Biography

John Arne Semundseth Riise (born 24 September 1980 in MoldeNorway) is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a left back for APOEL in the Cypriot First Division.

With 110 caps, he is the most-capped player for the Norwegian national team, but did not play at Euro 2000 and scored 17 goals before his retirement from international duty in 2013. Riise spent seven years playing forPremier League side Liverpool, in which he won honours including the 2005 Champions League Final, before moving to Roma in 2008. He is the older brother of Bjørn Helge Riise, who is also a Norway international.

Early career

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 AS 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. Whilst 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, «[The name change] is not for me to decide. Everyone sees who it is, and I know that it was made for me.»

He 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 subject of interest from English 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.

Liverpool

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. He 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, and Manchester United. Riise initially wore the number 18 shirt but changed to the number 6 shirt in the 2004–2005 season, which had been vacated by defender Markus Babbel. He scored ten goals in his first season with Liverpool.

He endured what were considered below-average seasons by most in the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons,but he rediscovered his form in 2004–05 following the appointment of Rafael Benítez as manager. He won aChampions League winner’s medal, providing the assist for Liverpool’s first goal of the final, although his attempt in the penalty shoot-out against Milan was saved. In the 2005 Football League Cup Final he scored in the first minute of the game; however, Chelsea eventually prevailed 3–2 after extra time.

In January 2006, Riise signed a new contract at Anfield to keep him at the club until 2009. In February 2008, Riise announced his desire to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his career.

He helped the club to win the 2005–06 FA Cup, scoring in the semi-final against Chelsea and successfully converting his attempt in the penalty shoot-out against West Ham in the final.

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.

Roma

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. After being linked with moves to other English clubs, Riise signed on 18 June 2008 a four-year contract with A.S. Roma. The club paid €5 million total (which could go up to €5.5 million). Riise soon became a fan favorite 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 on Roma’s second goal of the game. Riise was 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.

Fulham

On 13 July 2011, Fulham announced that John Arne 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 Europa League against Crusaders at Craven Cottage.

On 23 May 2014 he was released from the club at the end of his contract.

APOEL

On 1 September 2014, John Arne Riise signed a two-year contract with APOEL from Cyprus. He made his official debut on 20 September 2014, playing the full 90 minutes and providing two assists in APOEL‘s 3–1 away victory against Ayia Napa for the Cypriot First Division. He made his only 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage appearance with APOEL on 21 October 2014, coming on as a 41st minute substitute in his team’s 0–1 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. He scored his first official goal for APOEL on 11 January 2015, opening the scoreline in his team’s 1–2 defeat at AEL Limassol for the Cypriot First Division.[21]

International career

John Arne Riise made his debut for Norway 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.

Playing style

Riise is «[r]enowned for his unrivaled stamina and powerful shooting….impressing both as an accomplished defender and as a marauding full-back.» He also is a threat from set pieces. While primarily a left-back, he oftened also played as a left midfielder whilst atLiverpool.

Honours

AS Monaco
Liverpool

Individual

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