PLAYER PROFILE - Albert RIERA
Albert Riera came to prominence when he signed for Auckland City FC after arriving in New Zealand as a former medic on a backpacking trek around Australasia.
He spent three seasons with the Navy Blues playing at two FIFA Club World Cup campaigns in Japan in 2011 and 2012, and was a key component in three OFC Champions League victories for the club in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Riera's love affair with Auckland City FC appeared to be finished for good when the Navy Blues defeated the Wellington Phoenix Hyundai A-League team 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at Kiwitea Street later that same year.
The cultured midfielder turned in a brilliant performance and was immediately signed by the Wellington Phoenix on a two year contract.
Riera ended up staying with the Phoenix for three seasons and caught the eye with some breath-taking performances that led to him getting a full 90 minutes for the Hyundai A League All Stars in their match with Juventus.
It was always Riera's desire to one day return to Kiwitea Street and the 34-year-old fulfilled that dream when he rejoined the Navy Blues in September 2016.
Riera is hungry for more honours and wants the club to improve on last season's performances.
He also rates assistant coach Ivan Vicelich as the best footballer he's seen in New Zealand but his favourite is Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona.