It was news we knew was coming, and frankly, news that I’m okay with, but it’s still a bit sad to see one Liverpool’s longest-serving players (only Carra, Gerrard and Hyypia have more appearances) leave the club.
The BBC is reporting the fee was £4m, while Roma’s official website says 5m euros (just under £4m), but either way it’s good value for a left-back on the final year of his contract, and honestly more than I was expecting given how sales are usually conducted at Liverpool. What’s annoying is that Roma claims the fee will be paid in installments through 2010 (it’s on their website, albeit in Italian), with add-ons of 300,000 euros max if Riise makes a certain number of appearances and 100,000 euros in 09/10 and 10/11 if Roma's in the CL, but that’s not out of the ordinary.
I’ve crucified him enough for his play over the past year, including that infamous own goal and tendency to shoot like Row Z is the goal. But now that he’s on his way out, the proper thing to do is celebrate his seven years of superlative service for Liverpool.
Obviously, first and foremost in any tribute will be that goal against the Mancs. But he was also a part of Liverpool’s stifling defense in 05/06 (for a couple of years he was one of, if not the best LB in the Prem), scored some amazing goals, put in that cross for Gerrard’s header in Istanbul, and had an amazing game against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, among many other moments. He was a true Red, a fantastic servant for the club, who left everything on the field after 90 minutes.
No one can dispute the heart or work he’s given. And it’s even more of a bonus Liverpool won’t have to come up against him in the Premiership. All the best, John.
John Arne Riise
I wanna know
How you scored that goal