Pepe Reina has spoken of Villa Park as a “special” and “magic” stadium and is looking forward to once again experiencing the atmosphere when he makes his home bow on Tuesday night.
The goalkeeper, signed on loan from AC Milan until the end of the season, enjoyed his Aston Villa debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion and made a superb one-handed save to deny Neal Maupay late on.
Reina will now be looking to build upon that when Watford visit the midlands for what is a big midweek Premier League matchday under the lights (ko 7.30pm). Get your tickets here.
And the experienced stopper has expressed his fondness for Villa Park having tasted the stadium as a visiting player between 2005-13.
Speaking after signing for the club, Reina said: “I talked to Christian Purslow and Suso (Jesus Garcia Pitarch).
“Villa Park, and it’s not because now we’re here, it was always one of my favourite away grounds.
“When we played here they were tough, hard-fought games.
“It was always nice and special to come here.
“And I have to say, we played once here (December 2009) and it was one of the coldest days and games of my career, without doubt…
“Liverpool won 1-0 but I could barely feel my hands. And I remember it like it was yesterday.”
He continued: “It was always tough to come here and to play Villa, with this magic stadium with people supporting the team."
Tickets remain available for Pepe’s Villa Park bow against the Hornets, secure your seat here.