Monday, January 24

Nkono reveals the magic potion of Diego López at 40

  • The Espanyol goalkeeper will become this Wednesday the second 40-year-old in the League after Joaquín

  • The perica legend explains the secrets and rituals of the goal with the most stops of the championship.

Every day at the Dani Jarque Sports City the same story is repeated. A kind of 1.96 meters, Galician to be exact, arrives first to the facility gym. The same character abandons the last the training ground. The protagonist of this routine is not a stranger. Is about Diego Lopez, the marvelous goalkeeper of the Spanish who turns 40 this Wednesday.

The historic anniversary It comes to him in one of the best moments of his career. In First only the Betic surpasses him by age Joaquin, the only forty-year-old to date, but the man from Cádiz is already a regular substitute. Diego (Paradela, Lugo) plays it all, he is the goalkeeper with most saves in the championship (44) and always wants more. He’s made a kid.

Tommy’s stamp

To talk about goalkeepers in Espanyol there is no greater legend than the great Tommy Nkono. To their 66 years Follow at the foot of the canyon with the first team and coordinate the youth goalkeepers. The Cameroonian, who was also under the stick until he was 40, knows perfectly Superlopez. He has been by his side for five years, since the arrival of the Galician in 2016, first on loan from the Milan and then already owned.

Listening to the African it is perfectly understood that Diego’s longevity is not the result of chance. “Is very intense. He lives it differently with the same enthusiasm or more than the new ones. It demands a lot from us because it forces us to be 100% involved every day. It makes us all better, it is a Wonderful work with him, ”says Nkono in a chat with EL PERIÓDICO.

Its longevity is based on an admirable obsession with food, physical preparation and all the details

Lots of goalkeepers have passed through his hands, but none so meticulous like the lucense. “It is always the one who pulls the car, the first to enter the gym and the last to leave the field. Sometimes I say to him: ‘Diego, slow down a bit, that’s okay.’ At your age it is better to lower to get to the game cooler, but it is difficult. He loves to train, he is passionate about it ».

“Diego is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. He is the best professional I have ever met. He loves to train, he is passionate about it”

Tommy Nkono / Spanish Exporter

This attitude reflects the effort of a professional who was late to the elite. He debuted in the first team of the Madrid with 24 years in a game of Champions against him Olympiakos. Now it is logical that you want to extend your career to the maximum. “It’s a example for all. If he stays training the younger they are bound to follow as well. Diego has suffered in his career and all the demands he has had, he knows how to transmit it », he reflects Nkono.

“It’s brutal how you take care of yourself”

The African highlights the qualities of the Galician. “It is very complete. He knows how to understand football very well. I like to chat with him. You always know exactly what happened and we comment on it. Process everything and then we exchange ideas. From doorman to doorman ». It also stops at your feeding, an aspect that leads to the letter. “Is a total obsession for him. It’s brutal how you take care of yourself. That’s his magic potion, his method. Is he best professional that I have known.

The required question it is always the same. Until when will he play? Tommy responds by looking back. «It depends on your head. I retired with 40 in Bolivia. I left it because one day I woke up and saw the training ground that was two kilometers away as if it were 50. He body it gives you warnings, but the engine is the mind. If your head tells you that you can’t fold, “says the legend.

“Like an octopus”

The same question haunts the current meta parakeet, but he never flinches. “I do not get dates, goals or objectives long-term. Tried to enjoy the moment”. And he rebels against those who constantly look at the DNI. «It is very easy to say from the outside that one is no longer useful, but the rivals continue to congratulate me. That comforts me », assures the Galician.

One of the strongest in this regard was Marcelino, the technician of a Athletic that ran into a masterful performance by Diego. «We had a doorman in front that looked like three, it was like a octopus». His intervention before Berenguer in the last gasp of the game it is already one of the League’s stops.

Nadal’s rituals

Going back to day to day, his environment stops at their rituals. He watches everything. The protections of fingers, wrists, ankles, hands … It is a total retailer. It reminds me of Rafael Nadal in his protocols and his tics, ”says a club employee, happy for the goalkeeper’s great performance.

“I don’t set dates, goals, or long-term goals. I just try to enjoy the moment. Soccer is my passion.”

Diego López / Goalkeeper of Espanyol

“It’s a extraordinary worker. When we signed him with 35 we thought that he still had one year left and driving, but with 40 he is almost better than with 30 ». For Diego there are no excessive secrets. Consider that longevity simmers from the beginning. “Football is my passion and requires an orderly life, very healthy habits. It is useless to take care of yourself after 35 when you already have a lot of whiplash ».

The doorman, who lives in the uptown Barcelona with his wife and daughters, he is always a respected voice in the locker room, with David López, Cabrera and Embarba as main supports. Have the unbeaten record of the club in First (586 minutes) and Second (538). It also surpassed Di Stefano as the oldest in wearing the perica shirt.

The biggest scare

The decline It was his worst moment with Espanyol, along with two physical problems: brutal blow who suffered in the Levante field in 2018 that left him unconscious and the clash with Luis Suárez that damaged his knee at the end of 2016. Gone are his experiences in the Milan, Sevilla, Villarreal and Real Madrid. There he lived the turmoil of the time of Jose Mourinho, which put him ahead of Boxes. The meta parakeet keeps a pleasant memory of the Portuguese.

Related news

Superlopez was only once international in a friendly against Macedonia with Forest on the bench in 2009. In Cornellà He has won the affection of all the parrots, who reward him with songs of “Diego selection!”. At 40, the Galician lives an eternal youth.

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