Ricardo will ‘never retire’

Veteran goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez has enthused for his return to Osasuna and remarked that he will never really retire from being a footballer.

The shot-stopper has made a six-month return to Pamplona to act as cover for Andres Fernandez, after regular back-up Asier Riesgo suffered a broken foot in training at the end of December.

“One is born a footballer and I think that I will die a footballer,” he told reporters at his presentation as a re-signed Osasuna man.

“I did have a very relaxed life again with my wife and children and I was comfortable, but Osasuna then called and you open a window.

“The first thing I thought of was coming back. It’s a very special day for me. I’m back with a lump in my throat, to see everyone, for the welcome they have given me.

“I have returned to add my two cents and to see if we can pull forward.”

Now aged 41, Ricardo, who has spent the past seven years at the club until a summer 2012 departure, was thought to be semi-retired, as he was training with Third Division side Mutilvera and studying for his coaching qualifications.

“I have never retired nor will I cease to be an active player. I return with the same ambition as a youngster trying to get into the team.

“My mission is to work and be 100 per cent by the time that I am needed. My sole objective is to be back at the speed with the ball, which you lose a little bit.

“When Mendilibar called me on December 31 I thought he was joking, but with the contract arriving I saw that he was serious.”

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