Friday 21 June 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier made his first signing of the summer of 2001 with the capture of left-back John Arne Riise.
The 20-year-old, regarded as one of Norway's brightest prospects, won the Ligue 1 title with Monaco in 1999/0 and was delighted to have signed for the Barclays Premier League outfit.
"I really want to play for Liverpool - this is a fantastic club and I think it is the perfect club for me to play for," he said. "They have a good manager in Gerard Houllier and all the staff I have met have been very nice.
"In Norway, Liverpool are regarded as the biggest club in Europe and I can't wait to come here. They have some fantastic young players like Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard and have proved several times that they can turn young players into big stars. I want to be a big star and a good football player."
Known for his strong left foot and expertise from set-pieces, Riise soon endeared himself to the Anfield faithful in his first season with a superb solo goal in the 3-1 victory over Everton, while he also scored with a powerful free-kick to help his side defeat Manchester United.
As a key member of Houllier's and then Rafael Benitez's squad, Riise won the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup while at Liverpool. He left Anfield in 2008 to join Italian side Roma after making a total of 234 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Reds and scoring 21 goals.
After three seasons in Italy, Riise returned to England in 2011 after signing a three-year contract with Fulham, where again he has become a first-team regular.