MCF / NEWS

Official presentation of Diego Lugano

Málaga CF presented the Club’s latest signing this afternoon – Uruguayan-born Diego Lugano. The defender will be with Málaga Club de Fútbol until the end of the season, without an option to buy at the end of the loan period. The agreement between the Martiricos Club and Paris Saint Germain was reached this morning. Lugano landed in Málaga yesterday afternoon, and began the routine medical examinations in Clínicas Rincón – Málaga CF, the medical centre situated in La Rosaleda. Following the completion of the tests this morning, the captain of the Uruguay national team joined the training session with the Blue and Whites, under the instruction of Manuel Pellegrini. Lugano, who will wear the number ‘4’ shirt, will be officially presented at La Rosaleda at 1 p.m., and could be included in the team line-up for the UEFA Champions League.

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23/01/2013 14:31

Diego Alfredo Lugano, nicknamed Tota, was born in Canelones in Uruguay.  He began his footballing career in Libertad de Canelones, where he obtained his first two League titles.  Following time on loan with Plaza Colonia, Lugano returned to Nacional until 2001/02.  The defender was then signed to Sao Paulo, where he became one of the most important players in the Brazilian-based team.  He took part in 184 official matches and conquered the ‘Paulista’, ‘Brasileirao’, ‘Copa Libertadores’ and ‘Mundial de Clubes’, as well as being named the best defender in the ‘Brasileirao’ in 2005.  Following his immense success with Sao Paulo, Diego Lugano moved to Turkey in 2006/07 to play for Fenerbahçe.  During his time with this team, they were proclaimed champions of the Turkish Super League twice, as well as the Turkish Super Cup.  After five years in Turkey, the Uruguayan-born defender was signed to Paris Saint Germain in 2011/12.
 
Captain of Uruguay national team
Diego Lugano made his official debut with Uruguay in 2003, in a Carlsberg Cup match against Iran on 4th February.  He has played in 68 matches for his country and scored eight goals.  In recent years Lugano was named captain of Uruguay, and described as a fundamental player in the team’s fourth place success in the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, as well as the champions of the America Cup in 2011.
 
 
Statements by Diego Lugano
 
“I needed to leave Paris, as from a sporting point of view things had become quite difficult over the last few months.  I felt I needed new challenges, more minutes on the pitch and to continue to give priority to my national team in the World Cup qualifiers.  This team has a great level of stability and a huge project underway, which is a big attraction for me, presenting a new challenge with one of the best teams in the world.  There are only a few months left, so it’s important to make the most of it.”
 
“Physically I’m in good shape.  I played the odd friendly match in Paris, although I needed to play more minutes in order to continue to perform well.  It can be hard to be at your best when you don’t get the chance to take part in matches very often.”
 
“It’s been quite easy really, it’s the first time I’ve understood the language when I first arrived at a club in the past 11 years.  I’ve known Baptista, Seba Fernández, Demichelis and Santa Cruz for a while, as I’ve come up against them in matches many times.  It’s important to adapt as much as possible before you even arrive to a new club, as there’s no time afterwards.”
 
“The standard of the team was very clear before I got here.  Every player is at a very high level, particularly in defence, so new players like me can work as hard as possible to support the team whenever and wherever it’s needed.  This is an ideal challenge for me and I’m here to do as much as I can for the team.”
 
“I’m completely in the hands of the coach as he’ll decide when I play.  I’m here to support the team, and am really looking forward to getting on the pitch with my team mates.  I can’t speculate any further, particularly as I’ve just got here.”

“It’s not ideal to arrive half-way through the season, as I think it’s always best to kick off the season with a team.  However, it’s important to adapt quickly as I have done throughout my career, and focus on getting good results.”

“I only spoke to Pellegrini briefly before I arrived.  It was vital that I got the chance to talk to him, as that is what confirmed my decision to come to Málaga.  He knows my characteristics now and will count on me in the team, which is really important for me that he has that confidence in me.  Now we’re focusing on technical aspects and tactics, which is what Pellegrini uses in the team, so I need to adapt quickly as we haven’t got a lot of time.”

“With regards to leadership, either someone is a natural leader or they’re not.  It’s just how a person is, and how they are seen by their colleagues.  The focus now is on performing well throughout the remainder of the season so I can perhaps get the chance to stay at Málaga.  I’d really like to be a part of this project for the next few years.”

“The first thing we need to do is concentrate on defeating Porto.  Qualification to the next round is open for either team, so it’s a very exciting time for Málaga.  We need to remain calm and focused against Porto, then we’ll see what happens next.”