Barcelona beckons as Liverpool star prepares for exit

Spain goalkeeper Jose Reina confirms he wants move to the Nou Camp

As Jose Reina confirmed that he wants to quit Liverpool for Barcelona at the end of the season, there will be plenty of Reds fans sorry to see the goalkeeper preparing to leave.

Reina is widely regarded is one of the finest goalkeepers in Liverpool’s history.

After signing for the Reds in the summer of 2005, he went on to make more than 300 appearances, winning the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and European Super Cup.

During his prime, he was arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, if not Europe; a fine shot-stopper, calm, reliable, strong in the air and a reassuring presence in the defence.

His finest moment came in the 2007 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea at Anfield, when he saved from Geremi and Arjen Robben in a tense penalty shoot-out, as Liverpool marched to their second final in the space of two years.

A year previously, Reina’s miraculous save from Marlon Harewood in extra-time allowed Liverpool to edge out West Ham United to win the FA Cup.

However, after going out on loan to Napoli, Reina is now odds-on to be the man to replace the outgoing Victor Valdes in the Nou Camp.

He told El Mundo Deportivo: “I would love to return to Barcelona. To play at Barca is a privilege. But I imagine that my name is on a list with others.

“Barca is a top club and Victor Valdes’ departure will have alerted other candidates so a return will be very difficult.

“Right now I'm not thinking about it. I was fortunate to play there once and I consider myself privileged to have done that.

“The important thing is that I continue to do well at Napoli.”

Reina’s form may have dipped in his latter months at Anfield, but there still remains the feeling that Liverpool may have to wait a long while before they uncover another goalkeeper of his calibre. Simon Mignolet has made a strong start to the season – Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that in the former Sunderland man, he has merely traded up.

But Reina will forever retain a place in the hearts of Liverpool fans, and it will be a sad day when he does finally depart.

image: © Eric The Fish (2013)

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