Full name: Antonio López Guerrero
Squad number: 3
DoB: 13 September 1981
Buyout clause: € 30m
Previous clubs: (Osasuna 2002-2004)
Atlético’s most experienced squad member plays in defence. The leftback was brought up through the youth system and debuted on 29 October 2010 in a match against FC Córdoba in the Segunda División.
Despite playing more than two hundred matches in Atlético’s first team, the Benidorm-born leftback has never been an undisputed starter in the Vicente Calderón. In 2002 this led to a two year-loan spell at Osasuna. López felt like Atlético didn’t want him, but he later admitted the seventy matches he played in Pamplona made him mature. The defender returned to Madrid in 2004 and hasn’t left the club since.
As one of the club’s longest serving players, López was given the captain’s armband in 2008. Due to Mariano Pernía’s arrival López wasn’t certain of a place in Javier Aguirre’s starting eleven, but he was shifted to a rightback position and still played 24 games. López and Pernía continued to be in and out of the team at the coaches’ preference, until the Argentine was involved in a serious car accident.
In 2009/2010 Antonio López led Atlético to a Europa League title after a turbulent season. In the middle of the season López was benched, but he regained his spot some weeks later. López and Atlético went on to the finals of the Europa League and Copa del Rey. The national cup final was lost to Sevilla, but on 12 May 2010 Antonio López got to lift the Europa League trophy as captain of Atlético de Madrid.
Three months later López again got to lift a trophy, as Atlético beat Internazionale in the UEFA Super Cup.