Riise interested in joining former teammate Pennant in the S.League

Former Liverpool and Roma left-back Riise is open to offers from Southeast Asia as he looks to prolong his playing career  

Known for his lung-bursting overlaps down the left flank and ferocious left-foot shots, former Liverpool and Roma left-back John Arne Riise will be a huge asset to any S.League team.

And if he has his way, Riise, 35, could soon follow in the footsteps of former Liverpool teammate Jermaine Pennant and ply his trade in Singapore.  

Pennant has been setting the league alight. Photo: Weixiang Lim / FFT

Speaking at the Singapore leg of the Standard Chartered Trophy finals held at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday morning, where he was the guest of honour, Riise said: “I know about his (Pennant) move here and while I was surprised he came here, it is something I would do as well.

“I have always felt that in smaller leagues, you need to have players who have played in the big leagues to talk and give advice to the local players and give them the push to go on to the next level and progress.

“Now, at the age of 35, I would like to go to a country where I can help a team and help to build the local league in a country.

If an offer comes from Singapore, I would strongly consider it

- Riise

“So if an offer comes from Singapore, or Thailand, I would strongly consider it because I think it is nice to use your experience to help and that is what I want to do right now.”

Riise is currently a free agent and is hopeful that he can continue a playing career which has seen him make over  500 appearances for Liverpool, Fulham, AS Monaco and Roma amongst others.

The Norwegian, who played with Pennant for two seasons at Liverpool where they clinched a FA Community Shield in 2006 and finished as runners-up in the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League final, waxed lyrical about the Englishman.

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“Pennant is a great player and a really good guy,” commented Riise, who was visibly pleased to speak of his former teammate.

“Everybody makes mistakes in life, but he has learnt and grown a lot and I am sure the players around him at his new club will benefit hugely from his experience and knowledge of the game.

“Quite honestly, at Liverpool he was the funniest player in the dressing room when we played together and I have only good things to say about him.”

With Pennant starting his Tampines Rovers career brightly after netting twice in four appearances, fans here will be buoyed further by Riise’s latest admission.

But only time will tell if the Norwegian’s thunderbolts will soon be on showcase in the S.League .

Main photo: Standard Chartered Trophy