The official website for European football

Reina out to impress his biggest fan

Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 21.43CET
Miguel Reina, who kept goal for Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1974 European Cup final, will look on nervously when his son Pepe takes to the field at the Vicente Calderón wearing Liverpool FC colours on Wednesday.
by Paul Bryan
from Madrid
Reina out to impress his biggest fan
Pepe Reina, pictured during Liverpool's Group D victory against PSV ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AtléticoLiverpool

Goals scored11
 
21
Attempts on target33
 
56
Attempts off target33
 
51
Corners31
 
50
Offsides15
 
31
Fouls committed127
 
175
Yellow cards17
 
17
Red cards0
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 21.43CET

Reina out to impress his biggest fan

Miguel Reina, who kept goal for Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1974 European Cup final, will look on nervously when his son Pepe takes to the field at the Vicente Calderón wearing Liverpool FC colours on Wednesday.

Miguel Reina will look on nervously when his son Pepe takes to the field at the Vicente Calderón for Liverpool FC's Group D summit meeting with Club Atlético de Madrid.

Feeling at home
Reina Sr was the goalkeeper of the Atlético team that reached the 1974 European Champion Clubs' Cup final, but although he has seen it all before as a player, watching his son follow in his famous footsteps from the stands is normally too much to bear. "It's not usual for him to come to games as he gets very nervous and it's better for his health if he stays at home," said the Liverpool custodian. "But this place [Atlético] feels like home to him and as it's not too far from where he lives, it's great that he is going to be here. He was a goalkeeper so he knows exactly the kind of things I am going through during a game."

Fighting spirit
Liverpool have become the comeback kings in a season where they remain unbeaten in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, yet if dramatic fightbacks are seemingly good for team morale, Reina would rather his side took the initiative early on. "The comebacks have been good for us as they show the character of the team and prove there is a good spirit there," said the 26-year-old Spanish international. "We still have to improve, particularly in the opening periods, but we have already turned five games around having been behind and maybe that's the difference between this and last term."

Spanish connections
Although Liverpool are widely followed in Spain because of their obvious links with the country, Reina expects no favours from the hosts in a contest that could yet determine Group D supremacy. "We know there is a lot of backing for Liverpool in this country as there are several Spanish players playing for us, but Atlético's fans are obviously going to support their own team," he said. "This is a big test for us at a big club who are doing the right things in the UEFA Champions League, and if we can win here we'll have done a huge part of our job. I would settle right now for Atlético and Liverpool to go through to the next round, and that we meet in the final."

Tough debut
While Reina has become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side, the same cannot be said of Ignacio Camacho – the 18-year-old Atlético midfielder who is expected to make his UEFA Champions League debut against Rafael Benítez's men on Wednesday. "I played several games last year and I'm used to being here now," said the Spanish youth international. "It's a proud moment for us to face Liverpool. They have fantastic players but you don't think about those things when you are facing your opponents on the pitch. We're going to have a real go in this match."

Last updated: 22/10/08 17.06CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302727/prematch/focus/index.html#reina+impress+biggest

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.