Haugesund (daily newspaper): – Did you find out? It took a while before I got to know the city.
John Arne Riise, 43, stands at the school in front of Avaldsnes IL.
This is where he has spent most of his time over the past year. Liverpool’s red kit had to give way to a generally black coaching. He says he wears them with pride.
He meets Dagbladet at a club. The women’s team had just had their first practice of the day. Now they will have a short break, before there will be another session a little later.
– You have become a little family for me. I became smitten with them in no time.
– It’s hard to regret anything
He had an adventurous career. Achieve more than many dream of. But the road here was not easy.
He doesn’t regret anything, but there are some things he’d like to do differently.
– I think it’s hard to regret something. All choices led me to where I am today. But I feel sad that I haven’t been able to keep a close eye on my children.
He looks around the club for a bit. The walls are decorated with trophies won by the sports team. His phone rings constantly. He is polite, and sends them a message that he will call them back later.
Reese says he didn’t sacrifice anything — just prioritized a little differently. Many of the city’s late Saturday evenings have been prioritized for solid Saturday and Sunday training sessions.
– I moved to Monaco when I was 17 years old. This is when life begins for many. It did for me too, to an extent, but I chose a different path. I would be the best. Or, don’t get me wrong, I was going to be the best possible version of John Arne Riise. I managed.
Confident and insecure
He has 110 caps behind him. He was a recognized name at big clubs Liverpool and Monaco. But a professional career came at the expense of family life. He is the first to admit it.
– It’s still a sore spot for me. Sometimes I feel like a failure for not having a normal family constellation. After all, I have four kids and three failed marriages behind me. But the kids know I love them.
He shines when he says that the eldest of them recently bought her first apartment. The eldest son is interested in the ball, like his father. Yngstemann, he just spent a holiday with.
I tell myself that you can be a present parent even if you are not present in everyday life. I follow them in my own way. They know they can come to me at any time. I’m glad I gave my kids that security.
He breathes a little. He declines another phone call before continuing.
People don’t quite know how sensitive I really am. I am confident in my sporting achievements. And I have a reason for that. There is a difference between arrogance and confidence. I think there is a little bit of bias there.
– Please explain?
My self-image is very bad. I have insecurities like many others. I often cry when I’m alone. Then the train of thought begins. And so much was written about me in the media that it hurt me.
– Do you think this is the source of many prejudices?
– Yes. Many people see the headline and read the case as about something unimportant. By all means, the media booed me, but they were also quick to point out the times I had “fucked it up.” I understand that, but sometimes there was impulsive behavior.
Hold his head forward
A quick google search shows that there are thousands of articles written on John Arne Riise. Not all cases have a positive angle, and he’s painfully aware of that.
As recently as this spring, he received flak in Dagbladet after he made a comment about the differences in coaching a men’s team versus a women’s team. In the TV series “Fan av Riise” he shot the referee. He later apologized for that.
– I raised my head and expressed my aspirations and opinions out loud. Not everyone liked it. During the time when it was at its worst, I always dreaded Monday – for whatever news I was going to get.
He himself managed to distance himself from the worst. Only after he resigned did he understand how this affected those close to him.
– Norway is a very “cheesy” country. It’s sad. You have to encourage people and treat each other to succeed. I didn’t always get the impression that people did this in my case.
– But have you ever put a lid on celebrations because you were afraid?
– I own. After the Champions League final in 2005, I also heard that there were people in Olison who said they hated me. I felt it in my stomach. You just won one of the greatest trophies you can win as a soccer player. And after that they didn’t even give it to me.
Swallow many beauties. Use the criticism to his advantage. It worked like “gasoline,” he says. And he succeeded.
– People can think too much of me. In the end, I was the one who had it He. She Occupation. Not they. Nobody can take that from me – no matter how hard they try.
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