Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez has told of what it takes to come through the club’s youth system and gain a foothold in the first team.
Lopez, who joined Espanyol on a season-long loan from Milan this summer, made just two La Liga appearances for Los Blancos in his first spell at the club, but returned from Sevilla in January 2013 to make over 50 starts in the next 18 months before leaving for Italy.
“In Madrid they pick from the best in the world and it’s difficult when you are coming out of the youth system,” affirmed Lopez in an interview with Cadena SER’s ‘El Larguero’ programme.
“But I’m happy for players like Nacho, Casemiro and Alvaro Morata, who are at the top and showing they can be starters, because it’s really important for players to come through the ranks.
“It takes a lot and history has shown it’s really tough. You must fight and these players are doing that now in the first team.
“They are gradually holding down a place in the side and showing they can be in the starting XI.”