Napoli news

Reina out to 'fight for important titles'

August 3, 2013
By Andy Brassell

Pepe Reina outlined his ambitions to "fight for important titles" after beginning his Napoli career back in England, thanking Liverpool for having "made" him, but stating his desire to move on.

Pepe Reina
PA PhotosPepe Reina is excited to again be working under Rafa Benitez.

The goalkeeper, who inked a year-long loan deal at the San Paolo after passing a medical this week, was speaking after the Serie A runners-up drew 2-2 with hosts Arsenal in the Emirates Cup.

After he posted an emotional farewell to Liverpool fans on his personal website following the completion of his move, Reina was keen to draw a line under his departure and look forward to his new challenge.

"I don't think I can say much more about my exit," Reina told ESPN FC. "I will always be grateful to Liverpool because they made me as a footballer, and they made my name. Now I just want to concentrate on Napoli, enjoy it here and have a really good season."

Reunited with former Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez, the 30-year-old reiterated that his fellow Spaniard's presence had been key to his move and that he was relishing the chance to chase silverware.

"I'm very happy to have come to Napoli," he smiled. "It's another opportunity to compete in the Champions League, to fight for the Scudetto, and so I'm pleased to have arrived and to be working with Rafa. As I've said many times, he's the best coach that I've ever worked with."

Reina described the mood in his new dressing room as "very positive", adding: "We have a group that's working well together, that's working in the way that Rafa likes, so for sure we're going to be very competitive."

While shying away from predictions, the goalkeeper insisted that "we have the right to be optimistic. I'm not going to say we can win everything, but we can certainly fight for all the titles".

Napoli certainly showed the style to match their ambition during the first half in London, dominating and racing into a two-goal lead through Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev, though goals by French duo Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny pegged Benitez's men back.

"I'm happy because we played at a good level," Reina reflected, "and we defended well on the whole, though there are a few things we'll have to work out on the training pitch. It's not all about the result (at this stage), but the performance."

The former Barcelona man deflected praise after marking his bow by saving a first-half penalty by Lukas Podolski.

"It's part of a goalkeeper's job to watch videos and know about current players, so you can be prepared."

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