With the two clubs agreeing a £2M fee early in the week and Pepe Reina passing his medical yesterday, a quick conclusion to the end of a slow departure from Liverpool for the Spanish shot stopper was well underway. Today, it's finished, and Pepe Reina is no longer a Liverpool goalkeeper, having officially signed on to join Bayern Munich as their number two.
Reina arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2005 from Villarreal and went on to make 285 league appearances and 394 appearances across all competitions over the next eight seasons. He was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2006, the League Cup in 2012, and the UEFA Super Cup and Community shield in 2005 and 2006 respectively. He won the league's Golden Glove award in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
He was also the quickest Liverpool goalkeeper to record 50 clean sheets, needing only 92 matches to get there and beating Ray Clemance's mark by three. However, in his later seasons at the club Reina's form slipped, mirroring that of the club as a whole, and it became easier to focus on his mistakes in the present while overlooking his achievements in the past.
This, along with the goalkeeper making little secret of the fact that he would like to return to Barcelona if given the opportunity, led manager Brendan Rodgers to sign Simon Mignolet in 2013. Reina then spent a season on loan at Napoli with former Reds manager Rafa Benitez to mixed reviews, and though there was some interest in taking him on permanently, his wages proved too high for the Italian side.
Now, though, with the goalkeeper officially moving on, it's time to look past the struggles of his final seasons at the club and of the at times acrimonious relationship he had with the club following his departure on loan last summer. Now, it's time to remember the Reina who won the Golden Gloves in his first three seasons with the club; the Reina who backstopped Liverpool to cup success and celebrated every goal as though he'd scored it himself.
Hopefully he can find whatever it is he's looking for in the remainder of his career with Pep Guardiola in Munich, and hopefully he can consistently rediscover the form he showed earlier in his career. The past few seasons were difficult for all involved, but now that the page has been turned it's time to remember the good times and to be thankful to Reina for his role in them.