Football is not a gentleman’s game but a young man’s game and Pepe Reina was an awesome goalkeeper during his prime days, 33, can be considered long past his prime days. But those were some really memorable and remarkable days. He followed in the footsteps of his father Miguel Reina to become one of the best football players for Spain. Goalkeepers are rarely given their fair share of appreciation in history and the same can be said about Pepe Reina who has worked effortlessly to stop the shots. Credit is due to this talented goalkeeper who has been manning the goalpost since the year 2000 when he made his La Liga debut in 2000-01 season with the Barcelona youth team.
Known for his distribution, excellent ball handling, fierce shot-stopping, magnetic leadership qualities, and ability to save penalties, Reina has also been a sweeper keeper on various occasions in his career, as he rushes off the line with tremendous speed and agility. Pepe has set a goalkeeping record for clean sheets in his initial three seasons with Liverpool and received the Premier League Golden Glove award for the same. The experienced goalkeeper also holds the record for maximum number of appearances by a Spanish Player, in the Premier league, when in just five seasons he made 200 appearances. He also tried to keep his 100th appearance a clean sheet and succeeded in achieving the goal (pun intended). Pepe also became the first goalkeeper to play in the big four leagues of Spain, England, Italy and Germany and this record is very tough to beat as only a player who can adapt to different teams and coaches can achieve such a feat.
Pepe Reina was an awesome goalkeeper during his prime days
In his own words, Pepe Reina believes that he has achieved more success in international football than in his domestic career and the statistics support his claim. He made his debut with the Spanish national team in 2005 and has been part of major leagues like 2008 and 2012 European Championship, and 2010 FIFA World Cup. In his debut match against Uruguay, Reina kept a clean-sheet, showcasing his ability. Pepe had a successful stint with the Spanish National Team when he was part of the squad that went for 2006 FIFA World Cup, though he did not play, but later he managed to break the record for longest time spent without conceding a goal at 710 minutes in October 2008. He was also part of the Spanish squad when it registered its 15th consecutive win hence creating history.
Pepe has been part of prestigious clubs starting off young with Barcelona, then Villarreal, Liverpool and more recently Napoli. But it seems some misfortune was mixed with his illustrious 16 year career when he was playing as second-choice goalkeeper, first choice being Iker Casillas in the Spanish National team. However he played with the Spanish team when it won its first ever world cup in 2010 and again when the team won the European Championship of 2012.He also played in the 2014 world cup.
Pepe Reina in his prime was an example of supreme devotion and dedication to game of football. His agility, keenness stop the ball at any cost, makes him a role model for future goal keepers. Every goal cannot be stopped but every goal saved is an advantage to the team. A goalkeeper has way more responsibility than other team members and his contribution is highly important. Pepe realizes this responsibility and it shows in his attitude towards the game. Though having full concentration in the game, once the team wins, Pepe is known to celebrate freely and pleases the crowd with his ceremonies.
Achieving the fame and respect that Pepe Reina has achieved is a remarkable feat and the underrated goalkeeper must be saluted for his awesomeness on and off the field!