Thomas Nkono is like a father to me, says Espanyol’s Pau Lopez

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The 23-year-old admits the African goalkeeping great has played a significant part in his footballing education at RCDE Stadium


GOAL EXCLUSIVE     By Shina Oludare      Follow on Twitter  

Espanyol's Pau Lopez has described Thomas Nkono as a father figure who he has learnt a lot from.

The Spaniard returned as Budgerigars' first-choice goalkeeper after completing a season-long loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur last season.

Lopez who is a leading figure in Quique Sánchez Flores’s squad boasts of 19 games under his belt this season.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash with Barcelona, the 23-year-old says he told his inspiration from 61-year-old Nkono – who is an Espanyol legend having featured in over 300 games and currently a member of club’s management.

Lopez on legendary Thomas Nkono

“Nkono is a legend of the club and everybody is learning from him,” Lopez told Goal.

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“For me, he is like my father and my mentor in sports. I have learnt a lot from him and I appreciate him a lot.

“He is an inspiration to grassroots footballers in club and Spain as a whole. Also, he is a very important mentor to learn from.”

Espanyol are 14th on LaLiga log with 24 points from 20 games, and they will lock horns with Leganes in their next fixture at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on Sunday.

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