Childhood hunger and inspiration in Henry: ‘Flaco’ López’s fight to get to Palmeiras

The story of a football player often presents difficult nuances that, at the height of a career, prove to be a factor in overcoming. Palmeiras officially announced this week, José Manuel López he went hungry as a child and has already explained the difficulties of being one of the greatest promises on the continent today.


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Born in San Lorenzo, a city of just 3,000 inland Argentina, the striker took his first steps in football in the regional amateur teams, such as El Progreso and Atlético Saladas, as seen by Boca Juniors.

However, at the age of nine, he started playing in the basic categories of the Independiente, a traditional team and seven-time Copa Libertadores champion.

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Before rising to the club’s professional team, ‘El Flaco’ almost gave up his career. in an interview The NationA 15-year-old traditional newspaper in the neighboring country reported that a hip injury had left him almost unable to walk.

– I had a problem that almost gave me football. I had a wound in my waist that barely allowed me to walk. I thought about giving up a bit, but my mind was stronger, ”he said.

Speaking to the newspaper, Lopez explained that he was nicknamed ‘Flaco’ for being thin and tall. With a height of 1.88 meters, he has a great head and he explained what technique he uses for this feat.

– You need to train your coordination for the jump, catch the ball at the highest point. But that comes naturally to me. “I have the urge to get there,” said the center-forward.

However, the large number of heads did not always indicate something good in the athlete’s career. José Manuel López mentioned that for many years, the opinions of others had a direct impact on his life. He says you expect to be good at everything, and when people take you away, it’s hard – but necessary – to get back on your feet.

– They wrote everything on social media. They used to say that they don’t know how to score a goal, that I only play with my head, that I can’t pass. I used to laugh a lot, but it hurts a little. It hurts. Now, when I go to Twitter for a while, I see that they say they have to apologize to me, that they never criticized me (laughs). I learned that I no longer had to worry about such things. It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t unite you, ‘he began.

The striker was also inspired by Frenchman Thierry Henry, who also mentioned his admiration for Nacho Fernández, an Argentine midfielder who defends Atlético Mineiro, a direct competitor of Palmeiras who is currently looking for the title Brasileirão.

Before confirming that he was one of the main names in Lanús in the first division, Luis Zubeldía-Lanús handed the striker over to Colegiales de Tres Arroyos. There he played in the Regional League Championship and was the team’s top scorer. It only happened four years ago and the experience was essential to consolidating as a footballer, he said in an interview with the sports newspaper. Clarin Sports.

– It was like being in my hometown, but playing football. You finally remember the hunger, the things you experienced. You want to move forward, so you appreciate everything you had at Lanús and start fighting to get it back, ”he said. Clarinetbefore completing a remarkable early story of his career:

– The first time I met Lanús, we went to the Sheraton (hotel). “It can’t be, look where I am,” I thought. If I didn’t play football, I wouldn’t have the money to pay for one night. And how they take care of you, how they feed you. Or how people look at you kids. Remember when you went to court and you went to police custody. It happened to me and the boys in my village. Now everyone wants to play football and when I get back there they go crazy. I wanted to be like I said, I don’t know, Laucha Acosta, today the kids in my town say they want to be Flaco López.

In his 59 games since Lanús’s debut, Lopez has scored 22 goals (0.37 per game average), of which 15 in 2021: 14 for the Argentine Championship and one for the South American Cup, divided into 40 duels, an average of 0.375. In 2022, he has already scored seven goals in 19 games, four in the Argentine Championship and three in the Copa del Rey, averaging 0.37 goals this season.

The contract with the player was signed for a period of five years, which is until 2027. And, according to a study. BOOT !, the deal was worth about $ 10 million (at a current price of R $ 50.5 million) and was still going through some bureaucracy.

Next to a coach with big names and a relentless attitude, José Manuel López, ‘El Flaco’, promises to be very strong and will continue to dribble in the difficulties of life to help more and more a victorious and historic team like Abel Ferreira.

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