Unai López

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Unai López
Personal information
Full name Unai López Cabrera[1]
Date of birth (1995-10-30) 30 October 1995 (age 28)[1]
Place of birth Errenteria, Spain
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Team information
Current team
Rayo Vallecano
Number 17
Youth career
2008–2010 Antiguoko
2010–2011 Real Sociedad
2011–2013 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 Basconia 21 (2)
2013–2016 Bilbao Athletic 73 (6)
2014–2021 Athletic Bilbao 78 (4)
2016–2017Leganés (loan) 23 (2)
2017–2018Rayo Vallecano (loan) 39 (3)
2021– Rayo Vallecano 96 (2)
International career
2011 Spain U16 5 (2)
2013 Spain U18 1 (0)
2013–2014 Spain U19 12 (3)
2014 Spain U21 2 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 5 June 2024

Unai López Cabrera (Basque: [unai lopes̻]; Spanish: [ˈunaj ˈlopeθ]; born 30 October 1995) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Rayo Vallecano as a defensive midfielder.

Club career[edit]

Born in Errenteria, Gipuzkoa, López joined Athletic Bilbao's youth system in 2011 at the age of 14 from neighbouring Real Sociedad, after starting out at Antiguoko.[2][3] He made his debut as a senior with the farm team in the 2012–13 season in the Tercera División, and in July 2013 was promoted to the reserves in the Segunda División B.[4]

López was called up to the main squad by manager Ernesto Valverde on 2 July 2014, for pre-season matches.[5] In August, he was also included in a B list for that campaign's UEFA Champions League.[6]

On 27 August 2014, López was named on the bench for the Champions League play-off match against S.S.C. Napoli.[7] He made his first-team debut the following day, coming on as a substitute for Markel Susaeta in the 72nd minute of a 3–1 home win and also providing an assist to Ibai Gómez in the last goal.[8] His La Liga bow took place on the 30th, when he featured 23 minutes in the 3–0 defeat of Levante UD also at the San Mamés Stadium.[9]

On 26 July 2016, after a season back at the B side in the Segunda División, López was loaned to CD Leganés for one year.[10] On 1 August of the following year, he moved to second tier club Rayo Vallecano on a one-year loan deal.[11]

López scored his first competitive goal for Athletic on 8 March 2020, from a free kick to open a 4–1 away league victory over Real Valladolid.[12] He featured regularly during the 2019–20 campaign, but subsequently fell down the pecking order after the emergence of newer youth prospects such as Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor and Oier Zarraga.[13]

On 31 August 2021, López returned to Rayo on a three-year contract;[14] Athletic retained a first refusal clause on any future transfer, while also receiving "a series of economic compensations".[15]

International career[edit]

López represented Spain at under-16, under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels.[16] He made his debut for the last of those age groups on 9 September 2014, in a 1–1 home draw against Austria for the 2015 UEFA European Championship qualifiers.[17]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 31 August 2021[18]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Basconia 2012–13 Tercera División 21 2 21 2
Bilbao Athletic 2013–14 Segunda División B 33 4 33 4
2015–16 Segunda División 40 2 40 2
Total 73 6 0 0 0 0 73 6
Athletic Bilbao 2014–15 La Liga 19 0 1 0 4[a] 0 24 0
2018–19 7 0 1 0 8 0
2019–20 26 1 4[b] 0 30 1
2020–21 26 3 5 0 31 3
Total 78 4 11 0 4 0 93 4
Leganés (loan) 2016–17 La Liga 23 2 1 0 24 2
Rayo Vallecano (loan) 2017–18 Segunda División 39 3 1 0 40 3
Career total 234 17 13 0 4 0 251 17
  1. ^ Three appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Includes appearance in 2020 Copa del Rey final (played in 2021)

Honours[edit]

Rayo Vallecano

Athletic Bilbao

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Unai López". Diario AS. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  2. ^ Artazu, M. (25 May 2011). "El Athletic ficha al cadete realista Unai López" [Athletic sign Real cadet Unai López]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Jugadores relevantes" [Relevant players] (in Spanish). Antiguoko KE. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  4. ^ Zubieta, Jon (19 July 2013). "Unai López se suma al nuevo proyecto de Cuco Ziganda" [Unai López added to Cuco Ziganda's new project]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  5. ^ "El canterano Unai López hará la pretemporada a las órdenes de Valverde" [Youth player Unai López will make the pre-season at the orders of Valverde]. Marca (in Spanish). 2 July 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Kepa, Unai López y Aketxe, en la lista B para la Champions" [Kepa, Unai López and Aketxe, in the B list for Champions]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 August 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Athletic Club – SSC Napoli, alineaciones" [Athletic Club – SSC Napoli, lineups] (in Spanish). Athletic Bilbao. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Aduriz relishing Athletic's group stage adventure". UEFA. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  9. ^ "El Athletic vence cómodamente al Levante (3–0)" [Athletic defeat Levante easily (3–0)] (in Spanish). EITB. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Unai López, talento y juventud para la zona de creación" [Unai López, talent and youth for the creative zone] (in Spanish). CD Leganés. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Cesión de Unai López" [Unai López's loan] (in Spanish). Athletic Bilbao. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Real Valladolid 1–4 Athletic Club". Inside Athletic. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  13. ^ Altuna, Manex (30 July 2021). "Marcelino pone en evidencia que no cuenta con Unai López al dejarle sin convocar" [Marcelino makes it clear he does not count with Unai López after not selecting him]. Naiz (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Unai López nuevo jugador del Rayo Vallecano" [Unai López new player of Rayo Vallecano] (in Spanish). Rayo Vallecano. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Agreement between Rayo Vallecano, Unai López and Athletic Club". Athletic Bilbao. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Unai López wiki, stats, net worth, career, strength and weakness". Athletic Updates. 26 September 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  17. ^ Gabilondo, Aritz (9 September 2014). "Austria evita el pleno de La Rojita con un gol en el 94'" [Austria prevent Little Reds from going all the way with 94th-minute goal]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  18. ^ Unai López at Soccerway
  19. ^ Artetxe, José Luis (21 September 2021). "El clásico brindis al sol" [Classic toasting in the sun]. Deia (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  20. ^ Lowe, Sid (3 April 2021). "Real Sociedad beat Athletic to claim Copa del Rey and Basque glory". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  21. ^ Lowe, Sid (17 April 2021). "Messi stars as Barcelona thrash Athletic Bilbao to lift Copa del Rey". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2021.

External links[edit]