Pepe Reina clarifies his words over Liverpool exit - insisting he is 'very grateful' to club
Reina joined Napoli on-loan and expressed his disappointment over how the move transpired but he has admitted he is not angry with Liverpool
Pepe Reina has insisted he is not angry with Liverpool after he was loaned out to Napoli, despite writing an open letter confirming his disappointment at the manner in which the deal happened.
Reina released an open letter to fans of the club on his official website on Monday, expressing his regret that he had been sent on-loan to the Italian’s without being consulted about the deal.
Liverpool signed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland for £9m, with the Belgian goalkeeper expected to be the Red's new number one which would have left Reina with a place on the bench.
But in an interview with Italian radio show El Larguero, he spoke to clarify his words an express his gratitude to the club he spent eight season with.
"I'm not angry with Liverpool - quite the opposite. I am very grateful to them for everything they have given me," he said.
"My departure was different to what I expected, but I will always be grateful to them.
"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.
"I'll remember the friends I made in and outside the dressing room. Trophies stay in the cabinet gathering dust, but friends are for life."
Reina described how the deal went forward, claiming that Liverpool agreed the move to Naples before telling the goalkeeper, but he admitted he didn’t turn down the loan move due to the impact that working with Rafa Benitez once again would have.
"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," he said.
"Rafael Benitez is the best coach I have had. 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."
Napoli are an emerging force on the European stage having finished second in Seria A last season, and despite selling striker Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for £55m, they have raided Real Madrid to bring in Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon.
30-year-old Reina won the 2006 FA Cup and 2012 League Cup with Liverpool, but is now looking forward to challenging for league titles and battling with Europe's elite.
"We are building a great squad and we hope to be able to compete at the highest level," he said. "I also want to fight to win Serie A and return to the Champions League. You miss these things and this year I'm going to experience them again."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture