Maximiliano "Maxi" Gastón López (born 3 April 1984) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Italian club Torino as a forward.
López holds both an Argentine and an Italian passport. He is known as El Rubio ("The Blonde") and La Gallina de Oro ("The Golden Hen").
López started his career in 1997 with River Plate. On 19 August 2001, at the age of 17, he made his senior debut against Talleres de Córdoba. That same season, the player was officially promoted to the senior squad, following five years with the youth program. With River Plate, he was a standout striker and the club won the Torneo Clausura in 2002, 2003 and 2004. López remained with the club until his transfer to Spanish giants Barcelona in January 2005. With River Plate, he made 56 appearances, scoring 13 goals.
In January 2005, Barcelona signed López for €6.2 million following an injury to striker Henrik Larsson. On his UEFA Champions League debut on 23 February 2005, he came on as a second-half substitute for Ludovic Giuly and within four minutes beat Chelsea defender William Gallas to score an equalizer with his first shot for the club, an eventual 2–1 first-leg win. His only other goal for the club came in a Copa del Rey tie against Zamora on 11 January 2006. López failed to break into the club's first team; in his first season in La Liga, he made just 13 league appearances.
Mallorca, Moscow and Grêmio
López transferred to Mallorca on loan for the 2006–07 season, scoring 3 goals in 25 matches, and returned to Barcelona in the summer of 2007, only to be sold to FC Moscow on 16 August 2007 after a €2 million transfer fee was agreed to by the clubs. With Moscow, López made 22 league appearances and scored 9 goals. On 13 February 2009, Brazilian club Grêmio signed López on a season-long loan. He made his debut the following month in a game against Santa Cruz. His first goal for the club came against São José-PA on 18 March 2009. On 24 June 2009, López was accused of racism by Cruzeiro player Elicarlos in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores. López denied the charge and, so far, nothing has been proven. López scored four goals in the 2009 Copa Libertadores and the winner in the centenary Gre-Nal derby match. He was scouted as a transfer target by several European clubs, including Catania, Chievo, Genoa and VfL Wolfsburg.
On 20 January 2010, López transferred to Catania for a €3 million transfer fee, signing a contract until 30 June 2013. He made his debut in Serie A on 31 January,  playing 55 minutes in the match against the Udinese. In the next game, away to Lazio (0–1), he scored his first goal and the match-winner for the Rossazzurri. On 3 April, he scored his first brace in the Italian top flight during the Sicilian derby against Palermo. He closed the season in double figures, scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances and contributed to the safety of the Etnei in Serie A.
The following season, López scored his first goal in a 2–0 home victory against Cesena on 22 September 2010. At the end of the season, he had scored 8 goals in 35 appearances, finishing 12th in the Serie A table with Catania.
In the 2011–12 season, López scored his first goal on 18 September 2011, converting a penalty against Cesena. On 18 December 2011, in the match won 2–0 by Catania against Palermo, he converted his second penalty of the season and was tearfully substituted by Gonzalo Bergessio for a possible farewell before the winter session of the transfer window.
On 27 January 2012, López was officially transferred to Milan in a €1.5 million loan move, with a buying option set at €8 million. He signed a contract with Milan until 30 June 2015 to receive €700,000 until the end of the 2011–12 season and €1.5 million per year for the following three seasons. He chose the number 21 jersey.
López scored his first goal as a Milan player on 11 February 2012 in an away game against Udinese, equalising for Milan before going on to assist Stephan El Shaarawy to score the game-winning goal. At the end of the season, however, he returned to Catania after Milan opted not to exercise their buying option.
On 11 July, López joined Sampdoria on a season-long loan deal from Catania.
López returned to Catania from a loan spell for the duration of the 2013–14 season and on 28 January 2014, he rejoined Sampdoria on loan for the remainder of the Serie A campaign. He scored a winning goal in his first match back for Sampdoria against Genoa on 3 February 2014.
On 30 June 2014, López signed a one-year deal with Chievo with an option to extend his contract for a further year. He made his debut on the first day of the 2014–15 Serie A season, 30 August, against Juventus, playing the full 90 minutes of a 1–0 home loss. In his second match, on 14 September, he scored the only goal as Chievo defeated Napoli.
On 13 January 2015, López joined Torino, signing a six-month contract with an option for another year. He debuted the next day against Lazio in the second round of the Coppa Italia. On 18 January, he scored his first goal for Torino against Cesena, a 3–2 Torino victory. On 19 February, he scored a brace during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 against Athletic Bilbao, thus managing to score in five different leagues (Argentine, Spanish, Russian, Brazilian and Italian) and in all international competitions (Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Champions League and Europa League). He scored again in the victorious return leg in Spain seven days later, then the 28th round of the league away at Parma. On 17 May, he scored his first brace for Torino in Serie A in the 2–0 victory over his former club Chievo.
After renewing for another year, on 24 November 2015 López signed a new contract with Torino lasting until 2018.
López represented his birth nation of Argentina at under-15, under-17 and under-20 levels, also taking part to the 2003 South American Youth Championship. He is currently eligible for both Argentina and Italy, as he holds both citizenships and has never represented any national team at senior level. In July 2010, he explicitly stated he might accept a call-up from the Azzurri.
López was married to Argentine model Wanda Nara from 2008 to 2013. The couple have three sons, Valentino Gastón (born 25 January 2009), Constantino (born 19 December 2010) and Benedicto (born 20 February 2012).
Nara and López split after her affair with López's former Sampdoria teammate Mauro Icardi, now with Internazionale, was exposed. She and López began divorce proceedings in December 2013. Nara and Icardi subsequently married on 27 May 2014. During the April 2014 Serie A match between Sampdoria and Inter, López notably refused to shake Icardi's hand, leading the press to dub the game the "Wanda derby".
López's change of luck from being a somewhat criticised forward at River Plate to being signed by Barcelona made him an internet meme in his native Argentina. Satirical blogs were created lobbying for his inclusion in the Argentinian squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After the Argentinian elimination from the World Cup, without López getting any caps at all, the nature of the meme changed to a series of reasons explaining his lack of time play on Barcelona with hyperbolic claims which closely resembled Chuck Norris Facts. In interviews, López has stated that he is "okay" with this unexpected following.
- Torneo Clausura: (3) 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04
- La Liga: (2) 2004–05, 2005–06
- Supercopa de España: (1) 2005
- UEFA Champions League: (1) 2005–06