Water polo |  The retirement of a giant: López Pinedo says goodbye in Belgrade The retirement of a giant: López Pinedo says goodbye in Belgrade

It was so difficult for him to arrive, after years in the shadow of the golden generation of water polo and after Iñaki Aguilar, who picked up the baton of Jesús Rollán, that when he rose to the top of Atlètic-Barceloneta and the National Team, no one took him down. Neither the passing of the years, nor the weak tournaments nor the rivals that were emerging. It was Dani López Pinedo who put an end to his sporting career at the age of 41 in the final eight of the Euroleague in Belgrade, at the peak of his sport, like the greats.

His last stop was before the Waspo98 Hannover, in the match for fifth place (the tournament was won by Pro Recco, which added its tenth Euroleague). The one from Sants stopped ten shots and a decisive penalty. He came out of the pool applauded by fans, his teammates, his rivals and the referees, proof of his gigantic footprint. “I felt good today. It was important to have my family here for my last game. We only lost one game in Belgrade and that is important as an experience for our young players. EIn a week I start working for the club, so I will stay close.”

The goalkeeper has experienced great moments in his career, but three of them stand out in particular: “If I had to choose the three most important moments of my career they would be the 2014 Champions League trophy in Barcelona with Barceloneta; my first Olympic Games at the age of 32 in 2012 in London, and the 2018 semifinal against Italy at the European Championships in Barcelona for the atmosphere and the first medal after nine years. Not the final because we lost“stressed López Pinedo, who will become part of the Barceloneta staff.

Its ending was so emotional that some teammates could not hold back their tears, like his inseparable Felipe Perrone; and there were also heartfelt words on the networks like those of his other great friend Fran Fernández, three leaders also in the National Team:Although we knew that this day had to come and that unfortunately it was approaching, we got used to having you, postponing the date, enjoying you and trusting in your eternity. Eternal will be your stops and all the moments lived during these wonderful years. Thank you, he commented. Some comments that alone explain the importance of one of the best Spanish goalkeepers ever and a fantastic teammate.

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