Albert Riera

Spanish retired footballer
Albert Riera
1 albert riera 2017.jpg
Riera playing a friendly with Liverpool in 2017
Personal information
Full name Albert Riera Ortega[1]
Date of birth (1982-04-15) 15 April 1982 (age 40)[2]
Place of birth Manacor, Spain[2]
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Position(s) Winger, left-back
Club information
Current team
Olimpija Ljubljana (manager)
Youth career
1999–2000 Mallorca
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2002 Mallorca B 54 (12)
2001–2003 Mallorca 46 (6)
2003–2005 Bordeaux 53 (4)
2005–2008 Espanyol 72 (8)
2006Manchester City (loan) 15 (1)
2008–2010 Liverpool 40 (3)
2010–2011 Olympiacos 26 (6)
2011–2014 Galatasaray 60 (3)
2014 Watford 8 (1)
2014 Udinese 0 (0)
2015 Mallorca 6 (0)
2015 Zavrč 12 (1)
2016 Koper 1 (0)
Total 393 (45)
National team
2000–2001 Spain U18 11 (0)
2002–2003 Spain U21 15 (2)
2007–2009 Spain 16 (4)
Teams managed
2020–2021 Galatasaray (assistant)
2022 Galatasaray (assistant)
2022– Olimpija Ljubljana
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Albert Riera Ortega (born 15 April 1982) is a Spanish former footballer who played as left winger but also as a left-back, currently manager of Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana.

He made a name for himself at Espanyol (with whom he won a Copa del Rey and reached the 2007 UEFA Cup Final) and also played professionally in France, England, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Slovenia, notably spending three years with Galatasaray.

Riera won 16 caps for Spain, representing the nation at the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Club career

Mallorca

Born in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Riera started his professional career with hometown club Mallorca. He could only total 11 La Liga appearances in his first two seasons.

In the 2002–03 campaign, already an undisputed starter, Riera helped the local team to the conquest of the Copa del Rey,[3] and scored four league goals in 35 games.[4]

Bordeaux

In the summer of 2003, Riera moved to Bordeaux.[5] He made 66 competitive appearances for the Ligue 1 side over a two-year spell, netting nine times.[6]

Espanyol

Riera returned to Spain in 2005, when he signed for Espanyol.[7] In his first season he played only eight league matches, prompting a January 2006 loan move to Manchester City[8] where he was also unable to establish himself, scoring his only goal against Newcastle United in a 3–0 home win on 1 February.[9]

Riera returned to Catalonia prior to 2006–07. During that season, Espanyol reached the final of the UEFA Cup at Hampden Park, Glasgow, where they played fellow Spaniards Sevilla; he scored to level the game at 1–1, but his team eventually lost 3–1 on penalties.[10] At the end of the campaign, he extended his contract until 2011.[11]

Liverpool

Riera (left) in action for Liverpool

On 1 September 2008 (transfer deadline day), Riera signed a four-year deal with Liverpool for a fee of £8 million, being given the number 11 shirt.[4] He made his Premier League debut on the 13th, playing 71 minutes of a 2–1 home win against Manchester United,[12] and scored his first goal for the Reds as they beat Wigan Athletic 3–2 on 18 October,[13] adding another in the 3–1 victory at PSV Eindhoven in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.[14]

Riera netted Liverpool's first goal of 2009, and also scored in the third round in the FA Cup on 3 January, against Preston North End.[15] Later during that season he scored against Aston Villa in a 5–0 home rout on 22 March 2009, through a half-volley after Pepe Reina's long goal kick.[16]

On 18 March 2010, Riera was suspended after comments made to the Spanish press regarding his first team opportunities and the approach of manager Rafael Benítez. The player was quoted as saying: "He's never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him."[17] He was transfer listed following the comments, with Russian clubs CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow thought to be interested in a permanent move.[18] On the 23rd of that month it was announced that Liverpool had accepted a £6 million bid from CSKA for the player;[19] however, it appeared to be solely rumours, any interest was officially denied[20]– additionally, the player's agent, Ángel Castells, confirmed that only Spartak had made a proposal.[21]

Olympiacos

On 23 July 2010, Riera joined Olympiacos on a four-year contract.[22] The deal was reported to be worth around 6 million (€4 million plus another potential €2 million in bonuses), with a salary of around €2.5 million per season; he became one of the most expensive transfers in the country's history, as he reunited with former Espanyol manager Ernesto Valverde.[23]

Riera scored his first goal against Kerkyra in a 2–0 home win,[24][25] and appeared in 28 competitive matches during the season as the Piraeus team won the Super League Greece.[26]

Galatasaray

Riera playing for Galatasaray against Ankaragücü (2012)

On 3 September 2011, Riera completed a €3 million move to Turkish side Galatasaray, signing a four-year deal.[27] He scored his first goal in the Süper Lig on 25 January 2012 in a 4–0 home defeat of Ankaragücü, and was an habitual first-choice in his first season as the Istanbul-based team won the national championship; he was also involved, however, in a punching session with teammate Felipe Melo just before the playoffs started.[28]

Following the arrival of prospect Nordin Amrabat for the 2012–13 campaign, Riera was reconverted by manager Fatih Terim into an attacking left-back, mainly due to the lack of options in the position other than injury-prone Hakan Balta.[29] On 28 January 2014, he agreed to have his contract terminated for €750,000 and left the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.[30]

Watford

On 24 March 2014, Riera signed a pre-contract with Italian side Udinese, effective as of 1 July.[31] Three days later, he joined Football League Championship's Watford until the end of the season.[32]

Riera scored his first and only goal for Watford on 19 April 2014, in the 3–1 home win over Ipswich Town.[33] He had an extended run until late in the month, when he was sent off for two bookable offences in a 3–1 loss at Charlton Athletic after a high challenge on Diego Poyet.[34] After the match, he was charged by The Football Association for improper conduct, having confronted the officials and having to be dragged away by his team-mates;[35] he was given a two-match ban although only one remained to end the campaign,[36] and he subsequently returned to Udinese.[37]

Later career

On 29 November 2014, Riera was sacked by Udinese for attending a poker tournament rather than reporting to play against Chievo,[38][39] also taking to Twitter to insult the organisation.[40] He returned to his first club Mallorca the following 5 March, after agreeing to a one-and-a-half year deal.[41] In May, he was subjected to disciplinary proceedings after claiming he would not appear again for the team as long as Miquel Soler was the manager.[42]

On 11 September 2015, Slovenian sports newspaper Ekipa reported that Riera would sign a contract with Zavrč.[43] Three days later, he was officially presented.[44]

Riera terminated his contract on 22 January 2016,[45] but remained in the country as he joined Koper until June 2018 shortly after.[46] He was released in July 2016.[47]

Coaching

Riera officially announced his retirement from football on 24 January 2018, through a social media post portraying himself having literally hung up his boots on a tree.[48] In January 2022, he returned to Galatasaray as assistant to his compatriot Domènec Torrent.[49]

On 4 July 2022, Riera returned to the Slovenian top tier when he was appointed manager of Olimpija Ljubljana.[50] He was forced out of his first press conference by Olimpija ultras, Green Dragons, unhappy with the dismissal of predecessor Robert Prosinečki.[51] He made his debut three days later at home to Differdange in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, drawing 1–1,[52] and requiring extra time in the second leg to advance through the tie.[53] His team began the league season on 14 July with a 2–0 home win over Mura,[54] followed by a further seven league victories to make it eight consecutive wins, which was the club's best start to a season since 1994.[55]

International career

Riera made his debut for the Spain national team on 13 October 2007 in an UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Denmark, and scored from outside the box in a 3–1 away win.[56][57] However, he failed to make the final cut for the final stages, where the nation won the tournament.[58]

Riera was again called to the squad in October 2008 for two 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after Sevilla's Diego Capel withdrew with an injury,[59] and played 12 minutes in a 3–0 victory in Estonia.[60] In the following year, on 1 April, he netted a last-minute winner in Turkey (2–1).[61]

Manager Vicente del Bosque named Riera in the squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and he made four appearances for the third-placed team.[62]

Personal life

Riera's younger brother, Sito, is also a footballer. He too represented Espanyol, but only their reserves.[63]

In 2009, Riera married Julia Koroleva, fathering three children with his Russian bride.[64] He moved to Tomsk in Siberia, where he set up a football academy.[65]

Career statistics

Club

Sources:[66][67][68]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup League cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Mallorca B 1999–2000 7 1 7 1
2000–01 31 6 31 6
2001–02 16 5 16 5
Total 54 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 54 12
Mallorca 2000–01 3 1 0 0 3 1
2001–02 8 1 3 1 3 0 14 2
2002–03 35 4 8 0 43 4
Total 46 6 11 1 0 0 3 0 60 7
Bordeaux 2003–04 32 2 2 0 10 5 44 7
2004–05 21 2 2 0 23 2
Total 53 4 4 0 0 0 10 5 67 9
Espanyol 2005–06 8 0 3 0 11 0
2006–07 28 4 1 0 2 0 13 4 44 8
2007–08 36 4 3 0 39 4
Total 72 8 4 0 2 0 16 4 94 12
Manchester City (loan) 2005–06 15 1 4 0 19 1
Liverpool 2008–09 28 3 3 1 9 1 40 5
2009–10 12 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 16 0
Total 40 3 3 1 1 0 12 1 56 5
Olympiacos 2010–11 26 6 2 0 0 0 28 6
Galatasaray 2011–12 30 1 2 0 0 0 32 1
2012–13 26 2 0 0 0 0 9 0 35 2
2013–14 4 0 4 1 0 0 5 0 13 1
Total 60 3 6 1 0 0 14 0 80 4
Watford 2013–14 8 1 8 1
Udinese 2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mallorca 2014–15 6 0 6 0
Zavrč 2015–16 12 1 2 1 14 2
Koper 2015–16 1 0 1 0
Career total 393 45 36 4 3 0 55 10 487 59

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year[69]
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain 2007 3 1
2008 4 0
2009 9 3
Total 16 4
Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Riera goal.[69]
List of international goals scored by Albert Riera
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 13 October 2007 NRGi Park, Aarhus, Denmark  Denmark 3–1 3–1 Euro 2008 qualifying
2 1 April 2009 Ali Sami Yen, Istanbul, Turkey  Turkey 2–1 2–1 2010 World Cup qualification
3 9 June 2009 Tofiq Bahramov, Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 4–0 6–0 Friendly
4 12 August 2009 Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia  North Macedonia 3–2 3–2 Friendly

Honours

Mallorca

Espanyol

Olympiacos

Galatasaray

Spain

References

  1. ^ "Acta del partido celebrado el 10 de mayo de 2015, en Palma de Mallorca" [Minutes of the match held on 10 May 2015, in Palma de Mallorca] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Albert RIERA Ortega". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b Miguelez, José (29 June 2003). "Eto'o pone Mallorca a brindar" [Eto'o has Mallorca toasting]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b Silver, Dan (29 August 2008). "10 things you need to know about new Liverpool signing Albert Riera". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Riera raring to go at Bordeaux". UEFA. 31 July 2003. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Les espagnols de la Ligue 1 [Diapo]" [The Ligue 1 Spaniards [Diapo]] (in French). Football 365. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Riera wings into Espanyol". UEFA. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  8. ^ "City tempt Riera to England". UEFA. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Man City 3–0 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  10. ^ a b Henderson, Charlie (16 May 2007). "Espanyol 2–2 Sevilla". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Riera prolonga su contrato con el Espanyol hasta el 2011" [Riera extends his contract with Espanyol until 2011]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 23 August 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  12. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (13 September 2008). "Liverpool 2–1 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. ^ Barder, Russell (18 October 2008). "Liverpool 3–2 Wigan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
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  25. ^ "Ολυμπιακός – Κέρκυρα 2–0 (vids)" [Ολυμπιακός – Κέρκυρα 2–0 (videos)] (in Greek). Contra. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
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  27. ^ "Es oficial: El Galatasaray ficha a Albert Riera" [It's official: Galatasaray sign Albert Riera] (in Spanish). Goal. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Melo-Riera brawl overshadows last week in the Super League". Hürriyet Daily News. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  29. ^ García-Ochoa, Juan Ignacio (29 March 2013). ""Galatasaray fans win games"". Marca. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
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  31. ^ "Primo tassello per la prossima stagione: ha firmato Albert Riera Ortega" [First piece for next season: Albert Riera Ortega has signed] (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
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  33. ^ "Watford 3–1 Ipswich". BBC Sport. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Match report: Charlton Athletic 3–1 Watford". Watford F.C. 29 April 2014. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  35. ^ "Watford winger Albert Riera faces FA misconduct charge over reaction to red card". Sky Sports. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  36. ^ "Watford's Albert Riera handed additional one-match ban by the FA for his conduct following his red card against Charlton Athletic". Watford Observer. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  37. ^ "Official: Released players confirmed". Watford F.C. 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  38. ^ "Udinese, Albert Riera, il calciatore dimenticato che vince a poker" [Udinese, Albert Riera, the forgotten player who wins at poker]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 24 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  39. ^ Patterson, Mark (30 November 2014). "Ex-Liverpool man Albert Riera sacked by Udinese after missing game to play poker". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  40. ^ Mazza, Giuseppe (29 November 2014). "Udinese – Riera cacciato via: insultava la squadra su Twitter e giocava a poker durante le partite" [Udinese – Riera gets the boot: insulting squad on Twitter and playing poker during match]. Calcio Web. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  41. ^ "Riera vuelve a casa" [Riera returns home] (in Spanish). RCD Mallorca. 5 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  42. ^ "El Mallorca abre expediente a Riera por "grave indisciplina"" [Mallorca start disciplinary proceedings on Riera for "severe breach of discipline"]. Marca (in Spanish). 19 May 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  43. ^ "Zavrc – Koper: Senzacija! Prihaja nekdanji spanski reprezentant" [Zavrc – Koper: Surprise! Former Spanish international arrives]. Ekipa (in Slovenian). 11 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  44. ^ "Riera v dresu Zavrča" [Riera in Zavrc's jersey]. Ekipa (in Slovenian). 15 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  45. ^ S.J. (22 January 2016). "Riera sporazumno zapušča Zavrč" [Riera is leaving Zavrc after mutual contract termination] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  46. ^ Uredništvo (26 January 2016). "Rieri pogodba kar do leta 2018" [Riera signed until 2018] (in Slovenian). Nogomania. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  47. ^ Dominko, Peter (22 July 2016). "Riera ni več član Kopra" [Riera is no longer a member of Koper] (in Slovenian). SN Portal. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  48. ^ "Albert Riera se retira del fútbol: "Es hora de decir adiós"" [Albert Riera retires from football: "It's time to say goodbye"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 24 January 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  49. ^ Adrover, Sebastià (19 January 2022). "Albert Riera regresa al Galatasaray como técnico ayudante" [Albert Riera returns to Galatasaray as assistant manager]. Diario de Mallorca (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  50. ^ "Albert Riera releva a Prosinecki en el banquillo de un histórico del fútbol esloveno" [Albert Riera takes over from Prosinecki on the bench of Slovenian football giants]. Última Hora (in Spanish). 4 July 2022. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  51. ^ "Albert Riera, expulsado por los ultras en su presentación con el Olimpija de Liubliana" [Albert Riera, expelled by ultras in his presentation at Olimpija Ljubljana] (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. 4 July 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  52. ^ Plestenjak, Rok (8 July 2022). "Navijačem Olimpije prekipelo, predsednik postal osovražena oseba" [Olimpija fans were furious, the president became a hated man] (in Slovenian). Siol. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  53. ^ "Mura zanesljivo v drugi krog, Olimpija se je pred blamažo rešila v 112. minuti" [Mura are in the second round, Olimpija saved themselves from embarrassment in the 112th minute] (in Slovenian). Siol. 14 July 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  54. ^ "Riera presenečen, trener Mure: Bil je sporen položaj" [Riera surprised, Mura manager: It was a controversial position] (in Slovenian). Siol. 18 July 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  55. ^ Plestenjak, Rok (5 September 2022). "Riera žari od sreče, zgodovina opozarja Olimpijo" [Riera glows with happiness, history warns Olimpija] (in Slovenian). Siol. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  56. ^ "España sale del túnel tras su triunfo en Dinamarca (1–3)" [Spain exit tunnel after win in Denmark (1–3)]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 13 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  57. ^ Turner, Lucy (15 October 2007). "Espanyol fly flag for Spain". UEFA. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  58. ^ Fest, S. (16 June 2009). "La revancha de Riera" [Riera's revenge]. Diario de Sevilla (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  59. ^ Tylko, Ignacio (8 October 2008). "Del Bosque recurre a Riera en lugar del lesionado Capel" [Del Bosque relies on Riera in place of the injured Capel]. El Diario Montañés (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  60. ^ Morales, Roberto (12 October 2008). "España sale inmaculada de Estonia" [Spain leave Estonia unscathed]. Faro de Vigo (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  61. ^ "Riera takes the wind out of Turkey's sails". UEFA. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  62. ^ a b "Spain 3–2 South Africa (aet)". BBC Sport. 28 June 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  63. ^ "Sito Riera: "Me gustaría jugar en el Mallorca"" [Sito Riera: "I would like to play with Mallorca"] (in Spanish). Fútbol Balear. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  64. ^ "Испанский футболист Риера ради жены из Омска получает гражданство РФ" [Spanish footballer Riera receives Russian citizenship for the sake of his wife from Tomsk] (in Russian). BK 55. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  65. ^ Ortega, Ignacio (19 March 2020). "La vida de Albert Riera en Siberia" [Albert Riera's life in Siberia]. Diario de Mallorca (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  66. ^ a b "Riera". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  67. ^ "Alberto Riera". ESPN Soccernet. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  68. ^ "Albert Riera Ortega". Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  69. ^ a b "Albert Riera". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  70. ^ "El Galatasaray, campeón de la liga turca" [Galatasaray, Turkish league champions]. El País (in Spanish). 12 May 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  71. ^ "Galatasaray: 3 – Fenerbahçe: 2". Türkiye (in Turkish). 12 August 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2019.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Riera.
  • Albert Riera at BDFutbol Edit this at Wikidata
  • Albert Riera at L'Équipe Football (in French) Edit this at Wikidata
  • Albert Riera at Soccerbase Edit this at Wikidata
  • Liverpool historic profile
  • Albert Riera at National-Football-Teams.com Edit this at Wikidata
  • Albert Riera – FIFA competition record (archived) Edit this at Wikidata
  • Albert Riera – UEFA competition record (archive) Edit this at Wikidata
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