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Pepe Reina

Jose Manuel Reina is one of the world's top stoppers with an uncanny knack of saving penalties.

He became the latest Spaniard to join the Rafalution in July 2005 and has already smashed a collection of Anfield records.

The bald-headed goalie ousted Jerzy Dudek as first choice despite the Pole's heroics in Istanbul just two months earlier.

Reina, who goes by the nickname Pepe, certainly had the pedigree having come through the ranks at Barcelona.

Having helped lead his country to European Under-16 Championships glory, he made his Nou Camp debut aged just 18.

The charismatic 'keeper played 33 games for the Catalan giants in 2000-01, including two against Liverpool in the UEFA Cup semi-final.

He would later reveal how the reception he received from the Kop during the second leg was key in his decision to join the Reds.

Reina, who is noted for his superb distribution, played just 11 times during the 2001-02 season, prompting a loan move to Villarreal. The transfer was made permanent in May 2004.

The agile stopper helped Villarreal secure a Champions League spot in 2004-05 season, saving an incredible seven out of nine penalty kicks. It was to be his final deed for the club.

On arriving in Merseyside, the new boy was labelled "the best goalkeeper in Spain" by Rafa Benitez.

Immediately installed as top dog in the Anfield goal, his debut came in a Champions League qualifier on July 13, 2005 against TNS. A month later he won his first Spain cap in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay.

What a year it was turning out to be for the young 'keeper. And it was to get even better on December 15 when he and his teammates kept a club record 11th successive clean sheet against Deportivo Saprissa in the World Club Championships.

Reina's first season ended with an FA Cup final against West Ham, and though he made a number of errors in normal time, his habit of saving spot kicks once again made him a hero. Three out of four of West Ham's penalties were blocked and the Cup was heading to Anfield for the seventh time.

Spain coach Luis Aragones took the Liverpool man to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, though Real Madrid's Iker Casillas and Valencia's Santiago Canizares prevented him playing any part.

Back on Merseyside, Reina would soon destroy another club record. His shut out against Blackburn in April 2007 was his 28th in his first 50 league games - three more than Kop legend Ray Clemence.

But there was no time to bask in his own glory, for just around the corner laid a Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. Benitez had his man between the sticks to thank when the Reds returned from the first leg at Stamford Bridge with just a one-goal deficit. The tie ultimately went to penalties, and it was no surprise when Liverpool prevailed. It was later revealed that while Reina was thwarting Arjen Robben and Geremi, thieves were ransacking his home.

Three weeks later in Athens he became only the third player to follow in his father's footsteps by appearing in a European Cup final. Unfortunately, like former Atletico Madrid stopper Miguel Reina Santos, he was on the losing side.

In June 2007, Reina signed a new deal five-year deal at Liverpool.

The season that followed ended without a trophy for the Reds, though our custodian had the personal honour of winning the Golden Glove award for most clean sheets in the Premier League for the third successive year.

Not that this was enough to earn him the No.1 jersey for his country in Euro 2008. Reina featured just once as Spain won their first major honour since 1964 - though the sight of him celebrating each and every goal illustrated his importance to the squad.

Jose Manuel Reina is one of the world's top stoppers with an uncanny knack of saving penalties.

He became the latest Spaniard to join the Rafalution in July 2005 and has already smashed a collection of Anfield records.

The bald-headed goalie ousted Jerzy Dudek as first choice despite the Pole's heroics in Istanbul just two months earlier.

Reina, who goes by the nickname Pepe, certainly had the pedigree having come through the ranks at Barcelona.

Having helped lead his country to European Under-16 Championships glory, he made his Nou Camp debut aged just 18.

The charismatic 'keeper played 33 games for the Catalan giants in 2000-01, including two against Liverpool in the UEFA Cup semi-final.

He would later reveal how the reception he received from the Kop during the second leg was key in his decision to join the Reds.

Reina, who is noted for his superb distribution, played just 11 times during the 2001-02 season, prompting a loan move t

Jose Manuel Reina is one of the world's top stoppers with an uncanny knack of saving penalties.

He became the latest Spaniard to join the Rafalution in July 2005 and has already smashed a collection of Anfield records.

The bald-headed goalie ousted Jerzy Dudek as first choice despite the Pole's heroics in Istanbul just two months earlier.

Reina, who goes by the nickname Pepe, certainly had the pedigree having come through the ranks at Barcelona.

Having helped lead his country to European Under-16 Championships glory, he made his Nou Camp debut aged just 18.

The charismatic 'keeper played 33 games for the Catalan giants in 2000-01, including two against Liverpool in the UEFA Cup semi-final.

He would later reveal how the reception he received from the Kop during the second leg was key in his decision to join the Reds.

Reina, who is noted for his superb distribution, played just 11 times during the 2001-02 season, prompting a loan move t



Player
Jose Reina
Date of Birth
31/08/1982
Place of Birth
Madrid, Spain
Signed
July 4th 2005
Cost
£6M
Signed From
Villareal
Other Teams
Barcelona
International Side
Spain
Height
6'4
Position
Goalkeeper
Squad No.
25
Debut
Vs TNS 13 July 2005

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