Former Liverpool winger speaks out about Benitez rift

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It’s easy to forget how good Albert Riera was for us for a while.

He was unheralded when he first arrived at the club – lots of fans wanted a bigger, sexier name – but he played a vital role in our title charge of 2009, and quickly won over sceptical supporters.

He has been speaking about his decision to leave the club, laying a lot of the blame at the feet of the media.

Back in March 2010 he slammed Rafa on a Spanish radio show, saying “His dialogue with the players is practically nil” and that there “must be something personal about my absence from the team.”

Now, however, he has backtracked.

“I was frustrated when I was not included in the Spain squad for the World Cup in 2010 because I hadn’t had a lot of playing time in the Premier League for like two months.

“So (journalists) put some words in my mouth saying that the person who was responsible for me not being included in the Spain squad was Rafa.

“After that I did another interview and said that I have to be my first critic. But the media was not interested anymore.

“I have a normal relationship with Rafa. I meet him from time to time like at Pepe Reina’s wedding, or some family parties.”

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Riera – who is now 34 and playing for FC Koper in Slovenia – scored five goals in 56 games for us.

“Liverpool is the best club I have played at, their history, their fans, but in Galatasaray I felt more important as a player and I won titles there,” he concluded. (via Echo)

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