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Diego López makes Madrid return

Friday 25 January 2013 23.19 CET
Diego López first joined Madrid as an 18-year-old in 2000

Real Madrid CF have moved to fill the void left by injured goalkeeper Iker Casillas with the capture of Diego López, who returns to the UEFA Champions League challengers from Sevilla FC for a fee believed to be in the region of €4m.

Club captain Casillas underwent surgery on Friday to treat the broken thumb he suffered during the midweek Copa del Rey draw away to Valencia CF, and although an official estimation has yet to be given on the Spanish international's return, reports suggest the UEFA EURO 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012 winner could be absent for up to three months. 

López joined Madrid's youth system as an 18-year-old in 2000, yet after rising through the ranks he failed to dislodge Casillas as the team's No1. A move to Villarreal CF in 2007 saw the Galician's stock rise and it was during a five-year spell at El Madrigal that he won his only senior international cap for Spain to date, in a friendly victory away to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Following the Yellow Submarine's relegation last season, the 31-year-old left to join Sevilla FC, where he shared goalkeeping duties with Andrés Palop. "For a Madridista [Madrid supporter] like me, returning to this club is the best thing that has happened in my career and I'm looking forward to starting this new challenge," said López, who has agreed a contract until June 2017.

López will offer competition to Antonio Adán and will be keen to feature in Madrid's UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter against Manchester United FC, the first leg of which takes place in the Spanish capital on 13 February.

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