John Arne Riise (born 24 September 1980 in Molde, Norway) was a Norwegian professional footballer who last played as a left-back and a left midfielder for Indian Super League club Chennaiyin F.C. on a two-month contract.
With 110 caps, he is the most capped player for the Norway national team. He was named in the Norway squad for UEFA Euro 2000 but did not play in the tournament. Riise scored 16 goals before his retirement from international duty in 2013. He spent seven years playing for Premier League side Liverpool, in which he won many honours, including the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, before moving to Roma in 2008.
Riise began his career in his homeland with Aalesund. After a single season as a senior player for the club, he moved abroad in 1998. Playing the formative years of his professional career with French club Monaco. When Aalesund opened their new stadium in April 2005. Businessman Olav Nils Sunde donated a statue to the club, which was erected in front of the stadium. While Sunde denied it, the statue bore a very strong resemblance to Riise. In 2007, when Riise played in the Champions League Final, a Norwegian commentator demanded the statue officially carry his name. Riise himself has said, “This is not for me to decide. Everyone sees who it is, and I know that it was made for me.”
Riise was a regular member of the 1999–2000 Ligue 1 championship-winning side. However, he fell out of favour with coach Claude Puel after admitting his desire to leave. Riise was a subject of interest from Premier League clubs. Especially Fulham and Leeds United that both offered £4 million bids in 2000, though both came to nothing as Monaco wanted £6 million for him.
He was then sold to Liverpool for £4 million the following summer.
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. Riise scored as Liverpool went on to win the game 3–2. He also scored important goals throughout the Premier League season against teams such as Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle United and Manchester United. Riise initially wore the number 18 shirt but changed to the number 6 shirt in 2004–05 season, which had been vacated by defender Markus Babbel. He scored ten goals in his first season with Liverpool.
Riise made it into the list of the top 50 Liverpool appearance-makers of all time when he played in the 5–0 victory over Luton Town on 15 January 2008.
On 22 April 2008, in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea at Anfield, Riise scored an own goal in the 95th minute to equalise. Liverpool went on to lose 3–2 after extra time in the away match and were eliminated from the tournament 4–3 on aggregate.
Throughout the 2007–08 season, Riise’s natural place in the side was often taken by Fábio Aurélio. The Brazilian establishing himself as the club’s first choice left-back. On 18 June 2008, after being link with moves to other English clubs. Riise signed a four-year contract with Italian Serie A club Roma. The club paid €5 million total (which could go up to €5.5 million), including €2.8 million per year. Riise soon became a fan favourite with his hard working spirit which drove Roma to several important victories. In fact, Riise’s first goal for the club was against league leaders Internazionale in a pivotal top of the table game.
Two months later, he scored again in the same stadium against Milan with a free kick into the top right corner, also providing an assist for Roma’s second goal of the game. Riise was name the Man of the Match for the game, which ended 3–2 in favour of Roma. On 24 January 2010, Riise scored a late header three minutes into injury time in Roma’s 2–1 away win over Juventus. He was also responsible for the dismissal of influential goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in the same game after making a terrific run leaving Buffon no choice but to foul the full-back. Given the nature of the game, it is seen as one of Riise’s most memorable moments in a Roma jersey.
On 13 July 2011, Fulham announced that Riise had signed a three-year-deal with the club for an undisclosed fee. Riise joined his brother, Bjørn Helge Riise, at Fulham who signed for the club in 2009. Riise made his Fulham debut on 21 July 2011, playing in the UEFA Europa League against Crusaders at Craven Cottage.
On 23 May 2014, he was released from the club at the end of his contract.
Riise made his debut for the Norway national team against Iceland on 31 January 2000. His first international goals came against Turkey in a Friendly match on 23 February 2000, a game Norway won 2–0. Later that year, he made the only international tournament appearance of his career at UEFA Euro 2000, but was an unused substitute in all three of the team’s Group C matches. Through the next decade, Riise was Norway’s first-choice left-back, and on 12 November 2011. He played his 100th international match when Norway lost 4–1 against Wales. On 15 August 2012, Riise played his 104th match for Norway and equalled Thorbjørn Svenssen’s record as the most capped Norwegian player. Eventually surpassing it before retiring from international football in 2013.
Ligue 1 (1): 1999–2000
Trophée des Champions (1): 2000
FA Cup (1): 2005–06
Football League Cup (1): 2002–03
FA Community Shield (2): 2001, 2006
UEFA Champions League (1): 2004–05
UEFA Super Cup (2): 2001, 2005
Cypriot First Division (1): 2014–15
Cypriot Cup (1): 2014–15
Kniksen of the Year (1): 2006
Tags: Cypriot-First-Division, Kniksen-of-the-Year, Norway, Liverpool, Fulham, Roma, Euro-2000, Ligue-1, Champions-League, Super-Cup, Community-Shield, Premier-League,