Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina

Full name:          Pepe Reina

Date of birth:      31 August 1982

Place of birth:    Madrid, Spain

Height:                1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

Position:             Goalkeeper

Number:             25

National team:  Spain

Nationality:       Spain

Foot:                   Right

Agent:                Manuel García Quilón

Joined:                01 July 2018

Contract until:   30.06.2021

Personal life

José Manuel “Pepe” Reina Páez is a Spanish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club A.C. Milan.

The son of famed Barcelona and Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Reina, Pepe Reina began his career with the Barcelona youth team and made his La Liga debut in the 2000–01 season. He signed for Villarreal in 2002, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup twice. Reina moved on to Liverpool and made his debut in the 2005 UEFA Super Cup, which Liverpool won. He instantly became first-choice goalkeeper and went on to win both the FA Cup – where he saved three out of four West Ham United penalties in the final – and the FA Community Shield. In 2007, he reached the Champions League Final with Liverpool, matching the feat achieved by his father in 1974, but Liverpool lost to Milan.

Following eight consecutive seasons as Liverpool’s first-choice keeper, Reina spent the 2013–14 season on loan at Napoli, where he was reunited with Rafael Benítez, the coach who signed him to play for Liverpool in 2005. During his loan tenure in Naples, Reina was part of the side that won the 2014 Coppa Italia.

At international level, Reina played for Spain’s youth team, winning the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in 1999. He made his senior debut in 2005, and has generally been selected as the second-choice keeper behind Iker Casillas. He was part of the Spain squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and made one appearance in their victorious UEFA Euro 2008 campaign, earning him his first international honour. He was later part of the Spain squads that won their first ever World Cup in 2010 and their third UEFA European Championship in 2012, as well as playing at the 2014 World Cup.

Reina is also the record holder for appearances by a Spanish player in the Premier League, with more than 200 appearances in just his first five seasons, 108 of the 219 appearances being clean sheets. In the 2010–11 season, he kept his 100th Premier League clean sheet for Liverpool in a 3–0 win against Aston Villa.

Reina is well known for his distribution, ball skills, positioning, shot-stopping, leadership, and ability to save penalties; he has also functioned as a “sweeper-keeper” on occasion throughout his career, due to his anticipation and speed when rushing off his line, as well as his ability to start plays or create chances from the back.He has set a number of goalkeeping records for Liverpool and won the Premier League Golden Glove award for clean sheets in his first three seasons at the club.

Reina married his longtime girlfriend Yolanda Ruiz in Córdoba on 19 May 2006, before joining up with the Spain national squad for the 2006 World Cup. The couple have five children. Pepe Reina was the former next door neighbour of Atlético Madrid striker and Spanish international teammate Fernando Torres. When he was at Liverpool, Reina was neighbours with teammate Luis Suárez. He also used to live next door to Maxi Rodríguez before Rodríguez returned to Argentina.

Reina’s father Miguel Reina was in goal for Atlético Madrid in the 1974 European Cup Final, which Atlético lost to Bayern Munich 4–0 in a replay after the first match finished 1–1.

Although a steely and serious figure as goalkeeper, Reina is known for his exuberant, jester-like character off the pitch, often entertaining his teammates with jokes and songs, and famously acting as a crowd-pleasing master of ceremonies at Spain’s official victory celebrations following the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Reina is a very close friend of his Spanish international teammate David Villa. They can often be seen spending time together or celebrating victories.

In July 2018, Pepe Reina and former Napoli footballers Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica were subject to a hearing by the Italian Football Federation over links to the Esposito brothers, high-ranking members of the Camorra. Reina was also accused of trying to get free tickets for the Lo Russo Camorra clan.

AC Milan career

On 15 May 2018, it was announced that Pepe Reina would move to Serie A club A.C. Milan on a Bosman transfer. The deal was officialized on 2 July 2018 and he signed a three-year contract with the Rossoneri.

During the January transfer window of 2019/2020 season Pepe Reina got interesting offer from the Premier League. The Premier League side Aston Villa wanted to sign him and give him more play-time that he got in AC Milan. The rossoneri decided to allow Reina to join Aston Villa, and Reina completed his loan deal on 13 January 2020.

The loan will be with length of 6 months, and at the end of the season Reina is expected to return to AC Milan where he has 1 season left of his contract.

International career

Reina has been a regular in the Spain national team since 2005, mostly as second-choice keeper after Iker Casillas. He was part of the team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

Reina made his debut on 17 August 2005, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 friendly win over Uruguay at El Molinón in Gijón. He was a member of the Spanish squad which reached the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, but did not play. At UEFA Euro 2008, he played the final group match in Salzburg as Spain had already advanced, conceding a header by reigning champion Greece’s Angelos Charisteas, although Spain came back to win 2–1.

In October 2008, he and Casillas together broke the national record for the longest time spent without conceding a goal after defeating Estonia 3–0. The pair went unbeaten for 710 minutes since Pepe Reina conceded from Charisteas, longer than the legendary Andoni Zubizarreta and Francisco Buyo. Wesley Sonck of Belgium ended their streak when he scored against Casillas in a World Cup qualifier later that month. The following year, he was part of the Spanish squad which reached the semi-finals at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. His sole appearance was in the last group game in Bloemfontein, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over hosts South Africa, a result which was a world record 15th consecutive international victory for Spain.

Reina was also in Spain’s squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup, in which they reached the final. His sole appearance in the tournament came in the second group game against Oceanian champions Tahiti, a 10–0 win at the Maracanã. With Spain’s elimination already confirmed, he was selected to start in Spain’s final group match of the 2014 World Cup keeping a clean sheet against Australia in a 3–0 win.

In May 2018, he was named in Spain’s final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Additional information - OTHER CLUBS

The son of former Barcelona goalkeeper Miguel Reina, Pepe Reina began his football career in the youth academy of Barcelona, La Masia. From 1997, he played as a first-choice goalkeeper for the Barcelona reserve side, which then competed in the third tier in the Spanish football pyramid. In 2000, At age 18, he was called up for the Barcelona first-team, after the first and second choice goalkeepers, Richard Dutruel and Francesc Arnau, suffered injuries. He made his debut as a substitute for Durtruel in a 3–3 draw with Celta de Vigo on 2 December 2000. He made 19 appearances in the remainder of the 2000–01 La Liga season and appeared seven times in the 2000–01 UEFA Cup, where Barça lost to Reina’s future team Liverpool at the semi-final stage.

Reina made 16 appearances for the club during the 2001–02 season, serving as understudy to Roberto Bonano. On 31 October 2001, he made his UEFA Champions League debut in Barcelona’s 1–0 group stage win against Fenerbahçe at Camp Nou.

After signing the German goalkeeper Robert Enke, Barcelona told Reina he was free to leave the club.

In July 2002, Reina joined Villarreal and went on to spend three seasons with the Valencian club. In 2004, Villarreal reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup and, in Reina’s final season at the club, he helped El Submarino Amarillo qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history.

2005–06 season
Reina was signed by Liverpool from Villarreal in July 2005, with manager Rafael Benítez hailing him as “the best goalkeeper in Spain”. Reina made his Liverpool debut against Total Network Solutions, now known as The New Saints, in the first qualifying round for the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League.

For the 2005–06 season, Reina took over as Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper, relegating 2005 UEFA Champions League Final hero Jerzy Dudek to the bench. At the start of the season on 17 August 2005, Reina made his international debut for Spain in a friendly against Uruguay. Spain won 2–0.

The season turned out to be successful for Liverpool as they improved upon the previous year’s league placing and won the FA Cup. It was also a huge success personally for Pepe Reina as he made Liverpool records. On 3 December 2005, Reina kept his sixth consecutive clean sheet against Wigan Athletic in the Premier League, to break the Liverpool club record for successive clean sheets in the Premier League. He surpassed David James’ record of five games, from the 1996–97 season. Reina’s run ended at eight league games, when James Beattie scored for Everton in Liverpool’s 3–1 Merseyside derby win on 28 December 2005. Reina also broke Liverpool’s clean sheet record in all competitions, with 11 between October and December 2005. Mineiro, of São Paulo, finally scored past him on 18 December 2005, during the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup final.

On 5 February 2006, in a Premier League match against Chelsea, Reina, having made a challenge on Eiður Guðjohnsen moments earlier, was sent off for violent conduct against Arjen Robben. Robben, who fell to the ground,[16] was described as “going down like he’d been sledgehammered” by pundit Alan Hansen. Liverpool lost the match 2–0 and Reina was given a three-match suspension. On 16 April 2006, Reina celebrated his 50th appearance for Liverpool by keeping a clean sheet against Blackburn Rovers. As a result, he holds a Liverpool record for the fewest goals conceded by a goalkeeper in his first 50 matches. The previous record was set by Ray Clemence in 1970–71, when he conceded 32 goals. Reina conceded just 29. In May 2006, Reina was awarded the Premier League’s Golden Glove award for keeping 20 clean sheets in the 2005–06 season.

In the final domestic match of the season – the 2006 FA Cup Final on 13 May 2006 – Pepe Reina made a number of errors to allow West Ham United to lead 3–2. Steven Gerrard took the match to extra time with a late equaliser. The match ended 3–3 and went to penalties, where Reina saved three out of four penalties to gain the cup win.

2006–07 season
During the 2006–07 season, despite making early-season errors (most notably against Liverpool city rivals Everton in a 3–0 defeat), Reina’s status as Liverpool’s number-one goalkeeper was further cemented after Jerzy Dudek conceded nine goals within a week in two cup ties against Arsenal. After the 2007 Champions League semi-final first-leg against Chelsea, Reina was awarded man of the match by Liverpool supporters thanks to a string of superb saves, including two saves from midfielder Frank Lampard. He repeated his good form in the second leg, keeping a clean sheet. The match went to a penalty shootout, where Pepe Reina reinforced his penalty-saving reputation, stopping two of the three Chelsea kicks as Liverpool won 4–1. On his return home from the match, he discovered his house in Woolton had been burgled. Three weeks later in Athens, Pepe Reina became only the third player to follow in his father’s footsteps by appearing in a European Cup final. However, Liverpool failed to win their sixth trophy, losing 2–1 to Milan. Reina signed a new five-year contract Liverpool on 7 June 2007.

In August 2007, Reina again won the Premier League’s Golden Glove Award for the second successive season, after keeping 19 clean sheets in the 2006–07 Premier League campaign.

2007–08 season
Reina began the season by saving a penalty from Portsmouth’s Nwankwo Kanu to help his team to a 0–0 draw. On 2 February 2008, Reina became the quickest goalkeeper in Liverpool history to reach 50 clean sheets. He hit the milestone during a 3–0 win against Sunderland, on his 92nd league outing, beating the previous record by three.

Reina played all 38 Premier League matches for Liverpool and won his third consecutive Golden Glove award with 18 clean sheets.

2008–09 season
Reina played every minute of Liverpool’s 2008–09 Premier League season, keeping 20 clean sheets, as the team finished as league runners-up with 86 points. On 22 March 2009, Pepe Reina kept his 100th clean sheet for Liverpool in a Premier League match against Aston Villa. During the match, he assisted a goal for Albert Riera with a long pass in Liverpool’s 5–0 win.

2009–10 season
Reina again played all 38 matches during the 2009–10 Premier League season, keeping 17 clean sheets. He tied with Chelsea’s Petr Čech for the Golden Glove award for the season, but Čech was awarded the trophy with a superior goals-to-game ratio. Reina was named Liverpool’s Player of the Season for 2009–10 with 75% of the vote.

On 17 October 2009, Liverpool were beaten 1–0 by Sunderland with a goal from Darren Bent, which was deflected past Reina via a beach ball thrown from the crowd.

In April 2010, Pepe Reina signed a new six-year contract with Liverpool.

2010–11 season
Reina got his 2010–11 season off to a poor start, with a late own goal to give Arsenal a 1–1 draw in Liverpool’s opening Premier League fixture. Manager Roy Hodgson, club captain Steven Gerrard and vice-captain Jamie Carragher were all quick to get behind Reina and back him to not let the mistake affect his season.

Reina captained the team in Europa League matches against Napoli and Steaua București due to the absences of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. On 6 December 2010, Reina captained Liverpool in the Premier League in a 3–0 victory against Aston Villa. This clean sheet gave him his 100th in 198 league matches, the fastest Liverpool goalkeeper to reach the milestone.

On 9 May 2011, Reina played his 150th consecutive league match for Liverpool. He was one of only two players to have played in all of Liverpool’s league games for 2010–11 season. In June 2011, Reina underwent double hernia surgery.

2011–12 season
Reina announced on 3 September 2011 that he wanted to stay at Liverpool for another five or six years.

On 29 November 2011, Pepe Reina broke the club record for most clean sheets in a 2–0 Football League Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea. The record had previously been held by Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobelaar.

On 26 February 2012, Reina won his second major honour with Liverpool, beating Cardiff City on penalties in the 2012 League Cup final.

On 1 April 2012, Reina received a red card in a 2–0 defeat against Newcastle United due to violent conduct on Newcastle player James Perch. Reina’s suspension ended his streak of 183 consecutive Premier League appearances which had begun in August 2007. He missed Premier League matches against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, as well as the FA Cup semi-final against Everton on 14 April.

On 5 May, Pepe Reina started for Liverpool in their 2–1 2012 FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea.

2012–13 season
On 30 August 2012, Reina made a mistake in a 1–1 draw against Hearts in the Europa League to give the Edinburgh club the lead at Anfield. He made another error against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium, allowing Sergio Agüero to score a late equaliser in a 2–2 draw on 3 February 2013.

Towards the end of the 2012–13 season, rumours suggested that Víctor Valdés was to leave Barcelona for Monaco and Pepe Reina was to be his replacement. According to his father, an agreement had been reached for Reina to sign, but when Valdés chose to stay at Barcelona for another season, no move took place. In anticipation of Pepe Reina’s departure, Liverpool had signed Belgian international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. As a result, on 29 July 2013 Reina completed a loan move to Serie A side Napoli, reuniting him with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez.

Loan to Napoli
Reina was loaned out to Napoli for the 2013–14 season. Liverpool failed to inform Reina about the loan prior to the move. He had made 394 appearances for Liverpool prior to the loan.

In August 2013, Pepe Reina saved a penalty from Lukas Podolski against Arsenal in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament, and in September, in a 2–1 win over Milan in September, he saved a Mario Balotelli penalty, the first goalkeeper ever to do so in a competitive match.

On 28 September, Reina declared that his Liverpool career was over: “At the moment it’s difficult to think about being a Liverpool player next year. They have a young goalkeeper in Simon Mignolet and the manager prefers him to me. That’s the reason why I’m here and he will be at the club next year as well. There’s no reason to think I’ll be a Liverpool player from now on but we’ll see where the future takes us. It’s been a good move so far and I don’t regret what happened. I would have preferred to say goodbye in a different way.”

Bayern Munich
On 8 August 2014, Liverpool confirmed Reina had joined the Bundesliga club Bayern Munich on a three-year deal, bringing an eight-year spell with the club to an end. He wore the number 23 shirt for Bayern, the same number he wears for the Spain national team. On 14 March 2015, Reina made his debut for Bayern, starring in a 4–0 away win against Werder Bremen. His appearance in that match meant that he became the first goalkeeper and Spaniard in history to play in four of Europe’s top leagues: Spain, England, Italy and Germany.

On 9 May, as Bayern had already won the 2014–15 Bundesliga and had a Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona to come, regular goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was rested for their home match against FC Augsburg and Pepe Reina started. He was given a straight red card after 14 minutes when he conceded a penalty with a foul on Raúl Bobadilla; Neuer came on in place of Philipp Lahm but Paul Verhaegh hit the post for Augsburg, which eventually won 1–0.

Return to Napoli
On 23 June 2015, it was announced that Reina would return to Napoli on a three-year deal, after a one-year spell at Bayern Munich.

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1 Comment

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