Reina happy to play understudy to Bayern Munich star Neuer

The 32-year-old says he knew what he was getting into with his career seemingly stagnating in Bavaria


Bayern Munich goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed his happiness at living a life of obscurity in Germany and has no problem with his role as understudy to Manuel Neuer.

The Spain international moved to Bayern in the summer from Liverpool after a season-long loan spell at Napoli in 2013-14.

He joined knowing he would struggle to usurp Neuer from the starting XI with the Germany international regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world – a status enhanced by his shortlisting for the 2014 Ballon d’Or alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

At 32 years of age, Reina could be forgiven for seeking first-team football but the former Villarreal shot-stopper is content with his lot despite not playing a single minute of first-team action for Pep Guardiola’s men.

He told Goal: “I knew what I was in for. The club told me I would be his [Neuer’s] substitute. I have honoured that from the beginning and it has not changed.

“I do what I do: train hard and I am ready when the team needs me.”

Reina admits life in Bavaria is less hassled than on Merseyside or in Naples.

“It is very quiet, most of the folks do not even recognize me. A football player and his family are respected here. The culture led me here, particularly the football culture.”

In terms of a comparison between the Bundesliga and the Premier League, he added: “They are very similar. Regarding the organisation they are dead level, both very reputable.”

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