The goalkeeper has now denied suggestions the Reds effectively forced him out of Anfield, and expressed happiness at linking up with Rafael Benitez again
Pepe Reina has backtracked on claims Liverpool accepted a loan offer from Napoli without his consent, now insisting he holds no ill feeling over the move.
The goalkeeper posted an open letter on his personal website earlier in the week that alleged the Anfield outfit had made arrangements to send him to Italy for the upcoming campaign without discussing matters with him first.
However, Reina has now moved to clarify his position, maintaining that whilst he believes the situation was not dealt with in an ideal way, he is, in fact, delighted to be linking up with Rafael Benitez again.
“I’m not angry with Liverpool – quite the opposite. I am very grateful to them for everything they have given me,” he told Spanish radio programme El Larguero on Wednesday.
“My departure was different to what I expected, but I will always be grateful to them.
“The signing wasn’t sealed, because you can’t do that without the consent of the player, but it was at an advanced stage and I didn’t know about it.
“This is the nature of football – when you are loved by a team, you really feel it, but when you go through bad moments, you are treated differently. In the end I will remember the love I felt from the fans for so many years.
“My time in England is where I have felt truly like a footballer and I have put my name among the best players. I’m very proud to have played almost 400 games with Liverpool.”
Reina went on to note that the presence of former Liverpool manager Benitez at the helm of Napoli has made his unanticipated switch to southern Italy more palatable.
“Rafael Benitez is the best coach I have had,” the Spain international enthused. “I don’t know if I’d have joined Napoli without him being there.
“There are many positive things about the city of Napoli and they have a fervent support, like Liverpool’s, but Benitez being there made it much easier for me to sign.”
Reina came through the youth ranks at Barcelona before moving to Villarreal in 2002 and then on to Anfield three years later.