John Arne Riise
John Arne Riise enjoyed seven excellent years at Liverpool, winning the 2005 Champions League and 2006 FA Cup during his time with the Reds. He played 348 times for the club, and scored an amazing 31 goals.
The left-back loved to attack and enjoyed taking on players. He had strength and pace in abundance. He was known for his thunderous left foot, gaining a reputation for scoring some truly spectacular goals over the years.
In his 7 years at the club Riise won over the Kop with his sensational goals. He was so committed and a complete professional. He was a modern fullback. Someone who loved the attack getting forward as much as early could.
He made his debut for Liverpool in the 24 August 2001 2001 UEFA Super Cup game against Bayern Munich played at the Stade Louis II.
What an opportunity to open his account for the club – Liverpool then went on to win the game 3–2.
He then went on to score 10 goals in his first season with Liverpool.
He had his best moments when Rafa Benítez became manager.
He provided the assist for Liverpool’s 1st goal in the ‘famous’ Champions League final against AC Milan – although his penalty in the shootout was saved!
In February 2008, Riise announced his desire to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his career.
Riise helped Liverpool win the 2005–06 FA Cup, scoring in the semi-final against Chelsea.
In the final against West Ham, he successfully scored his penalty in the shoot-out.
On 22 April 2008, in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea at Anfield, Riise scored again!! But this time it was an own goal in the 95th minute to equalise.
Sadly Liverpool went on to lose 3–2 after extra time in the away match and were knocked out of the tournament.
My favoutite goal has to be the Charity Shield Vs. Chelsea – he did like scoring against them!! Riise ran two-thirds of the length of the pitch, before launching a thunderous shot from distance. It flew past Cudicini before he knew what had hit him.
Throughout the 2007–08 season, Riise’s natural place in the side was often taken by Fábio Aurélio – another fan favourite.
The Brazilian established himself as the club’s first choice left-back.
Much to the shock and surprise to all the fans, on 18 June 2008, Riise signed a four-year contract with Roma who paid €5 million. Everyone thought that he stay with the club for life. He certainly planned to.
Most Liverpool fans will always have a sweet spot for him – this is why he made my team.