Pepe Reina is still going strong and saving vital penalties – to the disbelief of Premier League fans.
The goalkeeping icon, who left Liverpool at the age of 31 in 2014 following eight seasons at the club, rejoined Villarreal last season after spells with Bayern Munich, Napoli, AC Milan, Aston Villa and Lazio. Now 41, the former Spain international started in their Europa League contest against Rennes on Thursday and had to contest a late penalty against Martin Terrier – with the hosts leading 1-0 through Alexander Sorloth.
Reina got the better of the mind games to stop a poor spot-kick before the French striker headed wide from the rebound – delighting his team-mates as they went seconding Group F. After TNT Sports posted the footage to social media fans were just as excited – with many thinking the veteran had already called time on his career.
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One comment read: "Can’t just be me who is utterly astounded by the fact that Pepe Reina is still about." A second added: "OMG I had no idea." A third said: "Genuinely hadn’t realised Pepe Reina was still playing."
A fourth added: "Pepe still doing bits at 41."
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Reina, who began his career with Barcelona and joined Liverpool after his first spell with Villarreal, became their first-choice goalkeeper again after Gerunimo Rulli joined Ajax. Having been on the bench so far this season in LaLiga, Reina made a total of four saves in his return to European action.
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An emotional Reina said after the victory: "There is little left to my career, so I have to enjoy this moment. The beautiful thing is they tell me that I deserve it.
"There are days, in this job, as a keeper that are unpleasant and today, it’s time to enjoy."
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