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Talking football with Xabi Alonso

Bundesliga 5 days ago
Read
Aug 10, 2014

Reina adds to Bayern's immense depth

Pepe Reina has signed with Bayern Munich, but he is unlikely to play much, given Manuel Neuer's undisputed status as No. 1

After passing his medical at club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt's office on Thursday, Pepe Reina became the fourth Spanish player at Bayern Munich -- joining Javi Martinez, Thiago and Juan Bernat at the Bavarian giants. It marks the first time the club has featured more than three players from the same foreign country.

- Official: Reina signs for Bayern

Pep Guardiola's latest signing from his native country, Reina will command a high salary for a backup goalkeeper, which shows the trust Bayern board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has in the Catalan manager and his fellow countryman.

"Pep wanted a keeper like Manuel Neuer who's capable of joining in the buildup play," Rummenigge said. "You can never take for granted finding a man with his experience and quality who's prepared to accept the number two position."

The 31-year-old native of Madrid joined Bayern on a three-year deal from Liverpool, where he made 284 appearances in the English Premier League before joining Napoli on loan last season. Reina also has 33 caps for Spain, mostly as backup to Real Madrid's Iker Casillas.

He won the 2008 and 2012 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup with La Furia Roja and is looking to extend that collection with the defending Bundesliga champions. "I've come here because I want to win as many titles as possible," Reina said.

He undoubtedly has a very good chance of winning a lot of silverware in the next three years with Bayern, but he will do this sitting on the bench as long as Neuer is fit. Being used to winning titles as a substitute goalkeeper with the Spanish national team, Reina has experience in that role and could play an important part in pushing Neuer to a higher level in every training session.

Should Neuer be injured, Bayern will have a high-profile replacement who fits in perfectly in Guardiola's system. It also guarantees situations like last season -- when the young and inexperienced Lukas Raeder had to fill in during the final stages of the campaign and looked out of his depth -- won't happen again.

The club has immense quality in this important position now. Neuer will benefit from Reina's presence in training on a daily basis and the Spain international himself can play an important role behind the scenes before he gets his chance in the spotlight should Neuer have to miss games due to injury.

Until then, Reina's task is clear: "I want to win, work hard and push Manuel as hard as I can. And I want to help the team, whenever it's necessary."

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