Forever a teacher


Despite training Premier League players, Emilio López doesn’t want to forget the pedagogical side of football he spent so much time with.

Emilio López was always very clear on the fact that he wanted to be a coach. He prepared for it during his long career as a professional Second Division goalkeeper. After defending the goalposts of teams such as Badajoz, Osasuna and Jaén, he began his career as a technician in his hometown, Vigo. At first, playing for Celta. Then, as a goalkeeper coach for their second team. But that was just the beginning…

“I got an interesting offer from Móstoles,” recalls Emilio. “I accepted because I knew that being in Madrid would provide more career opportunities.” It wouldn’t take long before he started working at Marcet. “I entered just after N’Kono and Llopis‘ time there. Marcet helped me learn about different methods and prepare myself not only as goalkeeper coach but also as a teacher, introducing me to the educational and pedagogical side of football.”

“I like to train children as well as being amongst the elite, which is essential for your work to be valued anywhere in the world”

Today, Emilio keeps tabs of his former students. “Its amazing to see that there are goalkeepers that I’ve worked with who are now in the top, First Division teams. This is because Marcet does things well and works hard. It’s an Academy where New Technologies are always at reach, where they educate you in every possible aspect concerning professional football. Evolution is constant and there are more and more qualified educators, like [the current technical director] Carlos Rivero.”

After the experience amassed at Marcet, Emilio’s career took off. “I was able to sign for Getafe, where I was lucky enough to reach their main team and spend four years in first division as a goalkeeper coach.” In Madrid, Emilio worked hand in hand with technicians such as Juan Eduardo Esnáider and Quique Sánchez Flores, who years later would take him on their Asia-bound adventures.

Emilio López as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua goalkeeper coach.
Emilio López as Shanghai Greenland Shenhua goalkeeper coach.

“After Getafe, I spent time working for the Spanish Football Federation,” the former Marcet teacher explains. “Up until Esnáider called me about going to Tokyo, where I was put in charge of training the goalkeepers of JEF United Ichihara Chiba‘s main team for a year. It was a fantastic experience and despite having another year on my contract, Quique Sánchez Flores proposed I join him on his way to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, a chinese, First Division club.”

After that Asian experience, Emilio -who won the Zamora Trophy as the goal-less goalkeeper in the silver category of Spanish football- started a new chapter in his career as Watford‘s goalkeeping coach, in the English Premier League. “I’m very happy with this project. You could say that I consider myself a football teacher, in the sense that I like to train children as well as being amongst the elite, which is no doubt essential for your work to be valued anywhere in the world.”


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