The hitherto forward of Fuenlabrada, Oriol Riera, has announced his retirement after 16 years as a professional player in a thematic press conference organized by the Madrid team. The Catalan began his appearance by reading a release in which he took stock of his career (Cultural, Osasuna, Deportivo, Wigan, Alcorcón, Celta …) and reported that he would start a new stage on the bench: “Coach Oriol begins”.
Statement read by Oriol Riera
“This sport takes more from you than it gives you, but when it gives you, it rewards you so much that it is worth traveling the road. This is the phrase that for a soccer player better defines this sport, a slow, difficult road with many obstacles to reach the top and be able to enjoy what every fan would like. My oldest and most important memories are of my time in youth football for Espanyol and Barça, a very difficult stage to combine studies and football, in which every day I did three hours by car to go to Barcelona to follow my dream. A dream shared by all my family. I had the fortune of being born into a very humble family, without resources when they were young, who built a successful life according to some Values that both my sister and I share. The days that I did not train in Barcelona I did it with my family, with my father as a coach, my mother as a goalkeeper and my sister as a ball boy. The years went by and between training sessions and discussions … I still rec In my youth stage, my first games called by Barça, even in the Champions League, for us, who came from Vic, it was already a success. In their faces they showed me this pride. Without your values and your help, I would never have walked this beautiful path. I have passed many teams from Spain and also from abroad, from all of them I have taken something important, great friends and an incredible experience. Sometimes you think that, in difficult moments, everything is dark, but it is not like that, there are always rays of light … La Cultural, my Cultural, was my first real team, there I learned the basics of what it is to be a footballer . In Vigo it was a very nice atapa, getting to debut in Second … But my most difficult experience was in Córdoba. At the sporting level, we achieved the objective despite the financial difficulties that ended in bankruptcy law. My great experience in the capital was with the Alcorcón, in Madrid. I had an offer close to home, but I chose to go there and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. My first year with Anquela and the second, with Bordalás, went down in the club's history. From Anquela I learned to wait for my moment, to be patient and train better than anyone. Bordalás deserves a special mention, with him I understood what the game was, I improved tactically and I learned what it was to compete better than anyone … Thank you very much to both of you. What to say about Osasuna, everyone knows my love for the club and the city. There I became a better person and was a father. It is the best environment that I have experienced in a soccer field and a changing room, I am sure that my friendship with them will be forever. With Dépor I got two stays in a row in two difficult moments. I still remember that agonizing stay achieved at the Camp Nou on the day of Xavi's farewell. I do not forget my experiences abroad, in Wigan and Sydney … At Fuenlabrada I could not have had better companions and friends, with self-love, ambition and solidarity. My last game as a professional was scoring and giving the team victory. After 16 years as a professional, I put an end to my playing career. They have been difficult years and at the same time beautiful. The challenges move me and now is the time to start another path, the player Oriol leaves and the coach Oriol begins. I've been thinking about it for years. It will be a difficult but exciting challenge. Many thanks to my teammates, rivals, coaches both professionally and in grassroots football … I have learned things from all of them that will serve me well in the future. And why not all the journalists of this sport, who follow us and at the same time criticize us. I have felt privileged doing what I like the most. Thanks to Javier Picallo, my agent, and to my wife, mother of my three beautiful girls. “
After Riera read his farewell statement, Fuenlabrada has reproduced an emotional video with images of the soccer player and messages from different soccer personalities, who coincided with him during his career: Anquela, Patxi Puñal, Manuel Pablo, Fuenlabrada teammates like Mikel Iribas, Cristóbal …
Finally, the footballer has answered questions from the press:
How did you feel watching this video?
It has been 16 years in which I have shared changing rooms with many people. I was very excited, seeing them talk, not about the player, but about the person, it is exciting. I have been in situations of default, bankruptcy … and I have learned from all of them. I think the best football moment was at the time of Osasuna.
Is it a decision matured or precipitated by the current situation? As Patxi Puñal said in the video, you are still young …
I've wanted to be a coach for a long time and the years go by and you think the time is right. There is a personal moment that changes my perspective. There is something premeditated, but I will miss the day to day, of course. It is a decision taken with great seriousness and reflection.
What will be the anecdote or the sporting moment that you will tell the most?
The little battle that I will tell the most about will be the match at El Sadar, against Real Madrid, in which I scored both goals and we were about to win that match. It was an incredible experience in an incredible environment … The middle of my three daughters wants to play soccer, she is the one who asks the most, she has seen the video of those goals and I hope that she will be a footballer.
When you arrived in Fuenlabrada, did you already think that it would be your last year?
When I arrived in Fuenlabrada I didn't think it was going to be my last season, but little by little you are considering it. I already said that it is not only a sports decision, but also a personal one. My wives and daughters have followed me everywhere and it is time to give them stability.
Is the anecdote true that your school is called to travel with Barça to Murcia for a match against Ciudad in the Copa del Rey?
Yes, it is true. They called me at school and told me that I had to go, that there was permission for me to travel with the team. That was the day of my debut, a very beautiful day. Back then I saw even Saviola, who is tiny, big.
How can Oriol Riera be a coach?
Saying how I want to be a coach I think is a waste of time, it depends a lot on the idiosyncrasy of the club, the fans, the players … It's a matter of adapting, I adapted as a player and I hope I can adapt as a coach.