Birthdate: 31 August 1982
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Other clubs: Barcelona (1998-2002), Villareal (2002-05), Napoli (loan 2013-14), Bayern Munich (2014-15), Napoli (2015-)
Bought from: Villareal
Signed for LFC: £6m, 04.07.2005
International debut: 17.08.2005 vs. Uruguay
International caps: 33/0 - 23.06.2014
Liverpool debut: 13.07.2005
Last appearance: 19.05.2013
Contract expiry: 08.08.2014
Win ratio: 53.81% W:212 D:96 L:86
Honours: FA Cup 2006; League Cup 2012
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 285 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 394 / 0
Player profile"Pepe"” Reina played 30 league games from 2000-2002 for Barcelona and was involved in both legs against Liverpool in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in the 2000/01 season. Liverpool proceeded to the final after Gary McAllister scored past the 18-year-old Reina from the penalty spot in the second leg at Anfield. After Louis Van Gaal returned to Barcelona for his second spell in charge it soon became clear that he didn’t have enough faith in Reina who joined Villareal in the summer of 2002. Reina played 32 league games in his first season and didn’t miss a single La Liga game in his second and third season which proved to be his last. He was considered the best ‘keeper in La Liga in the 2004/05 season as Villareal grabbed third place and a potential spot in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. Reina was noted for saving seven penalties out of the nine Villareal conceded in the season.
The 22-year-old Reina was very experienced for his age with around 175 first-team games when he arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2005. Rafa clearly saw him as his number one for the future and the determined Spaniard didn’t disappoint his compatriot. Reina enhanced his reputation as a penalty-stopper when he saved three penalties from West Ham in the shootout of the 2006 FA Cup final and ended his first season as a Cup hero. Reina didn’t make the best of starts in his second season, making a glaring error in the Merseyside derby on 9 September 2006 when Liverpool lost 3-0 at Goodison Park. The Spaniard kept his place in the starting line-up even though he was well below his best. Rafa’s faith in him paid off as Reina grew stronger as the season progressed and kept Jerzy Dudek out of the starting 11. In 2008, amazingly his third season in succession, Reina was the recipient of the “Golden Gloves” award for keeping the most ‘clean sheets’ in the Premier League. He achieved 50 ‘clean sheets’ in fewest number of league matches, 92, beating the previous record held by Ray Clemence by three matches.
Reina joined club colleagues Alvaro Arbeloa, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso in the Spanish squad for the European Championships held in Austria and Switzerland. Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas had been impossible for Reina to dislodge from the No. 1 slot, but he proudly went up to collect a winners’ medal even though he had only played an active part in one of the group matches, against Greece. Reina’s celebrations once the conquering heroes returned to Spain will never be forgotten where his clownish side really came out in a big way. In the 2008/09 season Reina was again a vital part of the Liverpool team that had seemed likely to bring in the elusive Premier League title. In April 2010, it was revealed that the popular Spaniard had signed a six-year extension to his contract. One of the team’s most reliable performers during a turbulent 2009/10 season, Reina was again the ‘Golden Glove’ winner for most ‘clean sheets’ in the League, 17 in total, a distinction he shared with Chelsea’s Petr Cech. In the World Cup 2010 Reina was as before second-choice for his country behind Casillas and did not see a single minute of competitive action in any of Spain’s seven matches as they won the tournament for the first time. He was as ever heavily involved in the victory celebrations!
Reina played in all 38 Premier League matches for the fourth successive season in 2010/11, but was clearly way below his best form. He missed four Premier League matches in 2011/12 after he was sent off at Newcastle in April following an altercation with home defender James Perch. Pepe did, however, play in more domestic cup matches than in any previous season as a Liverpool player as the club reached the Wembley finals of both the League and FA Cup. Pepe’s performances in the Liverpool goal had been on a downward spiral until he was back to his best in early 2012/13. Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his progress: “He is the No.1 ‘keeper for Liverpool. Yes, he will admit it himself, he probably had a difficult couple of years but he now has a sense of his best years are in front of him, not behind him. He has lost weight, he looks fresh, he looks bright and he is doing extra work.” Reina missed seven of the thirty-eight Premier League matches in 2012/13 with Brad Jones playing in the matches Reina missed. Jones also started all four domestic cup-ties and four of the twelve Europa League fixtures. The Spaniard had a difficult 2011/12 season by his own high standards but redeemed himself in 2012/13 when he seemed to recover a lot of his lost confidence and assurance. He celebrated his 30th birthday soon after the season started and by the end of it had taken his number of first-team appearances for Liverpool to within half a dozen of the four hundred mark.
Just over a month after Liverpool signed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland in the summer of 2013, it was announced that the 30-year-old Reina would be joining Napoli for the whole of the 2013/14 season, a move that would see him reunited with the man who bought him for Liverpool in 2005, Rafa Benítez. Reina was bitter about his departure as he wrote on his personal website. "It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football. A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it."
Reina's year in Naples was more success than failure. The goalkeeper had made 29 league appearances out of 37 as Napoli prepared for their final Serie A fixture of the season at home to Hellas Verona. Pepe was also between the posts when the southern club won the Coppa Italia by beating Fiorentina 3-1 in the final played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. But both the English and Italian seasons ended without Reina's immediate future having been resolved. In February, when Reina commented on his pending arrival at Liverpool in the summer, Rodgers made him realise there was no turning back. “[Reina] wrote a goodbye letter didn’t he? I was surprised a loan player wrote a letter," he told the press. "I would suspect that he should come back but obviously Pepe made it very clear when he went to Napoli that he was looking to move. He penned a great big letter saying he was going to work with the best manager that he’d worked with and thanked us for his time for Liverpool. So for me it probably sounded like he’d made his decision there.”
In the World Cup finals in Brazil 2014 Iker Casillas was unsurprisingly between the posts for Spain in the first two group matches against Holland and Chile. Two defeats meant that the defending champions would be going home early and Reina was named in goal for the final group match, a comfortable 3-0 victory over Australia in Curitiba. It was his 33rd appearance for the senior Spanish team.
Reina was not used at all in Liverpool's pre-season trip in the USA despite training with the first team. He eventually signed a three-year contract with Bayern Munich in August 2014, ending his eight-year stay with Liverpool. "Pep [Guardiola] wanted a keeper like Manuel Neuer who’s capable of joining in the build-up play,” said Bayern's chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "You can never take for granted finding a man with his experience and quality who's prepared to accept the number two position." Predictably Reina didn't get many chances to shine for Bayern in 2014/15, playing just three times in the Bundesliga and not at all in cup competitions. He then moved to Napoli in the summer of 2015 where he was their number one, playing in all bar one of their games in Serie A.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|14||West Ham United|
|2||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg|
|50||16.04.2006||Blackburn Rovers||Ewood Park||League|
|250||01.04.2010||Benfica||Estadio da Luz||Europe|
Written by James McManus on Footballfancast.com on 4th September 2012.More
A ‘good’ footballer might have an autobiography published after his career is over; a ‘great’ like Gerrard can get away with it while they are still playing and Royalty like Kenny Dalglish can publish a book any time they please. We can comfortably put José Manuel Reina into the second category.More
Pepe reveals his superstitions that get him through a matchday.More
From Pepe Reina's autobiography published in 2011.More
The Daily Mail on 8th October 2011. By Joe Bernstein.More
Liverpool Echo match report on Liverpool - Arsenal on 15.08.2010.More
Pepe Reina was in good spirits on the plane to Madrid and introduced the squad to the cheering crowd in the capital when Spain returned home with the World Cup in their possession. More
In an exclusive interview with Liverpoolfc.tv, Pepe Reina gives the lowdown on his teammates and reveals who he is close to off the pitch. More
Liverpool’s Spanish goalkeeper Jose Reina claims the Barclays Premier League’s golden gloves award for the third season in succession.More
Tom Mallows puts the spotlight on our fantastically consistent number one.More
Reina and Torres chat from fernando9torres.com in September 2008.More
As the conquering heroes, Spain, returned home after winning the European champioship, Jose Reina took centre stage.More
The Spanish stopper has the best post-war record of clean sheets in his first 100 starts.More
Liverpoolfc.tv report on Liverpool - Barcelona on 19.04.2001.More
List by Mark Platt & Ged Rea - published on liverpoolfc.tv in December 2006.More
On the eve of the FA Cup final, Pepe Reina takes us inside the Liverpool dressing room to spill the secrets on his Anfield team-mates.More
Match report from The Guardian on the Liverpool - West Ham final.More
A report from the Liverpool - West Ham FA Cup Final.More
Article from the Guardian By Jason Burt. Published: 06 February 2006.More
Liverpool Echo interviews Jose Reina who was one game from breaking Liverpool's record in keeping clean sheets. From December 2005.More
Interview from LFC magazine in November 2006. Article from Teamtalk.More
"I'm quite close to Xabi. We became good friends in the national side. I was asking him loads of things about the place and he was telling me everything about it and it was all really positive. It made me really keen to come here - I was dying to come here in fact - and it's all true what he said about the place."
Reina arrives at Liverpool in July 2005
Reina was called up for the first time to the Spanish squad in May 2005:
"I played with and coached his father Miguel [at Club Atlético de Madrid] and Pepe is like a younger version".
Spanish national team coach Luis Aragonés
"What can you say about a goalkeeper, who in his first season had more clean sheets than Clemence. He is a goalkeeper with a big future. He's quick, has a very good mentality. A very good goalkeeper."
Rafa on Pepe Reina after the custodian's debut season
"If you've got a good goalkeeper behind you, you can play with more confidence. If you have someone shouting things, you can be more confident. He shouts the right things. With his feet he is brilliant. His passes are amazing. You feel comfortable when you play with him."
Daniel Agger praises Jose Reina in December 2006
"Something that will always stay with me is the special reception I got when I made my way to the Kop goal. Everyone was clapping. I thought it must be for some of the Liverpool players, so I turned round but there was nobody there. When I realised it was for me I started applauding the crowd. I returned their respect and the Kop cheered loudly. It was magnificent. I have never seen anything like that anywhere else. I was an opposition player – I didn't imagine I'd be on the other side in a couple of years. When Rafa asked me if I wanted to come to Liverpool, that was something I immediately thought of. I was very proud to move here because we have some of the best fans in the world."
Jose Reina was in the Barca goal in the semi-finals of the 2000-2001 UEFA Cup at Anfield
"I said when he arrived that he was the best 'keeper in Spain and now I think you can say he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
But not just as a goalkeeper – his mentality is really good, he has a very good character, he is really positive, he has determination, he wants to improve and he wants to learn. All in all, he is a fantastic team-mate and a very good player. We knew how good he was in Spain with penalties and in this country people found out how good he is at the FA Cup final."
Rafa on Jose Reina in May 2007
"I found out when he was six playing football at home. He wanted to be a forward but I told him it wasn't very good being an attacking player because people would be kicking him throughout the game. I told him he had an extraordinary talent to be a keeper. I started training him from that moment. When he was a kid I taught him more than just how to stop penalties. I taught him how to position his hands to stop the ball, how to fall and how to save with different parts of the body."
An accomplished goalkeeper himself, Miguel Reina, trained his son; Jose, to be a top keeper
I had a little challenge going with Petr Cech last season where we’d see who could concede the least goals. Despite our club rivalries we're both in the goalkeepers’ union. We’d sent text messages to each other about the clean sheets as well.
Jose Reina won three years in a row the Golden Gloves award for keeping the most clean sheets in the Premier League
"I've always said Reina has the best distribution out of the continental 'keepers. His kicking out and throwing is absolutely superb. He might actually score from a kick one day, either out of his hands or he'll come 35 yards out and have a go at goal."
Bruce Grobbelaar on Pepe Reina
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Bayern Munich||2014-2015||Germany 1||3||0||3||0|
|Napoli||2015-2016||Italy Serie A||37||0||44||0|