Liverpool FC winger Albert Riera denies any rift with Rafael Benitez

05 September 2009 09:00
ALBERT RIERA has admitted to a flare-up with Reds boss Rafa Benitez - but insists he has got nothing but respect and admiration for the Anfield manager.

Riera has so far failed to command a regular starting place this season and admits the lack of first team action in the early weeks of the season has left him feeling angry and frustrated.

Riera, signed for £8m by Benitez from Espanyol last year, is currently on international duty with European Champions Spain ahead of their Group 5 World Cup qualifier against Belgium tonight.

He told the Spanish press: 'I didn't play the first game because I started training late after the Confederations Cup, like Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres. I was angry and had a flare-up at Benitez, but the day I don't get angry for being a substitute I will retire.'

Riera, who has played 40 games for Liverpool after making his debut in the first of Liverpool's two emphatic league wins over Manchester United last season, said he did not believe the exchange would lead to any damage, and heaped praise on his Anfield boss in a week when Ryan Babel criticised his manager of allegeldy breaking promises made to him.

Riera, looking to win his 14th Spanish cap tonight, said: 'Benitez is a special coach who defends his own. I know he is with me, because he said so.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo