Player Profile:- José Luís “Parejita” López
The offspring of the famous must always have a tough time of it. For whilst José Luis is a good (and much-loved) first division Mexican footballer, he will be forever known by the diminutive form of his father’s nickname “Pareja”. His father, also called José Luís López, was a legend of Pumas throughout the 70’s, and is now a dentist. Parejita’s desire to pay homage to his father includes a burning wish to study dentistry.
Born 19th October 1979, he has always seemed to wear the weight of being his father’s son lightly. Rather than shunning it, he seems to be genuinely proud to follow in his footsteps, and proudly wears “Pareja” on his shirt. And nowadays, after a good game or goal the faithful do shout “Venga Pareja”, out of real respect. However, he will be forever remembered as Parejita: - a footballer and man in his own right.
Much like Gaius Caligula he seemed to initially receive the adoration of the crowd based on the high regard they had of his father. Unlike Caligula, however, he has worked hard in recent times to earn that respect in his own right. Whilst coming through the youth system at Pumas, he was briefly at
In the first game (2-1 loss away at Tecos 6th January 2001) he entered at half time. Amongst his team mates were Sergio Bernal, Israel Lopez., Jamie Lozano and his future manager Miguel España. In that game Joaquin Beltran had a nightmare, getting sent off after scoring an own goal. Parejita has been a first choice player from then until now. In that first season he scored 3 goals, not bettered until Clausura 2006 (4), and he is on target to better that record this season.
Wafer thin legs, and a small frame made him a natural flighty winger (rather than a stockier player, like a Ray "Butch" Wilkins), and for a long time after breaking into the first team he was all tricks and little substance. For many seasons a bit of a whipping boy for the foreigners in the stands, his attempted tricks never really amounting to anything, his loping run, and the world’s slowest step over leaving us bewildered as to why he was so loved. However he has recently transformed himself into a complete footballer. I believe he realised it was time to grow up over Christmas 2005/6, because he came back a much improved player. Gone were the step overs and showboating, in was a concentration on the requirements of the whole team, and much improved work rate.
An outrageous chip opened his account v
This season he has so far scored three goals, all lethally taken, his work rate has never been higher (it may even be higher than Leandro’s) he has worked hard in training, and at times seems to be leading the team – it was he who tried, unsuccessfully in the end, to focus the team and turn the Pachuca debacle around, unfortunately the team were unable to respond sufficiently to his example.
Tuca has even played him in the hole this season, but he loves taking people on down the wing, his set pieces improve all the time, as do his crosses. Now a more intelligent footballer, he positions himself well, and has movement, often creating space for Leandro to cut inside. He understands Castro’s game well, links with Leandro, and is building a great working relationship with Scocco. Off the pitch he is considered a modest and honest person, with integrity. His greatest joy is his young son, at whom his distinctive celebration is aimed. His 27th birthday is fast approaching, and if he continues to play at this level, we have many years of enjoyment ahead of us:- and we’ll forgive him his highlights, boot-changes and even the Ronaldino-style hip wiggle at 3-0 up v Monterrey.
JOSE LUIS “PAREJITA” LOPEZ
Date Of Birth:- 19th October 1979 (26 years old at the moment)
Place Of Birth:- DF, Mexico
Height:- 1.74 metres (5’ 8½”)
Weight:- 59 kgs (9 stone 4 pounds)
League & Liguilla (includes the 4 games for
On as Sub:- 17
Subbed off:- 49
Minutes Played:- 14,767
Yellow Cards:- 47
Red Cards:- 5