Monday, September 1, 2008


He's a Spain international who has enjoyed an eye-catching spell with Espanyol - but what else do you know about our new left winger? endeavours to bring you up to speed with a list of 10 things you probably didn't know about Albert Riera.

Albert Riera

1. Riera is known as Spain's answer to Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing but when among friends he goes by the nickname of 'Flossy'.

2. Albert was born on April 15, 1982 and shares his birthday with actress Emma Watson and former Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill.

3. Riera can boast to have matched new teammate Steven Gerrard's achievement of scoring in a UEFA Cup final. However, unlike Stevie, it would prove to be a bitter-sweet occasion for the winger, as Espanyol eventually succumbed to a penalty shoot-out defeat in the 2007 final against Sevilla. The match had ended 2-2 after extra-time.

4. Albert can already claim to have some Barclays Premier League experience having made 15 appearances for Manchester City after spending some of the 2005-06 season on loan at the club.

5. He made his Blues debut in a memorable 3-1 win at home to local rivals Manchester United on January 14, 2006. A similar result would be most welcome if he makes his Reds bow against the Red Devils on September 13.

6. Riera managed just one goal under City boss at the time Stuart Pearce, when he opened the scoring in a 3-0 win at home to Newcastle on February 1, 2006.

7. Guillem Balague believes the winger will make the most of his second spell in the Premier League after claiming City did not take full advantage of the 26-year-old's strengths. "He was not given the opportunity to play in his natural, attacking, position at City," he wrote on his website. "He spent his time there being used as a wing back: his natural position is a winger in a 4-2-3-1 formation."

8. Albert hails from the island of Mallorca and comes from a town called Manacor, which, incidentally, is the same place where tennis star Rafael Nadal was born.

9. Riera has already sampled the famous Anfield atmosphere after playing 77 minutes of City's 1-0 defeat away to Liverpool in the 2005-06 campaign. Harry Kewell was the Reds' goalscorer that day while Joey Barton was sent off for the visitors.

10. Albert scored his one and only international goal in Spain's 3-1 win away to Denmark in a European Championship qualifier on October 13, 2007. He has five caps for his country to date.

Paul Hassall 01 September 2008



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