Riera eager to resolve row
Albert Riera is determined to hold talks with Rafa Benitez in a bid to resolve his Liverpool future.
Last Updated: 19/03/10 10:13am
Albert Riera is determined to hold talks with Rafa Benitez in a bid to resolve his Liverpool future, but remains convinced the Reds boss has 'something personal' against him.
Riera launched a stinging attack on the Anfield boss on the eve of their Europa League last-16 showdown with Lille after becoming frustrated at his lack of first-team action on Merseyside.
Benitez responded by axing the winger form his squad for the 3-0 victory which saw the Reds book their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate success, with Riera ordered to stay away from the club until Monday.
He will not be involved in Liverpool's crucial clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday as the Reds battle to ensure they will be playing UEFA Champions League football again next season.
The 27-year-old, an £8million signing from Espanyol in 2008, claims he is not looking to make an enemy of his compatriot, but simply wants an explanation as to why he is not being selected.
Riera is desperate for first-team action in a bid to secure a place in Spain's World Cup squad, but it is highly likely that his badly-timed outburst will not endear him to the Liverpool boss.
"I do not want to make trouble with the manager," Riera told Spain's Cadena Ser radio station.
"I am not interested in making Rafa my enemy in the slightest, quite the opposite, but ultimately it is about playing, and if I am not, we have to talk about why not.
"We have not had any talk about why it is.
"I played all of last year, and sometimes if I did not play so well in one game, I would still play the next week. But this season I have not played at all.
"When that starts happening, you have to assume it is something personal, rather than professional.
"I believe in these situations it is better to talk about it and try to fix it, or at least make sure everyone knows where they stand. I have no problem talking to people."
He added: "I am delighted to play for Liverpool and if I was playing, I would love to stay, because it is a brilliant place to play football.
"But if I am not playing I have no chance of going to the World Cup, so I am trying to solve the problem so I at least have a small chance."
Benitez will be keen to draw a line under the matter on Monday, with a fine the very least Riera can expect, although the Reds boss was remaining tight-lipped over the controversy after Thursday night's win over Lille.
"The timing was not the best for the team and we will deal with this internally," was all he would say on the matter.