John Arne Riise has praised Liverpool fans for welcoming him back with open arms during the Steven Gerrard XI vs Jamie Carragher XI charity game at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
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The Liverpool faithful sung the name of the former Reds left-back during the 2-2 draw, showing their respect for the Norwegian who spent seven years on Merseyside and became a firm crowd favourite.
Riise made over 300 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool after signing from Monaco in 2001 and he returned at the weekend in a 45-minute cameo role in what may turn out to be his last ever game at Anfield in the All-Star match. He played on Gerrard’s side and went close to scoring with a trademark free-kick.
Following the game on Sunday, Riise gave an emotional interview on Liverpool’s official club website and was thankful to the fans for such a warm reception:
“It’s been seven or eight years since I played here and the fans still sing the song. They have to know that it means a lot to me and for all of the players who get their songs sung. I’m very grateful and honoured.” he said.
”I’ve been looking forward to this for a few weeks now and meeting all the players before at the hotel was unbelievable. Some great, great players in former teammates and former opponents, so it was great to come back.” he added.