On this day in 2001 John Arne Riise signed for Liverpool Football Club.
Riise started his career out at Norweigan second division side Aalesund and was sold to Monaco in the summer of 1998 for £700,000. Once manager Jean Tigana left Monaco Riise also wanted to look for a new club. Leeds showed an interest but could not manage a deal with Monaco and having been frozen out of the team his old mentor Tigana wanted to bring him to Fulham. Riise agreed personal terms with the London club but Liverpool hijacked the bid and eventually he ended up moving to Merseyside.
He had no trouble in adapting to the English game and was a success in his debut season with the Reds. He helped Liverpool bring in the charity shield as well as the European Super Cup to add to their treble winning season the year before. In only his second game in the Premier league he also opened his goal scoring account against rivals Everton, he ran half the pitch before slotting it into the net to make it 3-1 to Liverpool. Two months later Liverpool faced Manchester United at Anfield and the Norwegian scored a goal no Liverpool fan would forget, he smashed a free kick from 30 yards in off the bar and ripped his shirt off at the Kop end in what would become his trademark celebration.
Fast forward to 2005 and Riise was playing in the biggest game of his career, the Champions League final against AC Milan. He was a part of the starting XI that day and put in the cross to Steven Gerrard that would start the Liverpool revival. He was also picked to take a penalty but was the only player who missed that day. Liverpool went on to win the trophy coming back from 3-0 down but that penalty miss still hung over his head.
Liverpool reached the FA Cup final the summer later and Riise asked if he could take the fourth penalty in the shoot-out, the manager said yes and Riise smashed his penalty right down the middle.
The left-back lost his way towards the end of his Liverpool career and after seven years at the club he was sold to Italian side Roma. He had two decent seasons in Italy before returning to England to link up with his brother at Fulham. At the end of his three-year-contract he was released by Fulham. At the start of September 2014 he signed for Cypriot club APOEL Nicosia but after winning the league and cup double in his first season his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
John Arne RiIse finished his Liverpool career with 348 appearances scoring 31 goals.
Article by Lauren Black – @Lauren_Black9
For more Redmen TV content including podcasts, subscriber exclusives and three new shows every week subscribe now and get your first month for FREE bit.ly/RMTVjoin