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      John Arne Riise - Fulham

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      LFC Viking
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #50: Jul 16, 2011 01:25:15 am
      One of my old favourites too. Good luck John.
      Semple
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #51: Jul 18, 2011 09:13:35 pm
      An adopted Scouser in my eyes. Great lad and I hope he does well.
      KateMKD_Red
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #52: Jul 20, 2011 11:07:46 pm
      Riise on Rafa, leaving and his OG
      20th Jul 2011 - Latest News

      John Arne Riise has taken his seat for an interview with Liverpoolfc.tv but our cameras are not yet rolling.

      The 30-year-old is wearing a white cap and a good lathering of suntan lotion, necessary precautions at this time of year in the Algarve, where celebrities and footballers are competing in the Steven Gerrard Foundation golf tournament.

      There isn't a cloud in the sky and the prevailing silence is broken only by the metallic ping of club on ball and the occasional whine of a golf buggy. But serenity is about to be interrupted.

      The tune is instantly familiar to any Liverpool fan. The words are too. You'd probably even recognise the singer. It is DJ Spoony who begins wailing the Kop's adaptation of Bruce Channel's Hey Baby, the one which enquires how Riise scored THAT goal. Another golfer joins in and soon Ginge (as his former teammates call him) is singing and clapping along, his face smothered by glee.

      In that moment it becomes apparent how fondly he remembers Liverpool fans and his seven years on Merseyside, and over the next half an hour this feeling and his disappointment at leaving will be alluded to in almost every one of his answers.

      "I do miss the city and the fans," says Riise, speaking a few weeks before completing a move from Roma to Fulham. "When I left (in 2008) I was sad, I was disappointed - not only at Rafa, at that time, but also with myself because I didn't do as much as I could have done to stay longer.

      "When you've been somewhere for seven years you get so comfy. I was too happy with my position and I didn't work as hard as I could. I was too settled, I didn't think I had to work that hard. I regret that now - hopefully I won't regret it too much.

      "I didn't want to go. I had a chat with (Rafael) Benitez. He said to me straight out that next year he was going to buy another left-back and my future was not there. It was quite straightforward and I respected that he was honest and told me so I could sort things out, because there was no way I could have stayed there another year and not played.

      "He spent so much money on Andrea Dossena and I knew he was going to give him a lot of chances, even though I thought I was a better player than him.

      "I don't think there have been many left-backs to replace me since then. Not many have adapted to the English game and last season there was (Paul) Konchesky and I don't think he played."

      It is a decade since a 20-year-old Riise arrived on Merseyside from Monaco for a fee of approximately £4million tasked with improving a team that had just won a treble.

      "I was a young lad at the time and nobody expected anything," he recalls. "It's harder when you go to a club and everyone expects you to play good. So I just went there with no pressure and just trying to do my stuff.

      "I wanted to be respected for who I was. So in the first running session, I was the fittest player there, so I ran the most. And I tackled straight away because I wanted to be respected. And it worked. Both Steven Gerrard and Danny Murphy told me that's the reason I got into the group so quick because I worked so hard."

      With his new teammates won over, Riise was about to find acceptance among the patrons of Anfield.

      Contrary to popular belief, it was a strike at Goodison in September 2001 when he turned Steve Watson that first prompted Kopites to ask how he scored THAT goal - though an unstoppable free-kick against Manchester United six weeks later ensured it was sung with greater fervour.

      "I didn't know that it was my song. It's hard to hear sometimes when the fans are singing because it's so loud and the accent is different," says Riise. "After the game they told me that so many people were singing this song about me and it just gave me this tremendous will to give something back, so I hope I did. There aren't many people who get their own song, especially at Liverpool.

      "I think it (the Man Utd free-kick) was the best goal I ever scored - definitely the most important one in my career with Liverpool because it got me into the hearts of the Liverpool fans and it proved I could do stuff.

      "It's been mentioned a few times after as well."

      Ten years on from all this, having written his own little chapter in Liverpool history, Riise is back in English football having signed for Fulham, where he'll work under Martin Jol.

      His first opportunity to join the London club came prior to Liverpool displaying their interest in the summer of 2001.

      "I was very close to signing for Fulham but Gerard Houllier called my agent and said he wanted me," remembers Riise, who was invited for a tour of Anfield with Houllier and his assistant Phil Thompson.

      "It was quite an easy choice when I saw the stadium and I knew the reputation of the club. Gerard taught me a lot and he gave me the confidence to play. He gave me another chance if I got something wrong, so I have a lot to thank him for."

      Without Houllier's intervention, Riise's career would have taken a very different path - but the full-back is philosophical when he looks back on the Frenchman's departure from Anfield in 2004.

      For Riise, the heart surgery which prompted an enforced sabbatical in 2001-02 was the beginning of the end of Houllier's reign.

      "After he got sick things changed a little bit," says the 96-time Norway international.

      "At first it was quite a shock (when he came back for the Roma match in 2002) because he had changed so much during his illness, body-wise.

      "I think it took him a while to get back to his normal self because after what he had gone through he had to take it slowly.

      "I think every club needs a change sometimes and it was good for Liverpool. I didn't want him to go because I was happy with him but the club needed a change."

      While Houllier was reputed to have a close, almost fatherly relationship with his players, Benitez is often portrayed as a colder presence in the dressing room.

      So what differences did Riise notice?

      "It was quite similar, actually," he says. "He (Benitez) was very powerful, a very strong person and we won some trophies under him. He gave me the best trophy I could win as a club footballer, the Champions League, so he's a manager I'll never say anything bad about."

      Winning a fifth European Cup had been inconceivable at the start of Benitez's first season in charge, even more so when results started going badly in the group stages, but a never-to-be-forgotten victory over Olympiacos teed up a last 16 clash with Bayer Leverkusen. Juventus were next to be dispatched, stunned into submission early doors at Anfield. Then it was Chelsea, and in the words of Riise, no one expected Liverpool to prevail.

      "I remember the official putting six minutes on the clock and it was the longest six minutes in the world," he recalls.

      "The atmosphere was unbelievable. I was down in my underpants after the game because I gave everything to the fans. That night will never be forgotten and in the dressing room it was crazy."

      A model pro on and off the pitch, Riise was a favourite among Liverpoolfc.tv journalists during his Anfield years because a/ he always turned up early, and b/ he usually had something interesting to say.

      Today is no different, and the defender is happy to go wherever our questions take him. But it is only when the events of May 25, 2005 are mentioned that he becomes restless in his chair.

      "I was thinking of going home after that first half, it was horrible" says Riise, when asked about his mindset after goals from Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo (2) gave AC Milan a 3-0 lead.

      "I don't think we played that badly, they just scored with every chance they had."

      What occurred in the Liverpool dressing room during the 15-minute interval has been the subject to speculation and wonder ever since, even inspiring a full-length feature film.

      Two questions often arise. The first is what Benitez said to his troops.

      "He changed the system a little bit, changed a couple of players and he told us to listen to the fans," says Riise. "We started listening to the singing then, because we didn't before the game.

      "He just told us to get that first goal and it can't get any worse. If you lose 3-0 or 6-0 it's the same thing so just play.

      "At the end of Benitez talking we could hear the fans singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and that gave everyone a boost. We went out there fired up and trying to get that first goal as soon as possible."

      The second question often put to those who were present in the guts of the Ataturk Stadium is whether, as legend would have it, the Milan players were celebrating.

      "I didn't speak Italian then but I do now and there were a few people saying that this game was over, which was obvious because they were winning 3-0 and playing so good," reports Riise.

      "But the game wasn't over, and it was very nice to beat them after we saw that.

      "That's something special about Liverpool, you never give up."

      Riise played his part in the comeback by providing the cross for Steven Gerrard's headed goal which made it 3-1.

      He then volunteered to take a penalty after 120 minutes of sporting theatre failed to establish a winner.

      "Coming to penalties I was quite confident we were going to win it," says Riise, who by this stage was Liverpool's No.6, having worn No.18 through the Houllier era.

      "I had cramp before the penalty and I was thinking of blasting it but I was scared of getting my cramp back. I didn't notice Dida had gone the same side for every penalty before me. I think I hit it quite well but he just got a hand on it.

      "Stevie (Gerrard) came up and gave me a clap on the back. At that time you think the worst but it didn't take long to turn to happiness."

      Happiness is surely underplaying it, especially as in his next answer Riise describes that evening in Turkey as the best night of his footballing life - although incredibly he has never watched the game back.

      Within a year of Istanbul Ginge and his teammates were in another final and again it proved to be a Did that just happen? occasion as Gerrard inspired another miraculous turnaround before penalties decided the destination of the 2006 FA Cup.

      "I was the first one to go up to Benitez to tell him I wanted to take the fourth penalty because I'd taken the fourth in Istanbul," explains Riise, who averaged just under 50 games a season in his time with the Reds. "There was no doubt about what I was going to do this time.

      "They (his teammates) didn't say anything. Nothing. I was just thinking about kicking that ball as hard as I could so, even if the keeper got to it, it would have been a goal."

      Riise's theory proved correct and he could now add the FA Cup to his CV alongside the League Cup (2003), Champions League and Super Cup (2001 and 2005).

      This list of honours is impressive enough to cope with a European Cup final defeat to AC Milan in 2007, but little did the defender know that he was about to enter his final campaign in L4.

      It may never be known exactly why Benitez decided to invest in a new left-back but a costly own-goal during another Champions League semi-final with Chelsea in 2008 may well have sealed Riise's fate.

      It's a night he thinks about a lot.

      "One second of bad judgement killed me," he says. "I was thinking about kicking it with my right foot or getting it away with a header. It skidded off my head and went into the top corner. It was a great goal but too bad it was in the wrong end.

      "There and then I was very, very much down.

      "It was a difficult three or four days. People come up and clap you on the back and say don't worry but how often do you end up in a Champions league final? I knew I had let the team down, the fans down and I had let myself down. I was not a person to talk to for the next three or four days.

      "I regret doing it because I let so many people down and I think we could have won it that year. But I learnt from it and I grew from it and I'm a better person and player now."

      Benitez had yet to reveal his intentions in the transfer market, but it was at this point Riise knew he was fighting for his Anfield future.

      "I never thought I would be leaving at the end of the season but obviously after that own goal I scored against Chelsea I knew the pressure was going to be on," he said. "I thought, 'Next season, I'm going to have to really step it up.'"

      But next season never happened, at least not for Riise and Liverpool. As stated, he respected Benitez's honesty at the time, though he was distressed at not being given the opportunity to bid farewell to the Kop nor play the two games required to reach 350 for the club.

      Though he is now at Fulham, the thought of joining another English club didn't appeal to Riise in 2008 and he signed for Serie A side Roma.

      "At that point I couldn't go to another English club because I loved Liverpool so much and I didn't want to compete with them," he says.

      With just one year remaining on his contract in the Italian capital, Riise decided to return to the English game this summer following months of speculation which even included rumours of a possible return to Liverpool. He admits to being 'glad' at hearing such tittle tattle and that 'you can never say never' - though any prospect of a second coming now seems to be gone.

      So how would the man himself like to be remembered by Liverpool fans?

      "How? Not that own goal, that's for sure," he laughs. "I think as a guy who came and gave 110 per cent no matter what, a nice guy, loyal and never gave up. I tried to prove I was good enough and I hope I did that."

      With the interview complete, all that's left is to ask Riise for another rendition of THAT song - this time with the cameras switched on.

      "No, no, no!" he says. "I'll have to come back and score a goal at Anfield but I'm not singing on TV. I might later tonight though!"

      Always loved Ginge, best of luck at Fulham Riise!!
      Bahrosa-LFC
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #53: Jul 21, 2011 10:19:56 am
      His passion is very obvious. He never wanted to leave, and has been following us since his departure.

      Was our last decent LB.
      Adryan
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #54: Jul 21, 2011 04:49:20 pm
      Loved Riise. Even now.

      I have to admit I haven't been keeping track of him ever since he left but he's always a player I loved watching. That left foot - omg.
      Roddenberry
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #55: Jul 21, 2011 04:51:22 pm
      Will always have a soft spot for Riise, but he was a good left back, not a great one. Felt his time had come up  when he left, still do and even he admits he 'lost' his way some what during his final season here.
      Devil Hunter
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #56: Jul 29, 2011 06:31:00 pm
      Riise eyes Anfield return

      29th Jul 2011 - Latest News

      Former Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise says he is looking forward to returning to Anfield this season with new club Fulham.

      The Norwegian signed for Martin Jol's men from Roma this summer and is due back at Anfield with his new club on April 14, 2012.

      The Istanbul hero can't wait for the trip and is hoping he receives a positive reception from the fans he used to play in front of week in, week out.

      "I spent seven years at Liverpool so it is going to be strange to play against them but I look forward to going back to Anfield," said Riise.

      "It will be my first time back there and hopefully I get a good reception there.

      "But I am a Fulham player now and I am going to do my best and try to score some goals for my team."

      Riise, who left Liverpool for Italy three years ago, says he is glad to be back in English football.

      "I enjoyed my time in Italy. We fought for some titles and didn't get there in the end, but I needed that experience for my footballing career.

      "I've been quite lucky to play in France, England and Italy now so I am enjoying it, but England is my type of football."

      Liverpoolfc.tv

      Always gave his best though he's been out of form sometimes but me too have a soft spot for John-Arne. Good luck the new Cottager  xxxxx:action-smiley-065:
      Roddenberry
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #57: Jul 30, 2011 01:44:59 am

      Always gave his best though he's been out of form sometimes but me too have a soft spot for John-Arne. Good luck the new Cottager  xxxxx:action-smiley-065:

      Take it you missed the articles above, in which admitted he lost focus during the end of his tenure here & didn't give his best.
      reddebs
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #58: Jun 13, 2016 02:49:17 pm
      John Arne Riise retires from football

      David Lynch
      @LynchMDavid

      Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has confirmed his retirement from professional football at the age of 36.

      The Norwegian, who most recently played for the club where his career started, Aalesund, revealed the news in a blog post on his official website on Monday.

      Riise spent seven years of his 20-year professional career at Anfield after arriving from Monaco to link up with Gerard Houllier.

      The Molde-bon full-back was one of the heroes of the miraculous 2005 Champions League victory and also claimed an FA Cup, League Cup and two UEFA Super Cups during his time with the Reds.

      Since leaving the club in 2008, Riise has featured for Roma, Fulham, APOEL, Delhi Dynamos and, finally, Aalesund.

      He ends his career as the most-capped Norway player of all-time, having appeared for his country 110 times.
      s@int
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #59: Jun 14, 2016 02:58:26 pm
      Best wishes to Riise on his retirement. Good player who scored some memorable goals and made one memorable cross in his time with us.

      I think his off field distractions cost him in the end at Liverpool, but I prefer to remember him as a good hard working player with thunder in his boot.

      Gerrard :- "Congratulations "Ginge" on a great career and best wishes for your future. Top left back and the second hardest shot at Liverpool for years"  ;)
      Diego LFC
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #60: Jun 14, 2016 04:24:22 pm
      Happy retirement John. Thanks for all the memories.
      A superb left-back who was for a while my favourite player.
      I feel so old seeing him retiring from the game!
      Passportboy
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #61: Jun 14, 2016 04:31:55 pm
      The Ginger Prince has left the building... Loved this guy!

      The day he hit a ball so hard it broke Alan Smiths leg - (not that that is something to laugh about of course) unreal... What a bloody cannon he had...

      For my money these are the players we should be bringing back into the club to help us. Imagine the work he could do finding us the next Riise and we all know the Scandinavia churns out some world class players!
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #62: Jun 14, 2016 06:13:34 pm
      Best wishes to the great man on his retirement. What an awesome player and career but most of all a great guy as well. There are hundreds of nations armies out there who would have killed to have a weapon as deadly as his left foot! 
      mcarz
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #63: Nov 25, 2016 03:28:34 pm
      He'll be at the academy for a few months in 2017 to do his coaching badges. Be good to see him back for whatever period of time it'll be.
      crouchinho
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #64: Nov 25, 2016 03:33:33 pm
      He'll be at the academy for a few months in 2017 to do his coaching badges. Be good to see him back for whatever period of time it'll be.

      Awesome.

      His Twitter is full of love for the club. Deserves to learn his trade while at the club.
      mcarz
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #65: Nov 25, 2016 03:47:49 pm
      Awesome.

      His Twitter is full of love for the club. Deserves to learn his trade while at the club.

      He was easily one of my favourite players when he was here, scored some amazing goals too! I think it's great that the club are allowing him to get the experience here.
      crouchinho
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #66: Nov 25, 2016 05:12:40 pm
      He was easily one of my favourite players when he was here, scored some amazing goals too! I think it's great that the club are allowing him to get the experience here.

      It's really great to see so many former players being allowed back to learn their trade.

      And Jürgen seems willing to accommodate.
      siavashiva
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #67: Dec 28, 2018 05:39:12 pm
      https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/dec/28/craig-bellamy-raised-the-club-and-swung-he-could-have-ended-my-career-john-arne-riise-liverpool?fbclid=IwAR1CSZfXSA_d-FXLapiwSRklL-U69Z6nmuSyYjc_QMUCCjV3hB9AoSSViPw

      Interesting excerpt's from Riise's league regarding his brawl with Bellamy in Barcelona before out Champions League clash in 2007, in which they both scored btw.
      siavashiva
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #68: Dec 28, 2018 05:39:44 pm
      https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/dec/28/craig-bellamy-raised-the-club-and-swung-he-could-have-ended-my-career-john-arne-riise-liverpool?fbclid=IwAR1CSZfXSA_d-FXLapiwSRklL-U69Z6nmuSyYjc_QMUCCjV3hB9AoSSViPw

      Interesting read from excerpts of Riise's book regarding his brawl with Bellamy in Barcelona before our Champions League clash in 2007, in which they both scored btw.


      « Last Edit: Dec 28, 2018 05:44:03 pm by siavashiva »
      Swab
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #69: Dec 28, 2018 06:11:22 pm

      And if Bellamy had dared to come out of his room the next morning, as he had agreed, Riise would have smashed the little tw*t to pieces.
      HUYTON RED
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #70: Dec 29, 2018 03:14:17 pm
      And if Bellamy had dared to come out of his room the next morning, as he had agreed, Riise would have smashed the little tw*t to pieces.

      Hahaha as if, the only thing I remember John Arne smashing was the birds he had on the side ;)
      Swab
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #71: Dec 29, 2018 04:00:33 pm
      Hahaha as if, the only thing I remember John Arne smashing was the birds he had on the side ;)

       :laugh:

      Riise was and is a big lad, he'd have smashed Bellamy to bits, which is why Bellamy hid in his room the next morning andwouldn't come out til Riise had gone.
      If Bellamy was all that, he wouldn't have needed a f**king golf club to do Riise, he'd have just gone in and fu**ed him up, but the gobby f**king midget had to get tooled up first, like a f**king coward.  ;)
      Shabs
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #72: Dec 29, 2018 04:30:18 pm
      I’d pay PPV to watch them pair at it... 😂
      Swab
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #73: Dec 29, 2018 04:38:03 pm
      I’d pay PPV to watch them pair at it... 😂

      Don't think it would last long mate.

      In my experience, anyone that has to get tooled up for a row like that isn't worth a sh*t.
      HUYTON RED
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      Re: John Arne Riise - Fulham
      Reply #74: Dec 30, 2018 06:55:49 pm
      :laugh:

      Riise was and is a big lad, he'd have smashed Bellamy to bits, which is why Bellamy hid in his room the next morning andwouldn't come out til Riise had gone.
      If Bellamy was all that, he wouldn't have needed a f**king golf club to do Riise, he'd have just gone in and fu**ed him up, but the gobby f**king midget had to get tooled up first, like a f**king coward.  ;)

      You should chill out and remember what it led to and that no one is really that arsed other than it led to one hell of a goal celebration :laugh:

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