Ex Everton star returns to Liverpool to dine at ‘bellisimo’ restaurant sought out by footballing legends

Former Goodison Park goalkeeper Joel Robles returned to one of his favourite Liverpool restaurants, sought after by fellow Merseyside footballing stars.

Former Everton shot-stopper and current Leeds United goalkeeper Joel Robles made a trip back to Merseyside over the weekend to seek out his fill of ‘bellissimo’ Italian food at a local restaurant.

Joel Robles, who made 65 appearances for The Toffees between 2013 and 2018, took the long way home back to Yorkshire after returning to Goodison Park on Saturday.

Everton triumphed against a manager-less Leeds United with a Seamus Coleman goal securing a 1-0 win in what was billed by many as a relegation battle. The win saw Everton rise to 16th in the Premier League, two points ahead of United who languish in 19th.

Robles didn’t feature in the clash, watching on from the bench with first-choice Ilan Meslier chosen to face the Spaniard’s former club.

Whilst back in his old haunts, Robles took the chance to swap life between the sticks for some breadsticks by stopping off at Amalia in the Liverpool city centre.

The restaurant shared a snap of the keeper after his visit as he posed with a Leeds United jersey in front of an old La Liga shirt gifted to the venue - Robles had also sought out a meal at the restaurant last summer when putting pen to paper at Elland Road.

The Amalia Instagram page wrote: “Great to see @joelrb1 back down @amalialiverpool this weekend. We look forward to seeing you again very soon.”

Amalia has also been visited by big names in Everton legend Adrian Heath, Liverpool fan and Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood and former Reds player Alan Kennedy in recent months.

Joel Robles was signed by Roberto Martinez in 2013 (Image: Getty Images)Joel Robles was signed by Roberto Martinez in 2013 (Image: Getty Images)
Joel Robles was signed by Roberto Martinez in 2013 (Image: Getty Images)

The Italian on Campbell Square is known for its calzone challenge, which sees a whopping 5lbs of the folded pizza classic devoured by customers. Those that win see their photo hung in the hall of fame and go home with an Amalia t-shirt as a trophy for their success.

It seems unlikely that the Premier League star would have fancied an attempt at the challenge after the defeat against Everton and would have more likely gone for one of the restaurant’s Italian classics.

The restaurant won a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2022 and boasts an average of a four-star rating on the review site.

Whilst some recent reviews report issues with the temperature of food for takeaways, customers dining in readily award five stars to Amalia and praise a venue that is “great on every occasion”.

One recent reviewer promised to return when back in Liverpool for Eurovision and another described it as “bellissimo”. The latter added: “I can’t rate this place highly enough. Every single time we go it is first class. It’s such a lovely, authentic family-friendly restaurant.

“The food is just the best and the staff are the friendliest which makes this our favourite place to visit. If you’re a pizza lover then I’d look no further. It was lovely to take family today.

“Every single person enjoyed their meals and commented on a lovely atmosphere. Keep up the good work guys because you really are one of a kind.”