Birthdate: 15 April 1982
Birthplace: Mallorca, Spain
Other clubs: Real Mallorca (1999-2003), Bordeaux (2003-05), Espanyol (2005-08), Manchester City (loan 2006), Olympiacos (2010-11), Galatasaray (2011-14), Watford (2014), Udinese (2014), Real Mallorca (2015), NK Zavrc (2015), FC Koper (2016)
Bought from: Espanyol
Signed for LFC: £8m, 31.08.2008
International debut: 13.10.2007 vs. Denmark
International caps: 16/4 (11/3 at LFC) - 14.10.2009
Liverpool debut: 13.09.2008
Last appearance: 11.03.2010
Debut goal: 18.10.2008
Last goal: 22.03.2009
Contract expiry: 23.07.2010
Win ratio: 60.71% W:34 D:17 L:5
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 1 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 40 / 3
Total LFC games/goals: 56 / 5
Player profileThe left-sided midfielder was part of the side that won Copa del Rey for the first time in Mallorca's history. Riera's first experience of English football was when he was on loan at Manchester City where he didn't make a good impression, but on his return to Espanyol he became a key player, scoring one of their goals in the UEFA Cup final in 2007 which Espanyol lost to Sevilla on penalties. Riera made his international debut for Spain against Denmark on 13 October 2007, but didn't make the Spanish squad that conquered in Euro 2008. Riera had a decent debut season with Liverpool, starting 33 games out of his total of 40, so Rafa clearly had great faith in him. He showed that he could strike the ball accurately and work hard for the team. Liverpool were in excellent form and Riera seemed to have been a wise addition to the Spanish contingent at the club. Former Red, Mark Lawrenson was certainly impressed. "Albert Riera fits the stereotype of a continental winger. He can be a bit frustrating, flits in and out of games and yet when he comes good then he is a class act. Just study how many times Fernando Torres drifts in from the left and then goes for goal with his right foot. That is because Riera has been stretching the opposition."
After Riera had only started 12 matches in 2009/10 he openly criticised Benítez on Radio Marca in March 2010. "I've been here two years and I know how he [Benítez] is. He has never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him. His dialogue with the players is practically nil. My aim is to go to the World Cup and for this I have to be playing. When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal," Riera said, earning himself a two weeks' suspension. After Rafa departed Anfield Roy Hodgson made a pledge that he would give every player a chance to prove that they had a future with the club. A knee injury prevented Riera from joining pre-season training with the rest of the first-team squad and he joined Greek club Olympiacos on 23 July 2010. Riera enjoyed a promising first season in Greece, playing in 26 of the 30 Superleague matches and scoring six times. However, it was his only full season in Greece because he again signed a four-year deal, this time with Galatasaray in Turkey, early in September 2011. It proved to be a wise choice as the Istanbul-based club won the national championship in 2012. Riera appeared in thirty-five first-team matches for Galatasaray in the 2012/13 season and scored two goals. His club retained its domestic championship giving the Spaniard successive winners' medals in the Turkish Süper Lig.
The 31-year-old was released by Galatasaray in January 2014 and joined Watford for the rest of the Championship 2013/14 season. He has an agreement to join Italian side Udinese in the summer. Udinese as well as Watford are owned by the Pozzo family from Italy. Riera made eight league appearances for Watford towards the end of the 2013/14 season scoring once (against Ipswich Town in April) but being sent off at Charlton towards the end of the month which meant that he was suspended for the last match of the season against Huddersfield Town in early-May.
Towards the end of November 2014 ... and before he had even made a single league appearance for Udinese ... the Italian club sacked the 32-year-old Spaniard, apparently for attending a poker tournament instead of reporting to play for the club he was under contract to. The following March he returned to his first club Real Mallorca, signing a deal until the end of 2015/16 but after six games he was released from this and joined Slovenian side NK Zavrc in September 2015, where he scored once in twelve appearances before joining Fc Koper, allso of Slovenia in January. After one game there he didnt feature again all season
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|2||West Ham United|
|1||Preston North End|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||Preston North End|
I've been here two years and I know how he [Benítez] is. He has never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him. He thinks he's in charge and everything else falls on deaf ears. His dialogue with the players is practically nil. I would like to spend my whole career here [at Liverpool], but we players live to play. My aim is to go to the World Cup and for this I have to be playing. When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal. If I'm doing something badly and you are my boss, and you value me, then you are going to come and tell me what I have to do to play again. This is what hurts me. You see that the team are not doing well and there are no changes. It's a little frustrating because you see that you can help.
Albert Riera seals his exit from Liverpool Football Club in March 2010. Benítez rang Riera's agent, with news of a two weeks suspension, as soon as he heard of the interview on Radio Marca and verified it had taken place.
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Real Mallorca||2000-2001||Spain 1||3||1||3||1|
|Real Mallorca||2001-2002||Spain 1||8||1||8||1|
|Real Mallorca||2002-2003||Spain 1||35||4||36||5|
|Manchester City||2005-2006||England Premier League||15||1||19||1|
|NK Zavrc||2015-2016||Slovenia 1||12||1||12||1|
|FC Koper||2015-2016||Slovenia 1||1||0||1||0|