Riise announces retirement

Source: AFP

Former Liverpool and Norway defender John Arne Riise has announced his retirement with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old – who scored 16 goals in a record 110 appearances for his country – revealed the news through a statement on his personal website.

Riise had been playing in his homeland for Aalesund, the club where he started his career, but revealed he no longer has the motivation to carry on.

"Lately there has emerged a completely new feeling in me, a feeling that I am no longer strong enough to perform at my best," he said in the statement.

"I like to play football, but the motivation is still not strong enough to run the race at the highest level.

"This body – and this head – has been through so much over the last 20 years. It is an admission that is both heavy and painful, and very full of emotion, but it is most of all honest.

"And when I first saw myself in the mirror and admitted just that for myself, I have to step out completely."

After arriving from Monaco in 2001, Riise played over 200 games for Liverpool.

He was a member of Rafael Benitez's side that won the Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005, although he missed his penalty in the shoot-out in Istanbul.

Riise also won the FA and League Cup during his time at Anfield. He left in 2008 and spent three years in Italy with Roma before returning to England to join Fulham.

Stints at APOEL and Delhi Dynamos followed before Riise headed back to Aalesund in March.

However, he made just 10 appearances in his second stint with the Eliteserien club.

Source Omnisport