Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reina: My Text Chat With Dirk

Pepe Reina today lifted the lid on a text exchange between him and Dirk Kuyt ahead of the World Cup final on Sunday.

Two Liverpool players will return to Melwood later this month with World Cup medals - either Reina and Fernando Torres or Kuyt and Ryan Babel.

And the banter has already begun between our Spanish and Dutch contingent.

"I have been in touch with Dirk and I heard from him before and after the semi-final," said Reina.

"He wished us luck and now it is 100 per cent certain that Liverpool will have a World Cup winner.

"That is something to be proud of at least but hopefully on Sunday Dirk won't be that happy."

While Spain were many people's favourites heading into the tournament, Holland have been somewhat of a surprise package in South Africa.

Kuyt has been instrumental in the Dutch reaching their third World Cup final, while the likes of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder have also excelled.

Reina knows Spain will have to be at their very best to prevail.

"We all know Dirk's game," said the custodian. "He does an awful lot of work and we know how important he is for the team.

"He is a top-class player. It is going to be really tough for us to stop him on Sunday because, as everyone knows, he never stops running.

"Holland has a lot of strengths. I don't have enough fingers to count them all.

"If they are in the final by beating good teams like Brazil it is because they fully deserve to be there. Sunday is going to be really difficult."

Spain have never played in a World Cup final - and victory would also make them the first side since West Germany in 1972 and 1974 to follow a European Championship triumph with glory in football's biggest tournament.

Reina added: "We have made history because we have reached our first final, but we want more than that. Finals mean nothing unless you win them. We have to do that. That is our target.

"The match against Germany was a complete performance but there is a lot of work to do between now and Sunday.

"There is a lot of pressure on us because we won Euro 2008. We have always been one of the favourites. Now we are favourites once again.

"But the main thing is to remain loyal in the way we play and be confident it will bring us the right result.

"We have to keep the same philosophy that brought us here in the first place.

"It is hard to win a World Cup final and we are just one step away."

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