Riera to face his Juventus idol

Wellington's Albert Riera has been chosen for the Foxtel A-League All Stars to face Juventus in Sydney on August 10, and the Spanish midfielder is over the moon about facing a certain majestic Italian.

“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 Hyundai A-League season before a serious groin injury, which required an operation, side lined 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.”

Champions of Italy, Juventus, take on the Foxtel A-League All Stars led by the Italian champion Alessandro Del Piero at ANZ Stadium, Sydney on Sunday 10 August. 

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