With Liverpool’s impressive run of form during March resulting in Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres grabbing the headlines for their goalscoring exploits, one man who has been somewhat overlooked is goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
The Spanish stopper kept clean sheets against Sunderland and Aston Villa during March, with the one against Villa last Sunday his 100th in all competitions.
In keeping his 100th clean sheet in 197 games Reina became the Reds’ faster ever goalkeeper to acheive the milestone, breaking Ray Clemence’s previous record of 200 appearances.
Still only 26 Reina clearly has a massive career ahead of him, with keepers often not reaching their peak until around age 30. “People don’t realise how good Pepe is,” Rafa Benitez told the official LFC website.
His memorable celebrations following Spain’s European Championship win last summer displayed how much of a character he is, as has some of his celebrations this season following a goal down the other end. “He gives the team a lot of confidence,” says Benitez.
With two assists in March too, Reina’s excellent distribution has also been noted; “He is very positive and he is very offensive in his play and that is very important when you talk about a goalkeeper because it means he is always looking to launch a counter attack,” Benitez said.
Last week Rafa hailed Pepe “very complete” and acknowledged his character, it seems the Anfield faithful agree and you can expect to hear his name being sung on the Kop for many years to come.