All-Star Riera to tackle Juventus and his idol

Last updated 21:41 11/07/2014
Albert Riera
GETTY IMAGES
RAPID RISE: Albert Riera has gone from paramedic to Phoenix player of the year to a member of the A-League All-Stars side in the space of just four years.

Relevant offers

Football

Jeremy Brockie back as Phoenix chase Glory Blind, Falcao injury blows for Manchester United Hudson's honeymoon over after Thailand horror Blatter hints at possible release of Garcia report Messi's dad plays down son's 'Barca exit' comments All Whites coach picks positives from loss England FA apology for fans' anti-IRA chants Dogged Central Coast frustrate Western Sydney England add Germany, France to friendlies list England trump Scotland, Germany pip Spain

This time last year Albert Riera was playing for Auckland City in the national league.

Early next month he will be playing for the A-League All-Stars against Italian giants Juventus.

The latest honour for the Spanish former paramedic comes hard on the heels of him being named the Wellington Phoenix player of the year.

''It is hard to believe,'' Riera said on being told he would be playing against his hero Andrea Pirlo.

''Pirlo has always been one of my idols. I think I will follow him everywhere and try and get his shirt!

''This honour has come totally out of the blue. I was surprised to get the Phoenix player of the year award after missing a lot of the season through injury . . . now this!''

Riera was a standout player for the Phoenix in the early and middle parts of the last A-League season before a serious groin injury, which required an operation, sidelined him for the last three months.

The talented midfielder has been working hard to get back to full fitness during pre-season training and is feeling good.

''It has been tough but I feel I am now getting somewhere and am feeling better every day,'' he said.

''I'm almost there and it is just a matter of getting my confidence back.

''Playing against West Ham United and Newcastle United is going to be exciting and after that is now Juventus.

''It is a great pre-season programme and should prepare us for a good A-League season.''

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Southampton finish in the EPL top four?

Yes, the Saints look unstoppable

Maybe, but it's still early days

No chance, they don't have the experience

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content