League of Ireland (LOI) players have teamed up with an Irish manager in New Zealand.
The harsh situation facing Irish young footballers and the growing football sphere in NZ likely forced them to make the move but it is interesting however.
Southern United coach Paul O’Reilly gave five players formerly of Wexford youth an offer to join him in New Zealand South Island – an offer they could not afford to reject. O’Reilly wanted the players bonding with the rest of the pack ahead of their Stirling Sports Premiership season late October and the ambitious young stars could not have passed up the offer.
New Zealand soccer player Albert Riera is struggling to get his eligibility to appear for the country after receiving his residency in April.
Before the Auckland City player midfielder can play for the All Whites, he needs to get his citizenship approved, hence the slight delay.
“I’ve applied for citizenship and [they] are trying to fast track it but it’s not easy. It needs to go higher up and it is not in my hands any more,” Riera disclosed.
Albert Riera is a 34 year old Spanish born player who has represented his national side at the big stage in a few occasions but the experienced performer has demonstrated his desire to perform with the New Zealand national team as Riera has been living in New Zealand since 2011 and for some reason he wants to become a regular starter for the national squad which is currently being guided by Anthony Hudson.
"It would be fantastic to play for New Zealand. It's not something that is in my control but it would be great to contribute something and pay back everything this country has given me." Albert Riera said.
Albert Riera joined the in-form Auckland City in New Zealand, terminating his contract by mutual consent after three seasons with Wellington Phoenix in Slovenia where he played sixty-eight games out of which he was substituted four times.
Riera told Coach Ernie Merrick after the final game of the season, that he no longer wanted to play for Wellington Phoenix and while the coach persuaded him to think it over, the midfielder had already made up his mind as there was no going back for the easy-going Spaniard.
Wellington Phoenix plan to fill the void left by the retirement of Ben Sigmund with the signing of Italian defender Marco Rossi.
The move shows the effort of the club in making a chase for the title when the A-League begins.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said: “His experience will be enormously valuable to us given Marco has played Serie A and Serie B and represented Italy at Under 20 and Under 21 levels. This is the type of experience we wanted. He’ll be a terrific partner in the middle of defence with Andrew Durante.”
Merrick admitted that Durante has been the sole carrier of the backline responsibility since Ben Sigmund retired. However, he says he is confident that the new signing will provide a great deal of assistance.
Albert Riera has had a very extensive playing career as the Spanish defender has played in numerous leagues from around the world and clubs as well.
Even at the age of 34, he still continues making appearances for his current club, the Slovenian outfit FC Koper.
The experienced defender spent 2 seasons performing with Liverpool and it was a fairly distinctive period of time for Albert Riera as he managed to stand out with impressive performances but in the next season, Riera was surprisingly offloaded from the club as Liverpool accepted an offer from Olympiacos of £6 million.
Albert Riera has an extensive playing career that has seen him performing with a number of clubs including: Bordeaux, Espanyol, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Udinese just to name a few of the more well-known teams.
At the age of 34, the Spanish winger continues performing as he recently joined FC Koper after penning a contract which extends until 2018.
Most fans will remember Albert Riera during his time in the Premier League when playing for Liverpool. But his career has always been stained by disciplinary issues.
Albert Riera started his career with Mallorca where he will help his team win the Copa del Rey. He will score 4 goals in 35 appearances. He will move to Bordeaux where he will make 67 appearances for the French club and scored 9 goals.
He will then sign a contract with Espanyol where he will make 94 appearances for the club while scoring 12 goals for the Catalonia team. He will again win the Copa del Rey as well as finished as runner-up in the UEFA Cup.
Former Liverpool winger Albert Riera is currently playing at FC Koper in the Slovenian League with his contract expected to run until 2018. After having played all across Europe, the winger expects to end his playing career with the Slovenian club.
Premier League followers will most likely remember Albert Riera when he played for Liverpool from 2008 to 2010 under Rafael Benitez. He signed for the Merseyside club on 2008 transfer deadline day and went on to make 55 appearances for the club. He made his debut against Manchester United in a 2-1 win and managed to score his first goal a month later against Wigan Athletics in a 3-2 win. Albert Riera also followed by a goal against PSV Eindhoven in that season Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be at ease working under Zinedine Zidane and he believes that the other players in the Madrid senior team are also feeling the same.
Ronaldo spoke very positively of his new boss after Madrid thrashed Sporting Gijon at the packed Santiago Bernabeu yesterday.
Ronaldo himself was the chief contributor in that thrashing as he found the back of the net in the 9th minute and in the 18th minute.
The other two strikers in the team, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, did their bit too as the game ended with the score line of 5-1.