growth in my life. My last season at Villarreal ended with the relegation of the team and with my subsequently move to Sevilla FC for a new footballing experience. During 2012-2013 season I played 11 matches until January, when I received a new call from Real Madrid FC.
REAL MADRID FC
As soon as I arrived in Madrid, I started to play in the starting line-up, both La Liga and the Champions League, under the lead of Jose Mourinho. I began the 2013-2014 season with great enthusiasm, at the disposal of the new manager Carlo Ancellotti, who confirmed me as the Real Madrid goalkeeper for la Liga’s games. It was a special season in which we won the Copa del Rey and Champions League, the tenth Champions League - very important for el Madridismo something they had been waiting for, for many years. A great personal satisfaction! At the end of that fantastic experience, in which I totalled 63 games with the prestigious camiseta Blanca, the club and I decided to leave Madrid and start a new challenging adventure in another very important club.
My impact on Italian football is unforgettable. I started the Serie A, wearing the glorious red and black jersey, saving a penalty in my debut in our stadium San Siro against Lazio. I faced this new experience in a highly motivated way, with the desire to bring the club back to the top in both Italy and Europe. In Milan I spent two beautiful years with my family and professionally I had really good moments but also bad moments due to an injury in my knee that affected my performance in the second season. I played a few matches but I took advantage of this situation to recover and to come back at my best. Ready to take the pitch again.
After two years in Milan I came back to my country to start a new challenge with RCD Espanyol. My first year in Barcelona was very positive both professionally and personally and the fans supported me in every game. At the end of the season the club decided extending my contract and I'm very happy to continue my experience with this team until 2020.
During my career I have had the privilege and honour of also wearing the Spanish National team jersey. After being included in the list for the 2009 Confederations Cup, in South Africa, without making my debut, I played my first game with la Roja on 12th August 2009, in a friendly match in Macedonia, a game in which I substituted Reina in the last 30 minutes. An incredible emotion that I hope to experience again very soon.
LIFESTYLE / ABOUT ME
I would like to highlight the significant role that my family has had and still has, in both my professional career and, most importantly in my education. A family consisting of humble people that have always worked hard for what they have today. For me this philosophy is the main pillar on which anyone should build their life. It’s important to have solid principles, an education and above all humility. During a professional career as a football player there are many difficult moments and only perseverance and the ability to avoid throwing in the towel immediately, can help you to realize your dreams. My father wanted me to play as a forward, but he has always supported me to carry on my dream to play as a goalkeeper. My childhood idol was Paco Buyo and one day I decided to write him a letter to which he kindly replied, sending me his signed picture. When a Real Madrid’s scout called my parents to tell them that the club was interested in me, my mother thought it was just a local radio for a little interview. They didn’t believe that it was real! Despite this I still decided to go alone, on the bus by myself, determined to realize my biggest dream.
My family and friends’ support has been extremely important to me in my professional career. In those difficult moments when the pressure is very high or when going through the tough times, I could count on their amazing support enabling me to overcome all my problems. I owe a lot to them and to the people of Lugo, the little village In the Galizia region where I was born. They have always followed me, with great passion and enthusiasm, during my career from the very beginning. They are really proud of me and that makes me both very happy as well as strengthening my relationship with my homeland. 2005 celebrates the birth of Diego Lopez’s Fan Club. There are now 400 members and every year a fantastic dinner is organised. It is always a great success because nobody wants to miss this event! 2006 was a very important year for me because I met a very special person, my wife - Iria. Since the very first day we met, she has transmitted happiness and continued enthusiasm to me, as well as being a constant support during my professional career. I married Iria on June 11th 2011 and she has since given me the two biggest joy of my life - our little Zoe and Bianca. I now spend my free time in their company and I’m very happy to follow them during their growth. I spend the best moments of my days with my family.
CAMPUS DIEGO LOPEZ
During my career I have realized how important it is for a kid to have a safe place in which to train, a place where he could share his passion for this sport with his little friends. It is for this reason that I decided to collaborate with Sarriana FC. A football club in which I played as forward when I was 11. This club organises a summer Campus where children can meet up and share their love for football. I thought it was important to support this fantastic initiative which allows these children to have fun and to play football, utilizing both appropriate facilities with good coaches. I’m very proud to see the happiness of these children who spend valuable time together and grow up with the ethical principles of this fantastic sport. I’m committed to continue to do my best to further improve this Campus, to ensure these little athletes are offered the best services in order to let them carry on their passion for football and to realize their dreams, as I have done, in this unique Campus in Galicia.