Friday, 10 May 2013

No.2 America and Claudio Reyna

At number two in my top ten viewers is America and the player I have chosen for them is Claudio Reyna.

As a youth Reyna was a much coveted player and when it came time for him to go to college he was not short of options. In 1991 Reyna chose to go to the University of Virginia after being offered a full scholarship, in his time playing for the University football team Reyna had received personal awards as well as national recognition from some of Americas leading magazines as being the best up and coming player in the country.

After his impressive displays at College level Reyna earned a call up for the 1994 World Cup, with the competition being held in his home Country. The competition put Reyna even more in the spotlight and resulted in him being signed by Bayer Leverkusen shortly after the competition.

Reyna struggled to settle in Leverkusen and was sent out on loan to Wolfsburg in 1997, he started to find his feet in German football while at Wolfsburg and went on to be the first American to Captain a European Club whilst playing for them.

In 1999 whilst still on loan at Wolfsburg Reyna caught the attention of Glasgow Rangers, he subsequently signed for the Scottish club in April of the same year. Despite often being played out of position Reyna continued to impress while playing in Scotland and only spent a couple of seasons there before being whisked away by Sunderland.

Sunderland paid almost three million pound for Reyna in 2001 and the early signs made it seem money well spent, unfortunately in 2002 Claudio injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and missed the rest of 2002 - 2003 season. That proved to the end of his Sunderland career.

At the end of the 2002 - 2003 season Reyna signed for City, although the time he spent at City was also hampered by injury, Reyna was a player loved by the fans. When he did play his simplistic approach was lovely to watch, dare I say it but sometimes it was hard to believe that an American could look so classy. In Jan 2007 Reyna's City career came to an end but not because of his injury battle, the club announced that Reyna had requested to leave due to personal reasons.

On the 24Th of January 2007 Reyna returned home and signed for New York Red Bulls, his time at the club did not last long due to his continuous injury problems and he retired from the game on the 16Th of July 2008. After retiring from playing Reyna became the United States soccer federations youth technical director.

Reyna is a player I certainly think could have been at least near World class had he been allowed to fulfill his potential, although regardless of that he will always be very highly thought of by every one in football and the City fans in particular.

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