Thursday April 16 2020
Maxi Lopez: 'Lo Monaco threatened to puncture my tyres'

Crotone forward Maxi Lopez reveals Catania chief Pietro Lo Monaco wanted to ‘puncture the tyres’ of his Ferrari and admits he ‘never had time to belong’ anywhere, having played for 13 different clubs in 19 years.

The Argentine has scored once in eight games for Serie B side Crotone this term, on a deal set to expire in June 2020, but when the 36-year-old is looking back at his career, he points out that he has not been able to leave Italy.

“I have changed teams many times,” Lopez told Sky Sport Italia. “I never had time to belong to a project.

“Sometimes it was because of me, sometimes because of others. I have travelled to many countries, learned many languages, but my anchor is Italy, which has proved to be the country I never managed to leave.

He arrived at Catania from Russian FK Moskau in January 2010 and during his four-year stint at Catania, Lopez was loaned out to both Milan and Sampdoria, before eventually signing for Chievo Verona on a permanent deal in 2014.

Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic was the coach at Catania when the Argentine arrived in Italy and he recalls that the President at the time, Lo Monaco, was not happy with his decision of getting a Ferrari.

“The relationship I had with Lo Monaco was similar to the one I had with Mihajlovic, it was love and hate, but we cared for each other,” he said. “Once, as soon as I arrived, I had bought a Ferrari and he [Lo Monaco] told me I had made a mistake.

“He threatened me and wanted to puncture my tyres. Then I started scoring a lot and it calmed down a bit.”

Lopez also revealed how that Milan made him wait in the hotel for a week, as they were trying to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City.

“An incredible experience. I left Catania and arrived in Milan,” he said. “I signed the contract, but Milan were also looking for another striker, and at the time it was Tevez.

“[Former sporting director Ariedo] Braida told me to wait. I had to spend a week in the hotel waiting and I trained in a gym in Piazza della Repubblica.”

Lopez appeared only eight times for the Rossoneri, contributing one goal and two assists, but collected 215 games in Serie A, scoring 46 times during his career in the top-flight of Italian football, including spells at Torino and Udinese.

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