Riera before a game with Galatasaray
|Full name||Albert Riera Ortega|
|Date of birth||15 April 1982|
|Place of birth||Manacor, Spain|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / Left back|
|2006||→ Manchester City (loan)||15||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 May 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
He made a name for himself at Espanyol (where he won one Copa del Rey and reached one UEFA Cup final) and also played professionally in France, England, Greece, Turkey and Italy, notably spending three years with Galatasaray.
He made more than fifty Ligue 1 appearances for the French club, and netted four times.
Riera returned to Spain in 2005, when he signed for RCD Espanyol. In his first season he played only eight league matches, prompting a January 2006 loan move to Manchester City, where he was also unable to establish himself in the first team, scoring against Newcastle United in a 3–0 home win on 1 February. He 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 first-divisioner Sevilla FC: Riera scored to level the game at 1–1, but his team eventually lost 1–3 on penalties. At the end of the season, he extended his contract until 2011.
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. He made his Premier League debut on the 13th, playing 72 minutes of a 2–1 home win against Manchester United, and scored his first goal for the Reds as they beat Wigan Athletic 3–2 on 18 October, adding another in the season's UEFA Champions League, in a 3–1 success at PSV Eindhoven.
Riera netted Liverpool's first goal in 2009, and also scored in the season's FA Cup on the 3rd, against Preston North End. Later during that season he scored against Aston Villa in a 5–0 home win on 22 March 2009, netting through a half-volley after goalkeeper's Pepe Reina long goal kick.
On 18 March 2010, Riera was suspended after comments made to the Spanish press regarding his first team opportunities and the approach of Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez. The player was quoted as saying: "He's never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him." He was transfer listed following the comments, with Russian clubs PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Spartak Moscow thought to be interested in a permanent move. On the 23rd of that month it was announced that Liverpool had accepted a £6 million bid from CSKA for the player; however, it appeared to be solely rumours, as the Russian capital side officially denied the interest –additionally, the player's agent, Ángel Castells, confirmed that only Spartak had made a proposal.
On 23 July 2010, Riera joined Greek club Olympiacos F.C. on a four-year contract. 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.
On 3 September 2011 Riera completed a €3 million move to Turkish giants Galatasaray SK, signing a four-year contract. He scored his first goal in the Süper Lig on 25 January 2012 in a 4–0 home win against MKE Ankaragücü, and was an habitual first-choice in his first season as the Istanbul-based outfit won the national championship; he was also involved, however, in a punching session with teammate Felipe Melo just before the playoffs started.
Following the arrival of prospect Nordin Amrabat for the 2012–13 campaign, Riera was reconverted by manager Fatih Terim into an offensive left defender, mainly due to the lack of options in the position other than injury-prone Hakan Balta. On 28 January 2014 he agreed to have his contract rescinded for €750.000, and left the club.
Watford & Udinese
On 24 March 2014, Riera signed a pre-contract with Italian side Udinese Calcio, effective as of 1 July. Three days later he joined Football League Championship's Watford, until the end of the season.
Riera scored his first and only goal for Watford on 19 April 2014, in a 3–1 home win over Ipswich Town. He had an extended run until late in the month, when he was sent off for two bookable offenses in a 1–3 loss at Chartlton Athletic after a high challenge on Diego Poyet. After the match he was charged by the The Football Association for improper conduct, having confronted the officials and having to be dragged away by his team-mates; he was given a two-match ban although only one remained to end the campaign, and he subsequently joined Udinese Calcio.
Riera made his debut for the Spanish 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. However, he failed to make the final cut for the final stages, where the nation emerged victorious.
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, and played 11 minutes in a 3–0 win in Estonia. In the following year, on 1 April, he netted a last minute winner in Turkey (2–1).
Manager Vicente del Bosque named Riera in the squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and he played in four matches for the third-placed team. He was, however, overlooked for the World Cup squad in South Africa, as the national side was crowned champions.
|1.||13 October 2007||NRGi Park, Aarhus, Denmark||Denmark||1–3||1–3||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|2.||1 April 2009||Ali Sami Yen, Istanbul, Turkey||Turkey||1–2||1–2||2010 World Cup qualification|
|3.||9 June 2009||Tofiq Bahramov, Baku, Azerbaijan||Azerbaijan||0–4||0–6||Friendly|
|4.||12 August 2009||Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia||Macedonia||2–3||2–3||Friendly|
- Riera raring to go at Bordeaux; UEFA, 31 July 2003
- Riera wings into Espanyol; UEFA, 7 July 2005
- City tempt Riera to England; UEFA, 5 January 2006
- "Man City 3–0 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- "Espanyol 2–2 Sevilla (Sevilla win 3–1 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Riera inks new Espanyol contract". Tribal Football. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2010.[dead link]
- 10 things you need to know about new Liverpool signing Albert Riera; Mirror Football, 29 August 2008
- "Wigan 2–3 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 18 October 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "PSV 1–3 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Preston 0–2 Liverpool; BBC Sport, 3 January 2009
- "Liverpool 5–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Albert Riera hits out at Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez". BBC Sport. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- Rafael Benitez banishes vocal Albert Riera; Times Online, 19 March 2010
- Hunter, Andy (24 March 2010). "Liverpool accept £6m offer from CSKA Moscow for Albert Riera". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "CSKA deny interest in Albert Riera". ESPN Soccernet. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "Benítez 'subasta' a Riera" [Benítez 'auctions' Riera] (in Spanish). El País. 27 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "Liverpool winger Albert Riera completes Olympiakos move". BBC Sport. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Scime, Adam (23 July 2010). "Official: Olympiacos sign Albert Riera from Liverpool". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Riera Joins Galatasaray
- Bilgi: Albert Riera Ortega (Turkish)
- "Riera, Amrabat leave Galatasaray". Soccer News. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "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. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Watford sign former Liverpool and Spain winger Albert Riera on until the end of season". The Standard. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Watford 3–1 Ipswich". BBC Sport. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- "Match report: Charlton Athletic 3–1 Watford". Watford F.C. 29 April 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "Watford winger Albert Riera faces FA misconduct charge over reaction to red card". Sky Sports. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "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.
- "Official: Released players confirmed". Watford F.C. 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- España sale del túnel tras su triunfo en Dinamarca (1–3) (Spain exits tunnel after win in Denmark (1–3)); 20 Minutos, 13 October 2007 (Spanish)
- Espanyol fly flag for Spain; UEFA.com, 15 October 2007
- Riera takes the wind out of Turkey's sails; UEFA.com, 1 April 2009
- "Riera". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "Alberto Riera". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Albert Riera Ortega". Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Albert Riera at National-Football-Teams.com
- Sito Riera: “Me gustaría jugar en el Mallorca” (Sito Riera: “I would like to play with Mallorca”); Fútbol Balear, 11 August 2010 (Spanish)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Riera.|
- BDFutbol profile
- National team data
- Liverpool historic profile
- Albert Riera career stats at Soccerbase
- Albert Riera at National-Football-Teams.com
- Albert Riera – FIFA competition record