|Date of Birth||
5 July 1992
|Place of Birth||
1.71 m (5'7")
Alberto Moreno Pérez (born 5 July 1992) is a Spanish international footballer who played as a left back for Liverpool. After a promising start, Moreno's career never really took off at the club, making some high profile mistakes, with his performances controversial with Liverpool supporters. The Spaniard was released at the end of the 2018-19 season, having made just five appearances in the previous campaign, but being part of the European Cup winning squad.
In the summer of 2014, it was widely reported that due to the injuries of Jose Enrique and backup Aly Cissokho leaving after a loan spell, Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, was looking to sign a new left back. One of the targets was Moreno, who had impressed for Europa League champions Sevilla.
On 12 August 2014, it was widely reported that Liverpool had agreed a fee of £12,000,000 for the Spaniard with add-ons believed to total £3-4,000,000. Moreno was promptly removed from the starting XI of Sevilla's UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid, and was seen in tears at full time- widely taken to be a reflection of his emotion regarding his impending departure from his boyhood club. Later that day, Liverpool announced that they had agreed a deal in principal to sign Moreno, with the player to have a medical later in the week.
On 16 August 2014, it was announced that Moreno had completed his move to Anfield. The left back was given the number 18 shirt. Rodgers said "Alberto is a player with huge potential, but importantly he is also ready to come in and contribute straight away. He is quick, strong and serves the ball really well. We have monitored him in Spain for some time and every time I have seen him I have been greatly impressed. What is also important is that he is hungry to improve and recognises it is vital to keep learning." Moreno enthused that Liverpool are "the best club in England," and cited the positive words spoken to him by compatriots and former Reds Pepe Reina, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa in helping him choose to accept the switch to Merseyside.
Alberto made his debut for Liverpool in the 3-1 away defeat to Premier League Champions Manchester City on 25 August 2014. Although mostly praised for his performance, he did receive some criticism for failing to clear a ball in the box that led to City's first goal. Towards the end of the match, he appeared to injure his ankle, but had to continue playing as Liverpool had already made all three of their substitutions. The injury did not keep Moreno out of Liverpool's next game- an away tie against Tottenham Hotspur on 31 August 2014. Moreno produced a man of the match display in the 3-0 win, and scored Liverpool's third goal. After dispossessing Andros Townsend halfway inside his own half, Moreno proceeded to sprint the full length of the pitch before firing across Hugo Lloris into the far corner of the net.
On 16 September 2014, Moreno produced a man of the match performance in Liverpool's first UEFA Champions League tie for five years. With the Reds playing Bulgarian side Ludogorets at Anfield, Moreno gave an accomplished defensive and attacking display, and provided the assist for Mario Balotelli to open the scoring in the 2-1 win.
Moreno's early Anfield career saw the youngster in and out of the team, with some question marks over his defensive capabilities. On 29 December 2014, with Brendan Rodgers now using a three at the back system, Moreno was fielded in a more advanced wing back role in the Reds' home tie against Swansea and scored his second Liverpool goal. In the 33rd minute, Moreno found himself on the end of a Jordan Henderson cross to finish from close range. Liverpool went on to win 4-1.
On 22 March 2015, Moreno was on the receiving end of a lot of criticism after a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United. The Spaniard was out of position for both of Juan Mata's goals.
Moreno began the 2015-16 season on the bench, being seen as inferior defensively to 18 year old centre back Joe Gomez, who took the Spaniard's place in the starting lineup for the opening five games. During this time, Moreno often came on as a late game substitute, usually as a winger, with his pace and energy proving effective against tired legs.
On 17 September 2015, Moreno made his first start of the season, playing as a wing back in a 1-1 draw in Bordeaux. The Spaniard put in a good performance, and picked up the assist for Adam Lallana's opening goal. Moreno kept his place for the next league game, starting once again as a wingback in a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich. He was one of the Red's better performers on the day, and picked up another assist, this time for Danny Ings. On 1 October 2015, Moreno made his 50th appearance for the club, coming on as a half time substitute in a 1-1 draw at home to Sion.
After a big injury to Joe Gomez, Moreno became the only senior left back in the team, and became a regular under new manager Jurgen Klopp's side. On 2 December 2015 in a 6-1 win at Southampton, Moreno thought he had opened his account for the season, firing in a ferocious shot from the edge of the box, only to realise that Divock Origi had gotten a slight touch to divert it in. Moreno then crossed the ball in to assist Jordon Ibe for the Reds' fifth goal of the night. Four days later, Moreno scored a stunning goal, lobbing the ball over the keeper from an incredible angle, to seemingly level the game 1-1 at Newcastle. However, the Spaniard was judged to be offside, with replays proving that this clearly wasn't the case.
On 23 January 2016, Moreno started for the Reds in a 5-4 win at Norwich. The Reds were 2-1 down, and Moreno challenged Steven Naismith in the Liverpool area, before unnecessarily kicking the striker, conceding a penalty, which they conceded.
On 10 April 2016, Moreno netted his first goal in over year, with a spectacular effort from long range to open the scoring in a 4-1 win over Stoke. Two weeks later, Moreno picked up two assists in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle, taking his assist tally to seven for the season.
Moreno started in the 2016 Europa League Final against former club Sevilla on 18 May 2016. The Spaniard was widely and heavily critisised for putting in a lacklustre performance, with many fans placing Moreno at fault for two of Sevilla's goals in the 3-1 defeat.
Despite this Moreno remained in the starting lineup for the opening match of the 2016-17 season, a 4-3 win at Arsenal. Moreno gave away a penalty with a rash challenge, but it was denied by Simon Mignolet. The Spaniard was also judged to be out of position for Arsenal's opening goal. This led to the Spaniard being replaced in the starting XI by James Milner, with Moreno starting just one more Premier League game for the rest of the season.
This led to intense speculation of Moreno departing the club in the summer of 2017, with reports of bids being rejected from clubs around Europe. Moreno however began putting in more assured performances in pre-season, most notably in a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich, leading to Jurgen Klopp stating that Moreno was "100% back".
On 12 August 2017, despite James Milner and new signing Andy Robertson both being fit to play, Moreno started as Liverpool's left back in a 3-3 draw away to Watford. It later became clear that Moreno was once again Liverpool's first choice left-back, and fans began to praise his much improved performances, branding him as the team's most consistent defender at one point of the season. His much improved form led to him to return to the Spanish team for the first time since before he signed for the club.
On 21 November 2017, Moreno was substituted for James Milner after being seen to be at fault for two Sevilla goals, giving away a free-kick and penalty as the Spaniards came from 3-0 down to draw in the Champions League. This was seen as a regression to his form in his past few seasons, and many fans criticised him and called for Andy Robertson to be returned to the starting XI. Despite this, Moreno kept his place and put in a much improved performance in a 1-1 draw vs Chelsea.
Two weeks after this however, Moreno picked up an injury that kept him out for over a month. This allowed an opportunity for Andy Robertson to come into the first team, and the Scotsman made the spot his own. After this Moreno never really regained his starting spot, making just seven appearances in the rest of the campaign.
Moreno spent the majority of the 2018-19 season on the substitutes bench, being used rarely ahead of Robertson and Milner, and was resigned to just five appearances in his final campaign at the club. He was however, part of the squad that was victorious in the Champions League, giving the Spaniard his first and only winners medal with the club.
On 4 June 2019, it was confirmed that Moreno was to leave Liverpool after the expiry of his contract. Moreno made 141 appearances during his five seasons at the club, scoring 3 goals and winning the Champions League.
- UEFA Champions League: 1 (2019)
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