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Lopez Returns to Real Madrid to Battle for Starting Spot

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez could make his "second debut" as a Real Madrid player in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal first-leg clash against Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

After first-choice keeper Iker Casillas was ruled out for three months with a fractured finger last week, Los Blancos moved swiftly to sign Lopez from Sevilla for $4.7 million. And while Real coach Jose Mourinho chose Antonio Adan for Sunday’s 4-0 La Liga win over Getafe over the weekend, he could choose Lopez’s greater experience to face the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez for tomorrow night’s Copa clasico.

Lopez, 31, said he is excited to return to Madrid and looking forward to battling for a starting spot. "I am here to give it my all from the beginning," he said. "[Real Madrid] came to me for a reason. I am prepared and ready to play whenever the manager needs me. I am relaxed about that situation and confident that I will have a chance to play.”

Lopez made his senior debut for Los Blancos in 2006, and went on to serve as understudy to Casillas for two seasons before joining Villarreal for $8 million in 2007. He moved to Sevilla last summer, where he lost the starting spot to Andres Palop

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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