Former Liverpool midfielder denies he was sacked for skipping game to play poker 8 years ago

Former Liverpool midfielder denies he was sacked for skipping game to play poker

You say potato, Albert Riera says patata

Former Liverpool midfielder Albert Riera has strongly denied newspaper claims that he was sacked by his club Udinese for skipping a match to play in a poker tournament.

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Several newspapers reported, on Sunday, that the Spanish international had been given the hob-nail boot by the Serie A side for missing a game against Chievo to take part in a Slovenian poker event. Riera did play in the tournament and finished second.

Riera scored three goals over 40 games and two seasons with Liverpool before embarking on a career, which could be euphemistically described as that of a journeyman. He also appeared for Manchester City in 2005/06 and made eight loan appearances for Watford last season.

The 32-year-old took to Twitter to defend his honour and hit back at the "bullshit" that has been written about him over the weekend. He says the decision to terminate his contract was mutual and not for sporting reasons.

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