Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard's former Liverpool teammate plans to follow in coaching footsteps

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso have both won league titles already -Credit:(Photo by Jan Kruger/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is eyeing a move into coaching when he brings the curtain down on his playing career. Reina, now 41, is back at Villarreal but has largely been used in cup competitions this season.

His contract is up this summer but he is hopeful of continuing his lengthy career next term. The Spaniard has then set his sights on following in the footsteps of former Liverpool teammates Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard.

Alonso is one of the leading young coaches in world football right now, with his Bayer Leverkusen side on the brink of an incredible unbeaten campaign in all competitions. He was heavily linked with the Anfield job after Jürgen Klopp announced his plans to step down.

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Gerrard meanwhile is with Saudi side Al-Ettifaq, having already managed in the Premier League and won the Scottish title with Rangers. On his plans after retirement, Reina told La Liga World: "I want to be a coach. As if 35 years were not enough, I want to continue coaching for another 30 years. I am passionate about it; I like it a lot and I want to prepare well to try it out.

“I’m sure I’ll be one of those coaches who protest a lot, who step onto the pitch. For me the most important thing is being able to manage the group well on a human level. You have to communicate well, get your message through, and believe in yourself.

"When it comes to tactical aspects, I think that players today are more prepared and have an easier time understanding things, but believing in the message seems very important to me.”

Reina joined Liverpool aged just 23 in 2005, following the Champions League final victory over AC Milan. He went on to make almost 400 appearances for the club over eight seasons but admits he did initially struggle to adapt.

He added: "I spent two weeks looking at my wife and saying, 'What is this?' We came from somewhere where the average temperature was 25 degrees but there, in July, it rained non-stop for two weeks. I was aghast. I didn't expect it and it was difficult to adapt to all that.

"It was difficult because I was still a kid; I was 23 years old. In the end, though, though it can be difficult to adapt, you adapt to everything when you are doing well, when you are happy, when you are comfortable and when you are valued.

"It was the most important time of my career, when I performed at my best, where I felt at my best at a collective level. I spent eight wonderful years at Liverpool." says: There is no reason why Reina cannot have a lengthy career in coaching, when he decides to call it a day. For now, he appears set on continuing his playing days for as long as possible and who can blame him. He will go down as one of Liverpool's best ever goalkeepers.

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