Sunday, May 6, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 43: John Arne Riise


At number 43 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is Liverpool's most successful Norwegian import, John Arne Riise.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: John Arne Riise

Years at Liverpool: 2001 to present
Position: Defender/Midfielder

Date-of-birth: 24/9/1980
Birthplace: Molde, Norway

Signed from: Monaco (July 2001)

Games: 256
Goals: 26

Honours: European Cup (2005), FA Cup (2006), League Cup (2003), Super Cup (2001, 2005), Charity Shield (2001)

John Arne Riise, Liverpool's most successful Norwegian import, made an explosive start to his Anfield career and quickly earned cult-status among the fans on the Kop. Signed from Monaco during the summer of 2001, the Norwegian international netted in the Super Cup Final against Bayern Munich, then followed that up with a much-celebrated strike in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park the next month. Blessed with amazing fitness and possessing a dangerously long throw he immediately became a vital member of the first team as an attacking full-back. But it was his dynamic long-range shooting prowess that made his name and he'll forever be remembered for a stunning 30-yard rocket shot against Manchester United in November that year. Kopites were so impressed they wrote a song about it that is still sung with great regularity to this day. Whether he's playing at left-back or left midfield, the ginger-haired Riise can always be relied upon to let no-one down and his improved levels of consistency have resulted in him being an almost automatic first choice on the teamsheet in recent seasons. Another of his valuable assets is his knack of making important contributions in big games. It was from his cross that Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool's first goal to spark the amazing comeback against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final. He also struck the opener in last season's FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford and coolly converted from the spot in the shoot-out triumph versus West Ham in the final, making amends for his penalty miss in the Istanbul shoot-out twelve months earlier. Now preparing for his sixth season with the Reds, Riise remains a popular member of the team and is one of the most experienced players in Rafa Benitez's squad. More glory may beckon on the horizon for him at Liverpool but even if he doesn't achieve anything else in the red shirt John Arne Riise can rest assured that he's already left an indelible mark at Anfield.

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