Emotional Antonio López bids Atlético farewell

The 10-year Atleti veteran says goodbye in ceremony at the Vicente Calderón


Antonio López fights back tears at farewell ceremony

In an act that took place at the Atlético Madrid museum located within the Vicente Calderón, Colchonero captain Antonio López gave a teary-eyed farewell speech, as it has been confirmed he will not be returning to his lifetime club following the summer break.

Surrounded by Atleti’s impressive collection of silverware – including the three cups he lifted as captain of the squad during his 10-season tenure with los Rojiblancos – López was introduced by club president Enrique Cerezo as “Neptuno’s best friend”.

“[Antonio López] is one of the few captains that have lifted three European trophies,” Cerezo said.

“There are few footballers that, like him, have worn the shirt for so many years, and there are even less that have worn the armband for so many seasons.

“You have been a fantastic player and an exemplary man at this club.”

Sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero, also in attendance, added some kind words for the departing left-back.

“We thank you for your conduct both on and off the pitch, and although you will not continue with us, you will be in everyone’s memories,” said Caminero.

Atlético physiotherapist Esteban Arévalo then surprised the 30-year-old defender by reading a very moving letter.

“Daily life by your side has been very simple, you are a very affable person and it’s difficult to catch you in a bad mood,” said Arevalo, who spent a great deal of time with Antonio towards the end of this injury plagued season for the player.

The physio then thanked López for treating the training staff as “part of the team” and that the “blues”, as ‘el Capi’ affectionately referred to the them as, “will never find a better captain”.

The Benidorm-born man, fighting back tears after such a sentimental introduction, reminisced on his arrival at the club 15 years ago.

“You have all always treated me like family; you received me with open arms,” López said.

“[While wearing the red and white shirt], I was able to go to the Spanish national team and took part in a World Cup. I fulfilled the dream of every child and, of course, mine as well.”

The Atleti youth product then spoke about his favourite moment as a member of Los Rojiblancos, harking back to December of 2007, when his 34-year-old sister, Ana López Guerrero, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

“When my sister died, ‘el Frente Atlético’ had a very nice gesture–displaying a large banner in her memory,” he said.

The veteran full back will also cherish all the titles won with Atleti: two Europa Leagues and one European Super Cup.

“It is something I always wanted,” he said.

“I had always said that I could not leave Atlético Madrid without winning a title, and thank God I have won three. I am a lucky man for being able to put that scarf on ‘Neptuno'”.

Finally, Antonio gave one last speech as skipper to his team-mates, who he referred to as his “blood brothers”.

“You have meant everything to me,” he said.

“I have always said that as captain I can fail at some things, but I have never wanted to fail you. I hope that [I have not]. I also want to tell you that you have helped me become a better footballer, and above all, a better person.”

In his 283 appearances with the club (259 as a starter) in all competitions, Antonio López scored 13 goals and added 11 assists.

What does the future hold for López?
“I still have desire, I feel young, I’m 30 years old, so I have the hope of the boy that left his home at 15 years of age. I suppose you’d ask yourselves where I am going to go and if I have a team. When I know it, you will find out. I have several options, several teams both abroad and in Spain, but as of today I have not signed anything. I am fine physically, and I want to take on a new chapter and I hope that it is, and surely it will be, as satisfying as the one here has been.”

  • Javi Lozoya

    I’ll miss Antonio. He gave everything for Atleti. Always defended the club with courage and determination.
    He is a legend of Atleti for me.
    Grande Capi López!.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Griezmann is very close to sign with Atleti!!!. Supposedly we’re gonna trade him for Diego Costa with some money.

  • Lubo

    Javi Lozoya -> any sources?

  • Javi Lozoya
  • Javi Lozoya

    We’re also interested in Diego Capel. I Prefer Griezmann obviously.

  • k14

    On a different subject, any of you guys have any idea how next season kit will be like ? and will it have that ugly Ad logo we have on atm ?

    I also see mixed feelings about emre coming to Atleti, mostly bad ones ;p
    But heres a link that might change your opinion:

    I know an edited video is a bad way to judge a player, but its better than nothing, eh.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Forget about Griezmann for now. La Real no longer want Diego Costa. And guess what?. They say if Atleti wants him we have to pay his buyout clause which is 30M. That’s some bullshit. If that’s the case I would go for Vela who is cheaper and had a better season than Griezmann.

  • 7th

    emre is good player, he played really well while he was with inter.

  • Javi Lozoya

    back in the day yes, he was good I suppose, but you guys know we’re signing him because Jorge Mendes.

  • Croatia Atletista

    Singing Emre kinda means excluding Diego? I hope not! We need Diego!

  • SoLobo

    Gracias por todo captain!! Suerte!

  • palc

    My fondest moment of Antonio Lopez.

  • shay

    to tell the truth, from all the names i saw here, i think diego capel will be the best for atletico. he has the same style i think

  • Javi Lozoya

    Sporting want 30M for Diego Capel and want us to include Falcao… They must be out of their mind.

  • Javi Lozoya

    This was another great moment from Antoñito http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km9xQDfNRqw&feature=related. It’s epic!.
    Although my best memory of him is him lifting the two Europa Leagues we won.
    Grande Capi Antonio!. I’ll miss you.You’re one of Atleti greats for me.

  • shay

    what??? its gotta be a joke javi.
    They want simeone as well as part of the deal?

  • Edletico

    20 mins for Spain and Adrian has a goal and won a pen!!

  • SoLobo

    Unforgettable…..We ‘ll miss you a lot…

  • Javi Lozoya

    They we’re joking about Falcao in the deal but they certainly want 30M for Capel.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Shit. I miss Adri’s goal, but from what I’ve hear he was the MVP in the match. I’m very happy for him, Juanfran who played the whole match, where are those who said he wasn’t good enough?, and Dominguez. All of our Atleti players played today, with Adri being a important player for the Spanish team and Juanfran playing the whole match. Dream debut for our Atletico’s. I’m so happy for them. They deserve it.

  • Edletico

    Yeah Juanfran was very good. Adri changed the game when Negredo and Salgado did nothing. Big Dom could of got a yellow, otherwise solid as usual

  • palc

    Salgado haven’t done shitfor many years now Ed!

    @ Javi Lozoya. That overhead lobpass, or what one might call it, was fucking epic. I had forgotten it.

    And yes, great work from all of our boys today! Adrían might as well end up joining Spain i Euro 2012.

  • Heißenberg

    gracias por todo capi!

    One of the legends of this club. I’ll remember him by that winning goal against Sevilla in stoppage time and for lifting tree trophies. Grande

  • Heißenberg

    I’m glad for Adrian. He deserves to be in Spanish national team and it would be a joke if Negredo went to Ukraine instead of him. And he probably would if Adrian (considering Del Bosque’s treatment of Atletico players) didn’t play so well today.

    And I think that Raul fucking Albiol who hasn’t play serious football for two years now can’t be in front of Dominator who is younger, had better season and who is in much better form. I would undestand if Botia would go instead of him but Albiol really doesn’t deserve it.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I think Edletico is referring to Soldado, palc. Adri does deserves a chance ahead of Soldado and Negredo. Adrian is much more skilled technically, he is pure magic and overall had a better season than those two, Adri is also much more humble than those two specially Robert Soldier. now, the problem is that Adrian is not a target man or a typical ‘9’. Soldado and Negredo do. But Adrian certainly deserves to be in the final roster of the Spanish team for the Euro because Adrian brings more depth to any team.

  • Urban

    Heissenbeg QFT

  • Edletico

    Cheers Javi, I did mean Saldado.

  • palc

    @ Javi Lozoya. You really think so? 🙂

  • Javi Lozoya

    You mean if I think Adri deserves to be at the Euro ahead of Negredo and Soldado?. Absolutely. Adrian brings more depth to any team than those two.