Maxi López is the new owner of the English club Birmingham City

Maxi Lopez walk across the pitch at Birmingham City’s stadium. He is no longer dressed as a soccer player. He now wears a dark suit and European shoes. He looks to all four sides. The man who until a year ago stood out as a scorer, finalized this Tuesday the acquisition of a historic English football club. It is the first time that an Argentine owns a British institution. As anticipated by LA NACIÓN a month ago, the former striker who appeared in River finally became the new owner of Birmingham City on Tuesdayone of the most traditional teams in England and winner of two League Cups (1962/63 and 2010/2011).

However, the present time of that institution is very far from the golden years. Finished the 21/22 season in the Championship (England’s second division) in 20th place over 24 teams, with 47 points harvested in 46 dates. At the same time, there are already 12 consecutive seasons that he has played in promotion, since he was relegated from the Premier League in mid-2011.

The investment group that integrates Maxi López acquired the shares that the Chinese Paul Suen, current owner of the club (through the company Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited), will bring to the market, and that according to the Daily Mirror newspaper are valued at 30 million pounds (about 36 million euros and about 37 million dollars).

In the last six seasons under BSHL ownership, the team’s best placement in the table was 17th. The club even flirted with relegation on more than one occasion during this last campaign.

The other two familiar faces that are part of the proposal are that of the Argentine businessman Christian Codoma (partner of Maxi López and owner of Maxco Capital in London and director of Global Stars Management in Hong Kong) and Paul Richardson (Birmingham fan, ex-Gymshark manager and owner of fashion brand Hera London). According to the Birmingham Mail, the total investment for the purchase of the entity would be 50 million euros.

With this news, loose ends tied up. It is clear now that The presence of Richardson and Maxi López was no coincidence on May 7 last to see the team’s season finale (2-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers).

Maxi with the Barcelona shirt, the most important club of the 14 in which he played

In that match, the fans showed a banner asking the current owners: “Do something right before you leave”, and urged Richardson and Lopez to beat the club. Richardson’s Instagram post, which was retweeted by Lopez, read: “Maxi Lopez and I want to thank all the Blues fans for their huge show of support yesterday for our bid to bring our club back.”

In this way, Maxi López became the second Argentine to own a soccer team. The other is Christian Bragarnik, in charge of the Spanish Elche. The former striker will have the power to make decisions for the club, not only in administrative matters, but also where he has the most experience: sports. In fact, at this time there is speculation in England with the arrival of the Brazilian striker Diego Costa as a great new figure of Birmingham. In the Daily Mirror they state that López’s initial idea is to take charge of the first team within two years.

This is how the English newspaper Mirror announced the possible arrival of Maxi López to the board of directors of the Birmingham City club
This is how the English newspaper Mirror announced the possible arrival of Maxi López to the board of directors of the Birmingham City clubMirror Capture

These are dark times for Birmingham. Since he said goodbye to the Premier League in 2011, everything was gloom. In its more than ten seasons in the second division of England it was also close to going down to the third division (League One), as a result of its owners’ lack of interest in sports.

Maxi celebrates a goal against Gymnastics in October 2003, with the River shirt
Maxi celebrates a goal against Gymnastics in October 2003, with the River shirtFERNANDO MASSOBRIO

“Thank you all for helping me fulfill my dream. It was a beautiful trip…”Maxi López greeted from his Instagram account in his farewell to football, which he made official on July 29. He immediately received the affection of many former teammates and colleagues, including Papu Alejandro Gómez, Juan Iturbe, Mauricio Pinilla and Fabio Quagliarella.

López, born on April 3, 1984 and 38 years old, debuted in the Primera de River in 2001 and then built a long career that took him to Barcelona and Mallorca (Spain); Milan, Torino, Sampdoria, Catania, Chievo Verona and Crotone (Italy); FC Moscow (Russia); and Gremio and Vasco da Gama (Brazil).

His last team was Sambedenettese, from the third division of Italian football. off the pitches, Maxi López gained notoriety for the conflicts with his ex-wife, the model Wanda Nara, and the businesswoman’s new partner, Mauro Icardi, a PSG striker, with whom he shared a squad during his time in Sampdoria.

With power and gambetas, he exhibited a task that remained in the memory. Framework 124 goals in his career in 477 games. He obtained 9 titles and performed in 14 clubs, during 20 years. Now, already on the other side of the lime line, Maxi will seek to meet again with that adrenaline that went through him every time a ball passed his feet.

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