New import Javi Lopez says the advice of Reds legend and fellow Spaniard Isaias was impossible to ignore in making the decision to join Adelaide United.
Lopez, 34, is out of quarantine and finally training with his new teammates ahead of the Reds’ A-League season-opener against Western United in Geelong on Monday night.
While the former Espanyol star won’t be considered for selection for the opening two weeks of the season, his vast La Liga experience will prove invaluable in Adelaide’s side as soon as his match fitness is at the required standard.
“I’ve played many games, almost 300 games in one of the best leagues in the world, and I’m sure this has given me a good base so that when I’m on the field I can help my teammates,” Lopez said via a translator.
“I’ve always been a team player and I hope to bring experience to the team. I’ve come to help the team and that’s the objective I’ve set for myself.”
New boy, @JaviLopez16, out on the track. 😍 pic.twitter.com/Us12XwdOdl
Lopez, equally at home in the midfield or at fullback, said former Reds captain Isaías’s glowing Reds’ reference made him feel comfortable in signing a one-year deal with the 2016 A-League champions.
“Isaías spoke very highly of the club. He also said it was a great city and a great team,” Lopez said.
“He said the team is very close and it’s almost like a family. He said the team and the city will be good for me and my family and that I’m going to enjoy the city very much.”
Lopez has brought his wife and two daughters to Australia, but several other family members remain in his thoughts as they battle the COVID-19 crisis in Spain.
“With such a serious pandemic, it could have separated me from my family, my parents, the parents of my partner, my friends, in such complicated times,” he said.
“With everything happening in Spain coming here is a big challenge, because if something happens back home, I’m far away.
“It could have worked against me coming, but I’m here to give 100 per cent and I’m very excited to live this experience.”
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