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By ESPN Staff

Lopez returns to Racing Club after 11 years

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Former Argentina forward Claudio Lopez returned to Racing Club after an 11-year absence on Thursday, rejoining the team where he began his career.

'I can't wait to start working,' said Lopez as he was officially presented by the club, based in the industrial suburb of Avellaneda.

'The affection which the Racing people have shown for me during my career has been extraordinary and this had a big influence in my decision,' added Lopez, who was reported to have turned down offers from foreign clubs to return to his homeland.

Lopez, who played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, joined Racing from Mexican club America, where he spend two-and-a-half years.

The 32-year-old began his career at the club and left in 1996. He also played for Lazio in Italy and Valencia in Spain.

Racing have one of Argentina's most fanatic supports but have enjoyed little success since winning the 2001/2 Apertura championship.

They finished a modest ninth in the Apertura tournament held in the first half of the 2006/7 season.