Pepe Reina: “No other country has Spain’s quality of players”
Wednesday 09 November 2011
Pepe Reina believes other countries trying to copy the Spanish system of playing are wasting their time because nobody has the quality of players Spain has at the moment. The Liverpool goalkeeper has been selected in Vicente del Bosque’s squad for the friendlies with England and Costa Rica and will be hoping to play some part at Wembley this weekend.
However, despite establishing himself in the English Premier League the 29-year-old has made just 23 appearances for his country since his debut in a friendly with Uruguay in August, 2005, and has had to play second fiddle to Iker Casillas for most of that time.
Nonetheless, Reina has always accepted his role with the national team and explained there were particular reasons Spain play the way they do: “We have found a generation of great players around the same age,” he explained. “These players know how to win because they have already won their domestic leagues. It is not always possible to play our way. It depends on the player and the team and also on the philosophy you have. But not everyone can play as we do because no one has the quality of players we have.”
Spain’s style is greatly influenced by the way Barcelona play, with Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta pulling the strings in the heart of the midfield, and as current holders of both the World Cup and European Championship will be the team to beat in Euro 2012.
“To be European and World champions with my national team is a dream come true,” said Reina, who played once in Euro 2008 and failed to make an appearance at the South African World Cup in 2010.
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