Veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina signs for Villarreal

FILE - Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, England on 21 July 2020. The veteran goalkeeper returns to the Spanish league after signing a contract with Villarreal.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, file)

FILE – Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, England on 21 July 2020. The veteran goalkeeper returns to the Spanish league after signing a contract with Villarreal. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, file)

PA

Veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina is back in the Spanish league after agreeing a one-year contract with Villarreal, the club announced on Friday.

Reina first played for Villarreal from 2002 to 2005 before making the jump to Liverpool, where he established himself as one of the best players in his position.

Reina turns 40 in August. He last played for Lazio in Italy, after stints with AC Milan, Aston Villa, Napoli and Bayern Munich. He arrives at Villarreal as a free agent.

Joining Unai Emery’s side, Reina is likely to serve as a back-up to Gerónimo Rulli after Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo moved to Valladolid.

Reina started her career at Barcelona’s youth academy. In eight seasons for Liverpool, he helped the team win the FA Cup in 2006 and the English League Cup in 2012. He won the 2015 Bundesliga title with Bayern and the 2014 Italian Cup with Napoli.

Reina was a substitute for the Spanish teams that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

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Naomi C. Amerson