Former Liverpool favourite John Arne Riise announces shock retirement
A second former Liverpool fan favourite has retired from football in the space of a week, with John Arne Riise following Daniel Agger in stepping away from the game.
The left-back, who was part of the 2005 and 2007 Champions League final teams, had returned to Norway to play for boyhood club Aalesund along with his brother Bjørn Helge.
But the 35-year-old - who had hoped to keep playing until the age of 40 - has announced his shock decision to cancel his contract with the club in the middle of the Norwegian domestic season.
In a blog post, the former Roma and Fulham defender admitted he feels he is no longer strong enough to perform at his best, and that he lacks the motivation he enjoyed earlier in his career.
Stadium in Alesund has a statue of local hero John Arne Riise. His brother still plays for the club pic.twitter.com/crXFgeebGE
— Simon Davies (@simondavies45) October 23, 2015
"I like to play football, but the motivation is still not strong enough to run the race at the highest level," Riise writes.
"Perhaps the joy and the necessary motivation will come back at some point, what do I know, but now it's not big enough.
"I'm sorry. Especially facing the team, the whole club and all the supporters."
Riise began his career with Aalesund 20 years ago, before returning this year after spells in Monaco, England, Italy, Cyprus and India. He won more than 100 caps for Norway before retiring from international football in 2013.