Albert Riera – a weird career

Albert Riera’s case as a Footballer is pretty weird. He got a break at Liverpool when nobody expected him to. He hadn’t done anything extraordinary to earn that deal, but Rafa Benitez who is known for cracking deals like these landed him at the Merseyside.

Most of the Liverpool supporters when Riera first joined in had no idea who he was. But Riera didn’t take too long to create a good fan-base for himself at Anfield. His performance as a left winger was fantastic throughout his first season as he provided ample support to the offensive line of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres which was one of the main reasons why Liverpool looked as threatening a side as they did. They could have actually gone on to lift the Premiership trophy that season, but sadly they couldn’t and finished 4 points short of the eventual champions United.
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Alvaro Morata heaps praise on Chelsea’s new signing

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has heaped praise on Mateo Kovacic after the Croatia made the switch to the west London giants. The midfielder joined the Blues on a season-long loan before the transfer deadline as part of the agreement which witnessed Thibaut Courtois head to Real Madrid on a permanent basis.

Kovacic has since joined the Blues for first-team training and speaking to the club’s official website, Morata has spoked positively about the impact the Croatian may have, he said: “Mateo, first of all, is an amazing person. He is a midfielder who is good with the ball, very technical. He can break through the lines with his quality, he can score goals and he has a lot of power in his legs. With him we will win a lot of possession and he has the ability to carry the ball into the final third and provide passes for the strikers. ‘He’s a very good player which is very important for us because we need top players.”
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FORMER STARS MOVING TO STRANGE PLACES FOR THE GAME

As players age but want to remain active in the game, many have had to move to strange obscure players where they can get the opportunity to continue to ply their trade. There have been many instances where players move to unheard or rarely heard places in football just to stay relevant.

One of the Italian stars of the 2006 World Cup winning team, Gianluca Zambrotta was one that might not be as heard of, despite his contributions. He did almost as much as Fabio Cannavaro, who would go on to win the Best Player Award and he defended like Alessandro Nesta, who received critical acclaim.
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CENTRAL UNITED SEEK ANOTHER CHATHAM CUP WIN

Central United FC are seeking to lift another Chatham Cup as they reach the last four.


They are the most decorated team of the teams in the semis but they have yet another chance to add another title. Three Auckland club remain in the knockout tournament as they battle for the crown.

Central United will face off against Bay Olympic at Kiwitea St on Saturday while Onehunga Sports will battle southern side Cashmere Technical on Sunday.

United would be seeking to get a recent title with the last lifted in 2012. They would be traveling to face the weakest of the remaining four teams. It is noteworthy that they have lost to this same Olympic side twice this year.

Central will be without former Wellington Phoenix star Albert Riera. The player is taking a break before the rest of the summer activities flow in. The team should have forwards Nicolas Zambrano and EmilainoTade available. Auckland men Angel Berlanga and Marko Dordevic should contribute defensively as well. Continue Reading

LIVERPOOL SET TO BLAZE THE TRAIL IN THE WINGS

Liverpool are set to blaze the trail in the wings when the season restarts in August.


The club has lacked top class wingers in recent years but the signing of Mohammed Salah for a club record to join an already impressive Sadio Mane is mouth-watering.

Jurgen Klopp has raised the profile of the Reds in recent years. The German tactician needs a silverware to solidify his legacy at Anfield. With the two top wingers, he stands a decent chance.

Last season was marred with inconsistency and injury crises which the team is focused on resolving. The squad still needs a top class central defender, a leftback and if possible a top striker to add. The team was very attack minded but their loopholes in defence exposed and limited them. This makes sorting it out a key dream. Continue Reading

NEWCASTLE TO SIGN A-LEAGUE COACHING LEGEND

There are reports that Newcastle Jets could sign A-League coaching legend Ernie Merrick.


The manager did the double with Melbourne Victory in 2006/07 and 2008/09. He was pushed out in 2011 as the last foundation coach. He has picked up the Coach of the Year award twice but there are fears about his recent history.

Merrick joined Wellington Phoenix in 2013 but has failed to make his mark. In his debut season the club finished ten points off a finals spot. They place ninth in the standings, 24 whole points from the winners Brisbane. They rose to the fourth spot the subsequent year but it was not still enough, considering his calibre.

Last year, Wellington finished with minus twenty goals’ difference. With only seven victories, they struggled to clinch the ninth spot. Merrick resigned after the first eight games this season.

The Jets have suffered with regards to their managerial role. After releasing Mark Jones, they are now set to bring in Merrick even though they hope for a much better fate than Wellington. Newcastle have other issues aside the coaching role as several off-field issues trouble the club. Continue Reading

RIERA DENIES BEING SACKED

Ex-Liverpool and Manchester City winger, Albert Riera denies being sacked by Serie A club, Udinese after he missed a match to play in the poker tournament in Slovenia where he won £3,000 for finishing second.


Riera’s contract with the Italian side was terminated on Thursday, but the 32-year old, who played 55 times and scored four goals in the Premier League, has insisted it was by ‘mutual consent’ and for football reasons. The Spaniard spent two years at Anfield after joining Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool from Espanyol for £8 million in 2008, having had an unsuccessful loan spell at the Ethihad two years earlier.

He signed for Udinese from Turkish giants, Galatasaray in March but has been allowed to leave following his absence.

Udinese announced Riera’s departure on Thursday on the club’s official website. Continue Reading

PHOENIX IN SEARCH FOR NEW PERMANENT COACH

The interim co-managers of Wellington Phoenix, Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham are in the running for a permanent appointment in the club.


Since taking over from Ernie Merrick, the pair recently oversaw their second game on Saturday night where the team drew with the Western Sydney Wanderers in Auckland.

The two coaches have been linked with the replacement for the Vacant coaching role, either as a pair or on an individual level. However, they would remain interim managers until next weeks’ game which will see them go against Newcastle Jets.

There are a few other options available, being touted as possible replacements for the vacant position. Mark Rudan, Luciano Trani and Chris Taylor are some of the other options for the coaching role. Ramon Tribulietx, Auckland City boss, is also touted for the vacancy.

Since his taking over in 2010, Auckland City has qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup five times and went on to win bronze in 2014. He had also nurtured the talents of Roy Krishna and Albert Riera in the ranks of the Auckland squad before their move to Phoenix. Continue Reading

Riera believes in Liverpool

Former Liverpool player Albert Riera believes that Liverpool has a big chance to win the title this season.


He said that the club is already in a good place in the Premier League after having played all the big teams. He believes that the players are improving and that they are finally learning how to play under Jurgen Klopp.

Albert Riera said that the German manager has made interesting changes to the Liverpool side and that this improvement is seen in the way the team is playing. He believes that Liverpool can become a better side than Borussia Dortmund and that they may also be successful in Europe in future seasons.

Albert Riera believes that Liverpool can benefit from the absence of European competition and focus on Premier League. This makes them one of the favorites for the title. Riera said that Jurgen Klopp could take advantage of the extra resting days to prepare his team and ensure that they are ready for the league games during the weekend.
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Riera blames the media

Former Liverpool winger Albert Riera has blamed the media for his problem with Liverpool former manager Rafael Benitez.

He accused the media of having twisted his comments and said that he never attacked Benitez in public.


At the time, there were reports that Albert Riera said that Rafael Benitez lacks interpersonal skills. He stated that the manager had never talked directly to him about his problem on the pitch and that he preferred to remain in his office. Albert Riera said at that time that Benitez was the worst manager he has worked with and that he is the main reason why he cannot play at Liverpool.

However, Albert Riera now claims that he never made such comments and that it was the media that invented everything.

He admitted that he was frustrated at that time because he was not selected in the Spanish team for the World Cup because he did not play regularly with the Liverpool team. He said that it was at that time that journalists seize the opportunity to alter his comments and to create tension between him and Rafael Benitez. He stated that he has a normal relationship with the manager and that it was the media that created all kind of rumors.
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