- Premier League
Reina to see out Liverpool contract
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has played down suggestions that he is set for a return to Barcelona to replace Victor Valdes.
The 30-year-old has, though, described the Spanish giants as the "best club in the world" after Barca 'keeper Valdes announced last month that he will leave when his current contract expires in 2014.
Reina, whose father Miguel was a shot-stopper at the Camp Nou between 1966 and 1973, made a few first-team appearances for Barca himself as a teenager after graduating from their youth set-up.
The Spain international, who arrived at Anfield from Villarreal in 2005, has had a mixed season, with a number of mistakes taking the shine off some impressive displays.
His decision to charge from his line during Sunday's Premier League match at Manchester City was ruthlessly punished by Sergio Aguero, who scored from a tight angle to earn a 2-2 draw.
But manager Brendan Rodgers has maintained that Reina is his No. 1 choice, and the goalkeeper is determined to see out a contract that runs until 2016. Reina, in Doha ahead of Spain's friendly against Uruguay on Wednesday, told Spanish media he was shocked by Valdes' decision to move on.
He said: "I was surprised because Victor is with the best team in the world. When I sign a contract, I fulfil it and I have signed with Liverpool until 2016. Barcelona is the best club in the world. I know what it means because I trained there as a player and as a person."
Reina, meanwhile, has dismissed suggestions that his form has dipped. "Some people say I've had a bad season, but honestly I think I only had three poor matches," he said. "It's been a strange season for me because I've missed lots of games with injury. This has been the most unsettled season, both personally and as a team, since I joined the club.
"Liverpool are going through a transitional period, with new ideas and a different playing philosophy. That takes time. People have to be patient. It's normal for us to be erratic. Right now we can't compete with the big guns.
"They have a big edge over us at the moment, both financially and squad-wise. There's a reason they are so many points ahead of us, and it's not because of one or two better players."