Liverpool goalkeeper Reina plays down move to ‘great club’ Barcelona

The Spanish shot-stopper has been linked with a move to the Liga outfit as a replacement for Victor Valdes, but insists he is happy at Anfield despite an indifferent season

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has played down speculation linking him with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona.

Reina has been in indifferent form for the Reds this campaign and has been linked with a return to Spain, especially given Victor Valdes’ decision to see out his contract with the Catalan club and leave next summer.

However, speaking at the presentation of the film Invictus, in which he stars, Reina said: “[A move to Barcelona] is not in my hands and the rumour mongering is part of that.

“They’re such a great club, but I’m happy at Liverpool”

Asked about the future of Spain team-mate Valdes, Reina added: “He’s a friend, I’m going to respect him in everything that he decides. He will have his reasons. He’s not told me anything”

Reina is one of several national team stars to feature in the short film directed by Javier Fesser and is the first Spanish professional footballer to act in a leading role.

The 30-year-old missed Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton as he continues his rehab from an ongoing calf problem, but urged the club’s fans to stick with the team when things aren’t going well on the pitch.

“Here, if things are going well or badly, if you give 100% the fans admire you, respect you and love you,” the Spaniard told El Mundo.

“It’s important that a team is great, but even more that the fans keep believing in the players when things aren’t going so well.”

Spain face Finland on Friday and France next Tuesday in two important World Cup qualifying fixtures, and Reina emphasised the honour that he feels when picked for the national side.

“Everything indicates that I will play, but I won’t change my attitude because Iker [Casillas] isn’t here,” he said. “I’m always excited and prepared.

“Not everybody that is called up is lucky enough to play. Only 11 play, but being called up by your country is an honour.”

When asked about the current form of Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez, who was snapped up by Jose Mourinho from Villarreal in January following first-choice goalkeeper Casillas’ hand injury, Reina was full of praise for the 31-year-old Spaniard.

“Diego [Lopez] is playing so well; he has been decisive in many games and he is a Real Madrid-quality goalkeeper, without doubt,” he said.

“But in the national team it is the manager that makes the decisions.”

Reina also spoke about his personal side, insisting that he wants people to value him as a sportsman, and not just for an exuberant personality.

“I’m not the showman. I’m an extrovert and joyful, and I have been lucky enough to be able to celebrate three great titles,” he continued.

“I have been one of the most dedicated, but I am one of La Roja’s goalkeepers, not the showman.

“It’s not something that I prepare; I’m like that and whoever knows me knows that. But at the same time I don’t want people to prefer the funny Pepe Reina.

“I want them to value me as a sportsman.”

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