In a fascinating autobiography which is due to be released this week, Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina has admitted that he almost walked away from the club on an incredible three occasions. Supporters of the club are likely to admire their stopper even more after hearing the turbulent times he has been through in his Liverpool career.
Reina first thought about quitting English football just a year after Rafael Benitez had signed him. The Spanish international was beginning to lose faith in his own abilities after a string of unconvincing performances, including a 3-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Everton. He received full support from Benitez at the time and eventually turned his form around.
Reina remained happy for the next few years and became one of the Reds’ most consistent performers, but it was not long before he would once again consider leaving. Only months after signing a new long-term contract in 2010, the Spaniard was extremely unhappy with the direction in which the club was going. Arsenal put a concrete £20m offer on the table. Reina considered the deal seriously but Liverpool rejected that proposal and forced the keeper to stay.
The former Barcelona and Villarreal player revealed: “Liverpool were not willing to do business. This was not because I had been told that I was too good a keeper to leave or that, as a senior player, the club could not afford to let me go no matter how big the financial offer. The reason I was given was quite different – and it left me feeling down. I was told that my continued presence at the club, along with some of my teammates, was crucial to the sale of the club. I was simply a bargaining chip in the sales process. The same was true for Fernando Torres. They wanted to keep us to sell the club.”
Unsurprisingly, Reina considered his future once again at the end of 2010. By then, he was incredibly upset and at a real low point following the Reds’ disastrous start to the season. On this occasion, it was his wife that begged him to stay on Merseyside. “We have met lots of good people since we came to the city, people who have shown us great kindness and who will be our friends forever. Our life is so good compared to when we first arrived in Liverpool. She was desperate for us not to walk away and leave all that behind,” said Reina. Liverpool fans will undoubtedly be thankful to Reina and his family, for not walking away from Anfield.
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