28 January 2013
Diego López was unveiled as a new Real Madrid player at a press conference in Valdebebas after his transfer to the Whites was officially announced last Friday. The goalkeeper was accompanied in the act by the director of football, Miguel Pardeza, who wished him luck in this new chapter of his career and stated: “We are convinced that you will make a huge difference to the squad”. The youth-team product talked about his happiness and ambition on his return to the team: “I am delighted to be back at my home and at my club and I am really happy to be here. Everything is so similar to when I left: the facilities, the staff… I already feel fully settled into the day to day and I am genuinely very happy. Luckily, I am now an experienced player. Many things have changed since I left. I have many first division and European games under my belt and that reassures me and makes me confident in my abilities and strengths as a player. I know what I can bring to the team. When Real Madrid sign a player, they trust him and I think that it very important”.
The youth-team product is returning to the Whites six years after he left and he intends to work hard and give his all for the club: “I am here to give it my all from the beginning. They came to me for a reason. I am prepared and ready to play whenever the manager needs me. I am relaxed about that situation. I am confident that I will have a chance to play and that decision will be up to the manager. I am thinking about the day to day, Wednesday's game and helping the team and being prepared for whenever the manager needs me and gives me the opportunity. That is what I have always done and what I will continue to do. There are currently two keepers, I feel for Iker with his injury, and between the two of us we have to solve the problem and help the team".
Regarding his return to the club and his goals, the new Whites' player said that he was very happy and certain about what he wants: “I had a very good feeling. This is about returning to the club which has run through my veins since I was young, and everyone has treated me with affection as I have come across so many familiar faces. And that goes for the fans too, who showed their affection yesterday from the stands, and this is very important to me. My goal is to work and be prepared for everything. I am feeling relaxed and very confident about my chances of playing and I am looking forward to seeing what the season throws up".
After he was named for the first time in the squad and following his first training session with the rest of his team mates, the goalkeeper said: “I am here to try to play in every game. I know what this club is all about but I intend to train to play and compete, so that there is competition for the position and so that the team can benefit. The best thing for the team is that there is a lot of competition and that there is cover for all positions. The manager has asked of me what he asks of everyone: hard work, effort and discipline".
Diego López came to Madrid last Saturday and on the subject of his transfer, he said: “I had no contact with anyone from Real Madrid; when my agent told me about it, I had absolutely no hesitation. I always said that it was a shame when I left; I had to leave for reasons at that time and returning here is an opportunity and a great challenge for me. I am grateful to the President, his board of directors and technical team who have put their trust in me and who have given me this opportunity. I am here to work and give it my all, for the benefit of the club and on that basis let's hope that we all manage to achieve our goals".
On the subject of the rotation policy of Real Madrid's goalkeepers in the last few games, he said: “I have been an outsider looking in. When a change is made, it is the decision of the gaffer and you should always respect his decision because he is the boss. Iker has obviously earned everything he has achieved, but football is about the present and we must all be on our toes. No-one can afford to lose their focus". In reference to Casillas and his performances, he said: “I spoke to Iker on the day of the game. I have always got on very well with him and that is still the case to this day. When I was away, I didn't follow the ins and outs of the team and I don't have an opinion because I wasn't here".
Real Madrid have one of the best youth systems in the world and on this point he said: “I think that this team has a lot of good players and there just isn't space for all the youth-team players. This happens at every club. There are many youth-team players in the first team and others who have had to leave, but that doesn't mean that this club does not give its young players a chance to play. I return full of hope and, because I was a youth-team player, I know how the system works here and I am going to use that knowledge to my advantage".