Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina has confirmed that the 2022-23 season will be his last as a professional footballer.
The 39-year-old Spaniard’s contract was extended by one year following Lazio’s qualification to the Europa League, which activated an automatic clause in his deal. After taking some time to consider his future, the 2010 World Cup winner has now decided to stay in Rome for one more year.
Speaking to Diario de Mallorca (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Reina first reflected on this season with Lazio.
It went well, we reached the Europa League objective we’d set at the beginning of the season. Serie A is very competitive, we were in the fight with many teams. It’s good that we got into the Europa League one game early.
The 39-year-old Spanish shot stopper then commented on his future, confirming his desire to play one more year as a professional.
I think I’ll play for another year, which is what’s left of my contract. I think it will be the last one. My 24th as a professional and I’ll end it like that.
Of course, in football you never know, but in principle that’s the idea. I want to try to be a coach and the course will start in September next year. The timing is right.
Reina joined Lazio in the summer of 2020 from Milan, signing on a free transfer. He was initially a backup option before replacing Thomas Strakosha in the starting lineup in his first campaign under Simone Inzaghi.
He retained this starting spot under Maurizio Sarri this season, until eventually Strakosha managed to muscle his way back into the starting 11.