Ranking Pepe Reina's Top 5 Moments as a Liverpool Player
Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to bring to an end his eight years at Liverpool by signing for Bayern Munich, as per reports in the media over the past few days.
"Reina had little chance of regaining favour with the Liverpool manager and did not feature at all on the club’s recent pre-season tour of the United States," writes Andy Hunter in The Guardian.
Reina arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2005, shortly after Jerzy Dudek's penalty heroics had won Liverpool the Champions League in Istanbul. Rafa Benitez had no room for sentiment and knew he needed a reliable shot-stopper—something he certainly got in signing Reina from Villarreal.
The Spaniard became a mainstay of the starting XI, making 396 appearances in total. Alongside Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres, he became one of the key members of the squad and the strong spine of the side assembled under Benitez.
However, his current wages do not fall in line with his place in the squad, and Reina's departure has become inevitable.
Here are his top five moments as a Liverpool player.
5. Golden Gloves
Signed in 2005, Reina won the Premier League Golden Glove—awarded to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in a season—in each of his first three campaigns (shared in 2007/08).
He provided consistency, leadership and passion between the sticks at Anfield—playing all 38 Premier League games in four consecutive seasons.
He also achieved 50 clean sheets in the fewest number of league matches (92), beating the previous record held by Ray Clemence by three.
4. Double Save in Derby, 2009
3. Champions League Semi-Final 2007
Having made a crucial save from Didier Drogba during the match, Reina went on to save penalties from Arjen Robben and Geremi in the shootout.
Dirk Kuyt dispatched the winning spot-kick to give Benitez's side the victory over Jose Mourinho's men, sending them to the final in Athens.
2. FA Cup Final 2006
A year after arriving at the club with a reputation as a penalty expert, Reina confirmed as much in dramatic fashion, wining his first trophy as a Liverpool player in the FA Cup final in Cardiff against West Ham.
In an interview with the official LFC magazine in 2012, Reina said the save from Nigel Reo-Coker in the last minute was the best save he'd ever made.
He then went on to save three penalties in the shootout—including Anton Ferdinand's effort, which gave the Reds their seventh FA Cup success.
1. Celebrating David Ngog's Goal Against Man United
When David Ngog slotted the ball past Edwin van der Sar in the 96th minute of the match against Manchester United at Anfield in October 2009, the first person to congratulate the French forward was goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Reina's enthusiastic and passionate goal celebrations had become a trademark at this time, but the speed of his run in order to celebrate with Ngog in front of the Kop took everyone by surprise. It sums up his character perfectly.
Thanks for the memories, Pepe.