Ex-Liverpool Defender John Arne Riise Reveals How He Scored THAT Brilliant Piledriver vs Man Utd

Published on: 15 October 2016

Liverpool signed John Arne Riise from Monaco in 2001 and it didn't take the left-back long to endear himself to the Kop. A particular highlight during his debut campaign for the Reds came against Manchester United in November, scoring a glorious thunderbolt of a free-kick on their way to thumping Sir Alex Ferguson's champions 3-1.

The shot was the definition of unstoppable. Receiving a layoff, Riise met the ball perfectly on his run up, with the ball flying off his boot and searing through the air and into Fabien Barthez's top corner, flashing past the Frenchman as he hopelessly attempted to reach it.

"It was just one of those times when things just went the way you hoped they would. I could never have dreamed of scoring that kind of goal," said the Norwegian viaSky Sports, who went on to make 339 appearances for the Reds, scoring 30 goals.

"It was the first time I'd played against Manchester United, a team that had David Beckham and all of their big boys in it. I just told Didi Hamann to push the ball one-and-a-half yards and I smashed it. I didn't even feel like I'd hit it but 15 years later I still get asked about it.

"I used to spend five or six hours a day practising my shooting technique when I was young so it didn't come for free but sometimes things are just meant to be. It was a good goal, it's followed me around ever since and it put me straight into the hearts of the fans."

The goal gave birth to one of the most famous football songs - when the Reds supporters sing Riise's name to the tune of Bruce Channel's 'Hey Baby.'

"It so difficult for me to describe what that feels like," he added.

"I get texts from friends in Liverpool on matchdays when they sing my song in the pubs before the game and at the stadium.

"It's been a long time since I was there, I left eight years ago and I could never have hoped for or dreamt of that. It shows that I did something right in my seven years there and it's one of the reasons why I love - and always will love -Liverpool. It's my club."

"It's one of the biggest games you can play in," he said. "Wherever you go in the world there seem to be more fans of Liverpool and Manchester United than any other team.

"But I think as it stands this game is more important for Jose Mourinho than Jurgen Klopp because he needs to turn things around and show his team are still capable of challenging at the top.

"It's a big game for both teams but for me Mourinho is under more pressure now."