Monthly Archives

mai 2015

Uncategorized

Let’s Play!

30. mai 2015

The day is finally here. It’s time to play some Poker in this years WSOP in Vegas. This is what this trip is all about. Since I’m in season most of the year I can’t play EPT or other big Poker tournaments.To me this is a dream come true.  Every year I’m excited to take my wife and friends to Vegas with Betsson and play in The World Championships. Although I’m not a professional Poker player, yet, I’m learning all the time. I watch videos, read books and try to learn from the best but at the same time try to find my own style of play. As any other thing I do in life, if I start something I’m doing everything I can to be as good as I can.

Yesterday was a great day. Woke up early, had breakfast in the room before we went down to the pool and met our friends. It was around 38 degrees, but to me it felt a lot warmer!! Since we are on holiday we started very early with some slush drinks. I love those kind of drinks when it’s so hot. Music was on by the pool and we really enjoyed ourself. We got some amazing friends with us and we have such a great time together.

In the afternoon I had to go with Betsson and register for the tournament I’m playing in today. Me, Tone, Felix and Markus went together. We were told there could be a waiting line up to 3 hours!! Luckily it took us only 30 min to get through. I’m always so excited to play in big tournaments. They told us it’s 20 thousand players in this tournament. Challenge accepted! Met my poker idol Thor Hansen at the hotel as well. What an amazing person. He has done so much for Norwegian Poker and Poker in general. I have played with him a few times, I really hope I can play at the same table here in Vegas. Love that guy.

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Riise og Betsson

Riise og Thor HansenRiise og ToneWe went for a Betsson dinner later that night. Gumball 3000 came to Vegas so it was time for a big party. As always Betsson never holds back when it comes to dinners and making people feel great. Everybody was in a great mood and ready to have a great time. In Vegas they are very strict when it comes to ID. And of course I forgot mine!! I couldn’t get in and join the others. Me and Louise went back to our hotel to pick up my passport, but had to wait 45 min for a taxi to get there, and the same to go back. We just figured there is no point going back when it took so long. Disappointed!!!!! We got some pictures from our friends, looked amazing.

Wishing everybody a great Saturday. We are going to be by the pool all day before I go into game mode. You can follow me on Snapchat, Riise3, to see how I get on in the tournament.

 

 

Personal

Vegas, Gumball, Poker and Betsson

29. mai 2015

Good morning from Vegas. Holiday is finally here. After 2 amazing days in Liverpool with former players and the best fans in the world, it was time for our trip to Vegas. This is our 3rd year in a row that we go with my sponsor Betsson to Vegas. It’s always something that we look forward to every year. This year me and Louise are taking 4 of our great friends along with 10 other people from Betsson. Can’t wait for everything that’s gonna happen this week.

Trip started 0730 yesterday morning. We didn’t sleep that night as we wanted to wait for the long flight from Manchester to Vegas. Didn’t work for me! Slept maybe 1 hour in total. Louise was gone for about 5-6 hours. When we arrived Vegas it was 1430 in the afternoon. As I have been here a few times I have learned how to get used to the jet lag. Stay up as long as you can. We went for dinner and had a few drinks to try and keep it going for as long as we could. Wasn’t easy but we all managed to stay up until midnight.

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Breakfast is served! Love hotel breakfast. We are staying at the Aria hotel. Amazing. Today we have decided to have a relaxing day as tonight is gonna get crazy!!!. Be by the pool all day, get some tan and just enjoy being in Vegas. Only thing I have to do today is getting registered to the WSOP poker tournament that I’m playing in tomorrow. Love poker and I’m so happy Betsson and I started working together few years back. Coming to Vegas and being able to play poker, representing Betsson is great, a dream come true. I’m sure we will work together for many years to come.

Tonight is a big big party. Gumball 3000 is coming to Vegas. This is one party we have all been looking forward to!! Knowing how Vegas can throw a party I’m sure this is one we won’t forget. I will post pictures on Snapchat during the day/ night.

Have a great day and I will be back soon

Personal

LANDSLAGET???

26. mai 2015

Jeg er vant til å høre mye rart om meg selv. Det er ikke nytt og det er ikke overraskende.
Det er også en av grunnene til at jeg har valgt å begynne å blogge igjen.

Den siste uken har vært en av de beste jeg har hatt resultatmessig på fotballbanen.
Cupmester, seriemester og en kraftig påminnelse over hva som skjedde i Istanbul for 10 år siden.

Rett og slett en drøm! Jeg elsker jobben min og håper jeg kan spille fotball på øverste nivå i mange år fremover.
Jeg er i dag 34 år, men føler meg faktisk bedre i dag en den dagen jeg forlot Liverpool.

Høres rart ut, men jeg har en forklaring. Menneskene rundt meg. Jeg har etterhvert fått et nettverk av folk som vil meg vel.
Tidligere medspillere, venner og familie. Spesielt Louise og Bjørn Helge. På hver sin måte har de gitt livet mitt en fantastisk grunnmur.
De har bidratt til at jeg hverken tar helt av eller går helt i kjelleren. En fantastisk følelse å ha slike i livet.

Det jeg hørte i Liverpool var at jeg ikke ville spille på landslaget lenger. En del folk fra pressen har det siste døgnet spurt meg om det samme.
Det er en sannhet med modifikasjoner. Jeg ga meg for å kunne fokusere på klubb fotball. Det var også mange utenomsportslige ting som tappet meg for krefter. Hadde ikke overskudd. Jeg har inngått en sponsoravtale med Betsson, det har de fleste fått med seg.
Det er denne avtalen som gjør det uaktuelt for meg å spille med flagget på brystet, ikke min manglende motivasjon. Jeg elsker samarbeidet med Betsson, det vil ikke endre seg.

Så for de som lurer på om jeg har takket nei til landslaget bør heller ringe Norsk Tipping enn til meg. Det er de som sitter på nøkkelen.
Per-Mathias vet hva jeg mener om han og han har nummeret mitt. Men så lenge jeg er på Norsk Tippings black list er jeg uønsket på landslaget.

Mitt personlige syn på Norsk Tippings monopol er det ingen vits at jeg bruker tid på, det er klart for alle.
Jeg har en følelse av at det er mange som er enige med meg, men Norsk Tipping har så stor makt i norsk idrett at idrettsledere over hele landet er
livredde. Hva mener dere? Hva hadde du gjort hadde du vært meg? Er vi tjent med monopolet eller er det på tide å tenke nytt?

Setter pris på dine synspunkter i kommentarfeltet her.

General Personal

I will never forget!!!

25. mai 2015

First of all I want to tell you all how difficult this was to write.  We have just won The Double together. Something I have never done. We have shared 9 great months together. I have made so many new friends, people I truly respect. I have learned so much about myself. During the year we went through some very good times, but also some difficult ones. Last 4 months has been amazing and especially the last week winning the Cup and the League. 

 I have been asked a lot last few weeks about my future. Am I going to stay one more year or not. A lot of rumours have been going around. So instead of people talking and pretending to know everything, I’m going to tell you with my own words. And again, this was not easy, and the decision was even harder.

 I have after a lot of consideration decided to not take another year at APOEL. This is a decision I took a few weeks ago. I spoke to Manduca and the President.I expressed my feelings. They really tried to change my mind. I didn’t want anybody to know as I wanted the focus to be on the Double. Team is more important then one player. So that’s why I now tell you this, so you can all see that my focus was always on the team and trying to do my best. I will not go into detail why I took this decision, but at the end I felt it was the right one for me and my career, but also for my family.  After playing in France, England and Italy, Cyprus was a different step. It was a something I really wanted to try and do my best for the team. I wanted to win things. I wanted to show that I still had some years in me. Thanks to APOEL, I managed to do that.

 Before I talk about the team, I want to thank the fans from the bottom of my heart for their support. I knew there was a lot of pressure on me when I came. The fans wanted to see the Riise from Liverpool. It took some time, but all I wanted was to show you that I always give 100%. I hope the last 4-5 months showed you all what you wanted to see. I am very very happy I managed to show you “The Riise Rocket “ you have all been waiting for.  6 goals and 10 assists or something is not bad for a left back. You are amazing fans with so much passion!!! Yesterday’s celebration was unbelievable and I’m very glad I was able to see this. I will always follow the team and I will always support you. I hope you all respect my decision. You have a friend for life and I feel proud to be a part of APOEL history. Keep supporting the team like you do and I’m sure you will have a lot of success. I will come and see you at the stadium, I will never forget!!

 Thank you to all my teammates and everybody working for APOEL. You all made it very easy for me to feel welcomed. The players are all great people and I see you as my friends. You all were a part of history this year, for this I thank you. Good luck to all of you and I look forward following your careers and to see you all soon.

 I want to thank the President. He gave me a chance to win trophies and make history. They really wanted me to stay at APOEL. They did everything they could to make me change my mind. It was a difficult decision for me, especially when I felt the love they showed me, and how much they wanted me to continue. So this is my choice only. The club and the president wanted me to stay. I can’t thank them enough for the effort they showed me.

 APOEL will always be in my heart. Thank you everybody for everything you did for me this year. I could not do this without the support from all of you. Now I will have a long summer and decide what to do next. I could go back to Norway, but I do feel I have some more yeas abroad.  I do hope I can have your support for the future.

 MONO APOEL

Personal Uncategorized

Champions!!!!!

25. mai 2015

We won the Cup on Wednesday and yesterday we won The Championship. In my first year we got The Double. I’m so happy for the team, the fans and everybody involved with APOEL. We have worked so hard for this. Amazing. It’s 15 years since I last won the League Championship. I signed last September hoping that I could have the possibility to fight for The Cup and the League. We won both the first year! This summer is gonna be great!

Yesterday we went into the game only needing a draw. We decided to have a go from the first whistle and try to kill the game early. After going 2 up very early, they hit one back before we scored 2 goals. 4-1 at half time, we knew the game was over. Nothing really happened in the second half, they scored one goal, but we were never in danger. When the final whistle went we our fans went onto the pitch and celebrated with us. Shirt and shorts were ripped off. We couldn’t care less, we were the Champions. This feeling makes all the hard work worth it.

We went back to Nicosia and had an opened bus through the city and met our fans by the local APOEL supporter bar. Amazing scenes! As you will see in the pictures, this meant a lot to the fans. We planned a big night of celebration, and I’m sure the boys did. I went home early as I was leaving early for Liverpool and  the 10th year anniversary since we won the Champions League.

I am very proud to call myself The Double Champion of Cyprus. I have worked hard for this personally and with the team. Great teammates who deserves both these titles. I will now enjoy a nice long holiday. Can’t wait for this summer. A lot of things will be happening.

Hope you enjoy some of the pictures from the celebrations.

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General Uncategorized

One last push!

24. mai 2015

I’m just in bed at the team hotel. So many thoughts in my head. But only one of them are important at this moment The League title! Wednesday we won the Cup. My first trophy for some years. Was an amazing feeling. To score a “Riise rocket” was also special. I wrote before the Final that I played for Louise and that this was a chance for me to give something back to her. To be able to do that was an incredible feeling. She was proud, that’s what matters to me.

Today is the last game of the season. We are 3 points ahead. We only need a draw, but we never think like that. We are going for the win as always. This is why I came here, to be in a position to win. And today we can win the League! Something I haven’t done since 2000 with AS Monaco. I have been so close many times, but not as close as today. I am desperate for this title! I have dreamt of winning a League Championship for so long! I will not miss this chance today. The whole team are very focused and ready for the challenge. Winning the Cup gave us a lot of confidence that we will use today. The fans will be on fire today and give us all the support we need.

When I think back, it’s been a season with a lot of ups and a few downs. I came in September after 3 months holiday. I was not in good condition. I was 5% body fat- and 5 kg too heavy. I needed a long holiday to get my head sorted and motivation back. Now I knew the hard work started. But I will never ever let my body go down like that again. I’m a fitness freak and it’s the first and last time it will happen. I felt bad, but 3 months off was extremely good for my head. I needed it to be able to keep pushing. OK, body fat and kg was not where I wanted, but that’s easy to get rid off. I was mentally ready now. I had my own plan for my stay here in Cyprus. Win trophies, get back to being a machine and show I was far from done.

It took some weeks to be fully fit and ready. When Thorsten Fink took over as coach, he brought Nikola. His fitness coach. I’m sure you have seen my Instagram, Snapchat pictures of the two of us together. This guy changed my life when it comes to fitness. He made me fitter and stronger than I have ever been. He is by far the best fitness coach I have ever seen. We worked every day in the gym, apart from day before a game. From the first day when I realised who he was, what he has done and how good he was, I told him: Niko, You are the guy I have been waiting for, make me into a machine! I want to get to a new level. A level I have never been. I want to show the doubters and haters that I’m still here. Push me to the limit and make me as strong as I have ever been. His reply? “Don’t worry machine, we start today”. I thank you Niko for what you have done for me, what you have taught me about football fitness.I thank you for what you will help me with in the future, but more importantly, I thank you for the friendship we have. You are the reason I came back to my best and now has 6 goals.

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The whole team has worked so hard for a year. I only came in September, but APOEL started in mid june. The players have put in so much effort. The whole team deserve to be in this position. We deserve to be fighting for the title. But to win it we need to be 100% focused today and give everything we have. It’s the last game after a long season. No games are easy, and today will also be difficult. But we are ready, and with the support from our passionate fans, it’s going to be an exciting game!

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Let’s give it all boys and have one last push!!!!!!!

 

Personal

I’m not done yet…

21. mai 2015

Where to start… Yesterday was an amazing day. I will try my best to give you an insight. I wrote a post yesterday around midday regarding this big Cup final and that I always play for Louise. I couldn’t ask for a better game!!

We left the hotel around 4.30 pm and came to the stadium around 1h 40min before kick off. I could feel my body was ready. Time went so slow, I had so much energy that needed to come out. I was finally in a Cup final again. This is why I came to APOEL, try and fight for trophies. Now we were in the final, and there was no chance I was gonna let this chance go to waste. I was really fired up, and I made sure the boys were as well. As I said to them: We have trained and worked hard for 11 months for this. 90 min away from an important trophy.

The game started badly, they put a lot of pressure on on and got the first goal. we played very bad for about 30 min. Then we got the equaliser, and we felt that was the turning point. We started playing our game, and they seemed to get tired after they started the game in a very high tempo. We even got the second goal to go 2-1 up seconds before half time. Conceding a goal just before half time is a big blow, and we got a big lift.

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We decided to start the second half much better than the first. Keep the ball and let them run. We knew that we needed at least one, maybe 2 goals to kill this game. We scored 3-1 after 53 min. A goal that really gave us a big advantage. We felt in control and they started to make a lot of mistakes. But the best, for me personally was yet to come. If you remember in my last post, I wanted to really give my wife something for the support she always gives me. And I was hoping this final would do that.

Free kick, about 30 metres out. I knew this was mine to take. I have scored 5 goals this season, but I know the fans has been waiting for the typical “Riise rocket”. I walked up to the ball, put it down and when I did I said  to myself: John, this is your big chance. This is the perfect game to show all the doubters, all the haters, everybody that believes you are done, that you are far from done! Most of all, this is the chance to score a Cup winning goal for my amazing wife. While I was preparing, some of the players in the wall started saying to me: John, please, don’t shoot hard, don’t hit us. At that moment I knew. I was gonna smash this ball so hard that if I hit the wall, somebody will be in pain. At the same time I knew that there was no chance they would stand still, some of them would move. So I decided to smash it towards the wall and if it went through, goalkeeper would have no chance.

7 metres run up, BOOM! through the wall, hit the post, goal! I saw the flight off the ball all the way into the net. Amazing!! I had done what I always believed I still had in me. My left peg hasn’t retired yet! Under you will see some great pictures of the celebrations after i scored. My emotions went crazy. I was so happy for the club, the fans and my teammates. They all deserved this trophy. On a personal point of view, I dedicated this goal to my wife! Just for being you.

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I will not comment on what happened after I scored. I leave that to the federation. Very sad thing for Cyprus football. Something needs to be done.

 

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We celebrated at the stadium with our fans, got the trophy and took a lot of selfies! These are the moments nobody can take away from you. I got another trophy on my CV, and it’s not over yet. It’s always great to prove some people wrong. The ones that think they know everything, that says I’m done, too old, not good enough, not fit enough. All I have to say to those people: Thank you for giving me an extra drive to keep going. I freaking love making you eat your own words! This red headed ginger is still here and will be for another few years, so keep coming with your shit. It only makes me stronger. For all the others who supports me, messages me, reads my blog, leaves comments: From the bottom of my heart i Thank you. You all makes it worth it.

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We have one last game on Sunday in the league, a draw wins us the title. So last night was not a big celebration. We have to be ready for Sunday. Win the title and the celebrations can begin.

Some of the photos are from Snapchat, and you can always follow me there for more insight into my daily life. Riise3 is my nickname.

 

Personal

I play for you my Love

20. mai 2015

I have big Cup final tonight. And the last game of the season on Sunday. So I apologise that today won’t be a long post. But I do like to tell you about something important to me when it comes to games. Especially the type of games like tonight.

I will at a later stage write an own post about my amazing wife. But since tonight is the Cup final and I won’t write a long post, I decided to tell you this little secret. Maybe some already know this.

Every game I play, everything I try to achieve in life, I do for my wife. Tonight I play for her. I always have her in my mind. She gives me energy and the extra kick to push myself harder. Obviously some games don’t go as planned, but that’s how it is. Louise is so important to me, she has changed my life and given me reason to keep going. Without her I’m not sure if I would have still played football today. I lost myself few years back, but she came into my life and gave me reason to keep pushing and doing what I love the most. She is my inspiration. I will go more into detail at a later stage.

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So the Cup final today is my big chance to really give something back to my wife in terms of a trophy. I am very excited. The whole team has worked a whole year for this. We have 2 more games and the chance to win 2 trophies! All the hard work we have put in this year, goes down to these 2 games. This is what we play for, this is what we all want to have a chance to win at the end of a long season. The whole team are really up for this. With the support of our passionate fans, I’m sure it will be a great game.

Breakfast done, now it’s rest, movie time and just prepare the body for 90 + minutes of running and fighting. It’s suppose to be over 30 degrees when the game starts tonight, so the right amount of fluid is important during the day.

Have a great Wednesday people. I hope I’m back later with some great pictures.

 

 

Personal Uncategorized

Very important week!!!

19. mai 2015

Can’t believe it’s not even 8am and I’m already blogging. I haven’t been posting for the last couple of days, so when I woke up this morning I felt bad. Took the computer, made breakfast and went outside by the pool and started typing. It’s been crazy hot, so it was already 28 degrees! But again, it proves how much I love blogging and posting about my daily life. Wouldn’t have thought that a few months back, but I love working for United Bloggers, and especially with my wife.

A lot has happened last few days. As all of you read in my last post, Steven Gerrard played his last home game. So sad and very disappointing that he didn’t get the win he deserved. We played Saturday our last home game of the season. A win could have given us the title depending on the other result. It was an unbelievable atmosphere at the game. The other game went our way, but we only got the draw. It was not the result we wanted, but it was important not to lose as they would have passed us.

We are now 3 points clear with one game to go. But before that we have the Cup final tomorrow!! This is why I play football, to have the chance to win trophies. It doesn’t always go your way, but we all know that we have a big chance to take the double. It will be a very tough game tomorrow, but if we play like we know we can, we have a very good chance of winning. But we all know, Cup is Cup. In the last League game we only need a draw to win the league, but i can guarantee you that we are going 100% for the win! I can feel it on my body. Normally the body should be tired after a long season, but when you are fighting for titles something is happening with the energy level. I love it!

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As you can all understand it’s a very big and important week for me and the team. This is why I came to APOEL and Cyprus, to have the chance to fight for trophies. I am grateful for this and will do everything I possibly can for my team and fans. Everybody connected to this great club is doing everything they can, and it’s a great buzz around the club before these 2 games.

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The furniture has left Cyprus. Everything we want for our new apartment from the house in Cyprus was taken into a container and is heading for Norway. I know Louise can’t wait to get it all done. Last night Louise and my amazing mother in law left for Norway. They took the dogs with them. Must admit it’s very lonely here without my wife and the dogs. But this means I will now just prepare for the last 2 games in my own mind. Louise knows how I am when it comes to big games. I can be very quiet, not talk a lot, do my own thing and maybe look a little bit angry. So I can understand why they left now, haha;) But yesterday my great friend Dan “The Man” came to support me and watch the Final. He has been there since I started my professional life, so I know he is excited for this game and that he will do what he does best, get me in a good mood. Will be nice to have him here with me, but most of all I’m glad he can see the final, he loves it and truly deserves it.

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Wishing everybody a great day, and don’t forget to follow me on Snapchat: Riise3.

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Big Love

Riise

 

Personal

Thank You Captain Fantastic!

15. mai 2015

I’m just lying in my hotel room. We got a very big game tomorrow at home. 2 games left and all to play for. we are very focused and ready for the big job we have tomorrow. All I would do from now and until the game is rest. Get the right food and fluid. Games tomorrow is what it’s all about. Full stadium and fighting for the title.

But while I’m lying here, I also know tomorrow is my good friend Steven Gerrards last home game for Liverpool. When you’re playing you never think that the day Steven Gerrard plays his last home game would come. Sadly, tomorrow is that day. After 700 games +.  I wouldn’t normally post anything when a player plays his last game, but Gerrard is not just a player. He is “THE” player, the best I have ever played with.  So I felt I had to write something to show my appreciation for Steven. Because to me and my career he has been so important. Without his support, advice and friendship, alongside Carragher, Hyypia and Murphy I wouldn’t have succeeded at Liverpool.

When I first came to Liverpool in 2001, he was one of the first that approached me. Even though I couldn’t understand the scouse accent, I felt this guy was really nice. It took me 4 months to understand scouse. He was so down to earth, friendly and helpful. So was the rest of the players, but him, Carra, Murphy and Hyypia was players that stood out. I was 21, but felt I was younger. Like a small kid.  They have all told me after I left Liverpool that they knew I came there to prove I was good enough after I smashed them all in the first fitness test. That test made life easier for me.

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Gerrard was a player that stood out from day 1! He was just unbelievable! He had everything. Strong, quick, stamina, passing, shooting, tackling. He was a leader, but the thing that made me realise he was world class was the person he was. Humble, quiet, supporting, hard working, family man and always there for his teammates.

Over the years we bonded and became good friends. When you play 7 years and over 300 games together, that’s normal. I do hope and believe he thinks the same about me;) I must admit we did have some great times off the pitch that we can have a drink and laugh about now!

We won a lot together, and he was sometimes the reason why. When I went through difficult time after my own goal against Chelsea, he was there to support me, he texted and called me just to make sure I was ok. Yes of course there was other players there as well, likes of Carra and Hyypia, but today it’s all about Gerrard.

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I wanna thank Gerrard for everything he has taught me. Even though we are the same age, he became someone I looked up to and someone I wanted to learn from. I am grateful for the time I had on the pitch with him. Liverpool has many legends, but I agree with Fowler, He is the greatest Liverpool has ever had. I’m honoured that I can say I played 7 years with the legend himself. I won Champions League with him, even though I think he won it for us.

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Thank you for coming to Norway and supporting my Football school. Thank you for the memories and I can’t wait to see you play in The States. But I do hope he practises his  golf, that’s one place I am for sure better than him!   Enjoy your last game at Anfield, you will get an amazing send off, well deserved. And to all Liverpool fans: You have not seen a player like him before, give him what he deserves. Without a doubt the best and most complete player I have ever played with.

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Hope you enjoyed this read about Gerrard. It’s movie time now before a long sleep before tomorrow’s game. MONO APOEL

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