Auckland City FC has confirmed former star player Albert Riera as the club’s new head coach.

Riera, 37, experienced much success as a player at the club, making 142 appearances between 2011 and 2021 and winning the OFC Champions League three times.

He also played for the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League for three years, making 68 appearances and being voted Player of the Year in 2013-14.

Spain-born Riera said he was excited to enter the next phase of his football journey with Auckland City FC.

“Everyone knows me as a player, but now I’m starting my coaching career playing the Auckland City FC way,” he said.

“My DNA as a player was Auckland City FC and at the end of the day, as a coach, its going to be similar, it won’t change that much.

“My advantage is I know how this club works and I know the players and they know me. They know I’m all about intensity and you have to earn your spot on a daily basis.

“Every player knows that is the case and I’m sure I’m not going to have to tell them.”

Auckland City FC chairperson Ivan Vuksich said it is a positive that Riera already has a strong understanding of the club.

“Albert is very familiar with a possession-based game that has been around Kiwitea Street (the club’s home ground) for 10-12 years and the players have bought into it big time and they like it,” Vuksich said.

“Albert is an articulate and positive person and the right person for this club. I think he can do a good job for us.

“After seven years with us as a player we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so. We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”