Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina is currently second choice at Bayern Munich behind 2014 World Cup winner Manuel NeuerGetty Images

Pepe Reina claims his move to Bayern Munich was motivated by a desire to avoid a bit-part role at Liverpool.

Reina, 32, spent nine years at Anfield, between 2005 and 2014, establishing himself as the undisputed first choice during the reign of compatriot Rafael Benitez and making almost 300 Premier League appearances before eventually falling out of favour under manager Brendan Rodgers.

After a season-long loan spell at Napoli, the Spain international surprised many by agreeing to join reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern on a three-year deal in August 2014, a club that already boasted arguably the best goalkeeper in the world in Manuel Neuer.

Predictably, Reina has so far failed to oust the Ballon d'Or finalist from his starting berth but appears to believe a place on the substitutes' bench at Bayern is better for his career than fulfilling the same duties at Liverpool.

"I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to stay at Liverpool after returning from my loan spell with Napoli and then Bayern approached me," he told Kicker, as reported by Goal.

"It is not easy to join a club realising you will be a substitute. It was clear Manuel Neuer would be the number one at Bayern. But the prospects at Liverpool were not good for me. I preferred a move to a major club like Bayern over a spot on the bench at Liverpool. And I have had a great time here so far. I am learning a lot from Neuer and Pep Guardiola. Plus, we can still win the treble."

Reina has made just one solitary league appearance for Bayern during his maiden campaign at the Allianz Arena, keeping a clean sheet in the 4-0 trouncing of Werder Bremen on 14 March.

He recently returned to Merseyside to feature alongside the likes of Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Thierry Henry in an all-star charity clash organised by the Liverpool FC Foundation.

The match, contested by two squads captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, ended in a 2-2 draw after two penalties from Liverpool's current skipper cancelled out efforts from much-maligned striker Mario Balotelli and Didier Drogba.

Reina was treated to a rousing reception from Liverpool supporters and he expressed his gratitude for such treatment on Twitter after the full-time whistle.

"THANKS to Liverpool!! you'll always have a piece of my heart. Proud to have represented you during 8 years! #YNWA" he said.

Twitter/@PReina25