A somewhat stormy last 12 months at Anfield is close to an end for Albert Riera after Liverpool FC confirmed recent rumours and that they were in talks with Olympiakos over the sale of the player.
The deal for the 28-year-old Spaniard will cost Olympiakos £3.3m, with Liverpool due another £1.6m if the Greek club win their domestic league.
The Spaniard played no part in Wednesday night’s friendly draw with Grasshoppers as discussions over his future continue with the Greek outfit. Roy Hodgson confirmed: “Albert Riera did not play as a precaution because negotiations are ongoing with Olympiakos.”
Riera, a Spanish International, signed from Espanyol in August 2008 for a reported £8m feee and went on to score 5 goals in 56 appearances for the Reds. It was in the 2008-09 season that Riera provided his best form and showed his obvious ability to influence a game from the left flank, with Liverpool claiming second spot in the league and Riera also providing 5 league assists along the way as well as a couple of memorable goals.
The following season was the complete opposite in comparison, a lack of form and series of injuries quickly turned Riera in to a frustrated figure, desperate to enhance his claim for a place in the Spanish World Cup squad. This soured further and finally crossed the line with a training ground bust up and a side order of equally infamous comments on Spanish radio that Liverpool was a “sinking ship” under manager at the time Rafael Benitez. In a matter of days following the incident Riera was suspended for his action and transfer listed and since March 18th 2010 he has been reduced to nothing but a shadow in the background by the club.
Believed interest from both CSKA Moscow & Spartak Moscow failed to evolve in to a move away for the player. Riera went on to comment further that he was happy when Benitez departed from the club and indicated he may even be happy to stay but mutual respect between the club and the player was damaged to the highest level. With Mallorca showing interest, Juventus alleged to have tabled a bid which was rejected as too low, it seems that its Olympiakos who are the ones to remove the so called rotten apple from the cart as Liverpool clear the decks for the start of the new era and cash in on anyone that doesn’t wholeheartedly in their future plans.
The deal is projected as being able to be concluded by the close of the week and ”Unless there is a major surprise then he will be our player,” said Olympiakos coach Ewald Lienen.
“He is a great player who has proven his worth both at club level and for the Spanish national side.”
Prior to joining Liverpool, Riera had also seen Premier League experience with the now “monied” Manchester City but until little effect. It seemed for a while that Liverpool had been able to exploit the talent that City couldn’t and too great effect but in the end Riera has paid the full price for a lack of professionalism and not comprehending that your conduct must go way beyond a rating over 90 minutes on a football pitch. You can be forgiven for a poor performance but ignorance and lack of respect are a whole different ball game which don’t get forgotten the next time you pull on the shirt.
Respect is earned, it is not a right or should it be demanded. Or as they say in Greece Albert, just in case you need it…
Ο σεβασμός κερδίζεται, δεν είναι ένα δικαίωμα ή μήπως θα έπρεπε να ζητηθεί η