Former Liverpool and Norway defender, John Arne Riise has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35. The Norwegian, who revealed the news in a blog post on his official website on Monday, said he is no longer strong enough to perform at his best.
“My inner goal was to play football at the Norwegian top level until I was 40. But that is not to be. It stops here. Lately there has emerged a completely new feeling in me that I am no longer strong enough to perform at my best,” he wrote.
“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 heavy and painful admission and very full of emotion but it is most of all honest,” he added.
Also See: Daniel Agger Retires From Football @ 31
Riise has spent seven years of his 20-year professional career at Anfield after arriving from Monaco to link up with Gerard Houllier. The Molde-born full-back was one of the heroes of the miraculous 2005 Champions League victory and also claimed an FA Cup, League Cup and two UEFA Super Cups during his time with the Reds.
Since leaving the club in 2008, he has featured for Roma, Fulham, APOEL, Delhi Dynamos and, finally, Aalesund. He has made 10 appearances for his first club, Aalesund back in his homeland this season.
Riise ends his career as the most-capped Norway player of all-time, having appeared for his country 110 times.
Riise’s retirement comes barely a week after former Liverpool defender, Daniel Agger also announced his retirement from football at the age of 31. Agger who announced his retirement at a news conference last Thursday said it was a tough decision for him but that the last two to three years, he has been at an acceptable level, “but acceptable is not good enough for me. I don’t want my level to fall any further and so it was time to stop,” he added.