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Liverpool hit Riera with ban after Rafa outburst

Liverpool have suspended Albert Riera for his outspoken attack on manager Rafael Benitez and the club.

The Spain international has been disciplined by Benitez and told not to return to training until Monday.

Riera launched a critical broadside at Benitez, claiming he did not speak to him, and described Liverpool as a “sinking ship”.

Benitez is believed to be fuming about the timing of the interview, which was broadcast less than 24 hours before last night's crucial Europa League last-16 second leg at home to Lille and has taken action to discipline the player.

He missed last night’s game and is also out of Sunday's trip to Manchester United.

In his interview, Riera said: “When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal.”

He also went on to say he felt Liverpool were a “sinking ship” after a poor season which has seen early exits from the title race, Champions League and FA Cup.

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However, former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann blasted the 27-year-old for looking to shift the blame from some mediocre personal performances.

“I didn't read too much into the comments because he's a player who has not played too much over the last six to eight months,” said Hamann.

“He is clearly frustrated, but you have to say since he signed for Liverpool (in the summer of 2008) he has not done enough to really have an opinion on the manager.

“If Riera is not in the team it is probably because he is not doing enough in training or in games.

“The first question you have to ask when you are not playing is have you done enough to be in the team. It happens too often with players who can't get in the team and the first thing they do is blame the manager. They should look at themselves.”

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