The Galician goalkeeper gave thanks to his former club after moving from the Santiago Bernabeu to Serie A - but there was so much more he really wanted to say...By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Diego Lopez has written a heartfelt letter to Real Madrid and their fans after making a summer switch to AC Milan this week.
In it, the 32-year-old goalkeeper says that "every minute at Real Madrid was a gift from heaven", adding that the fans will "always be in my heart" and reveals his pride at representing the club he has always supported.
There is no mention, however, of his controversial exit and how politics forced him out of the Spanish side when many believed he was the best goalkeeper at the club.
Below is what he said and what he really wanted to say:
|TO FLORENTINO PEREZ
What Diego said: "32 years ago I was born in a small town in the province of Lugo, Paradela (Galicia). I dreamed of being a footballer and I never imagined I would ending up playing for the club in my heart, Real Madrid.
"I will always be eternally grateful and for that I must give thanks to the club and to the president, Florentino Perez, for giving me the opportunity to defend this badge."
What Diego could have said: "32 years ago I was born in a small town in the province of Lugo, Paradela (Galicia). I dreamed of being a footballer and I never imagined I would end up being discarded for political reasons by the club in my heart, Real Madrid.
"I suppose I had better give thanks to Florentino Perez for giving me the opportunity to defend this badge, even though it was Jose Mourinho who wanted me and I always knew they would force me out after he left."
|TO JOSE MOURINHO & CARLO ANCELOTTI
What Diego said: "Thanks to two great coaches (Mourinho and Ancelotti) and their respective staff for their confidence, everything I have learned from them and for giving me the opportunity to compete, which is the essence of sport."
What Diego could have said: "Thanks to these two great coaches, especially the first one who believed in me and went against the press and many of the fans to support me. Thanks to the latter for playing me in La Liga, but you should have started me in the other competitions as well. And you should have put your foot down when the club didn't give me the opportunity to compete, which is the essence of sport."
|TO THE MADRID FANS
What Diego said: "All of my gratitude to the madridistas, that great family spread all over the world. Thanks for making me feel welcome and for all your strength through this time. You will always be in my heart."
What Diego could have said: "All of my gratitude to the madridistas (the ones who supported me; not the ones who booed and jeered me). Thanks to the ones who made me feel welcome and gave me all your strength. You will always be in my heart. I won't miss the rest of you."
|TO THE CLUB
What Diego said: "I leave happy because I gave everything I had.
"My only objective was to work day to day with respect, dedication and defend with passion the values of the best club in the world."
What Diego could have said: "I leave with sadness because I gave everything I had and was still forced out, even though the goalkeeping coach Villiam Vecchi said I was one of the best he has ever worked with.
"My only objective was to work day to day with respect, dedication and defend with passion the values of what I thought was the best club in the world.
"But what happened to those values? Instead of being given a fair shot when I deserved it, I had to sit on the bench to keep Casillas happy and then I had to leave to stop him sulking and because they want nothing to do with Mourinho, all so that they could bring in a new toy who thinks he can become first choice ahead of 'San Iker'.
"Good luck with that, Keylor!"