Reina says Spanish style can't be copied

Reina says Spanish style can't be copied

Published Nov. 8, 2011 2:29 p.m. ET

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina believes other countries trying to replicate the recent success of Spanish football will find it is not as easy as just copying their system.

The national team are the current holders of both the World Cup and European Championship.

Barcelona, the majority of whose squad are Spain internationals, have won the Champions League three times in six years and twice in the last three seasons.

The Catalan club's football, which heavily influences the way Spain plays with Xavi and Andres Iniesta at the heart of both, is envied throughout the world.


However, Reina said there were specific reasons why Spain play like they do.

"We have found a great generation of players the same age," said the 29-year-old, who has been named in the squad to face England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday.

"These players know how to win because they have won already in their club divisions.

"It is not always possible to play our way. It depends on the player and the team and depends on the philosophy you have.

"But not everyone can play as we do because no-one has the quality of players we have."

Reina has followed in his father's footsteps in terms of becoming a world-class goalkeeper.

His dad, Miguel, played for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the 1960s and 1970s.

Miguel last week saw his Barca record for the most minutes without conceding a goal broken by current goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Valdes is a member of Spain's top trio of keepers, along with Reina and long-time number one Iker Casillas.

The form of the Real Madrid captain has meant Reina has been limited to just 23 appearances for his country since making his debut in August 2005.

He will be hoping to get a game against England at the weekend in the country where he has established his reputation as one of the best in the world.

But rather than be beaten by the frustration of seeing his international career limited by the established competition, the former Barcelona and Spain youth team player takes great pride in his country's achievements.

"Any time you go with the national team you want to win, and every time you play England it is a special game," said Reina, who played one match in Spain's triumph at Euro 2008 but did not get on the field for the World Cup in South Africa two years later.

"The international team has 23 very important players for our clubs but only 11 can start.

"So we have to take that role when it comes along if you are lucky enough to be there.

"In my particular case it has been an absolute pleasure. We are the champions of Europe and the world.

"To be world champions with my national team is a dream come true and the target of any footballer."