BJØRVIKA (Nettavisen): At a training camp in 2007, Craig Bellamy attacked his teammate with a golf club. Since then, he has both apologized and explained his side of the story.
Riise, on the other hand, has been relatively silent about what unfolded during an evening on the town in Portugal.
In his own autobiography, he has claimed that Bellamy’s outbursts of rage could have put an end to his football career. In an interview with Nettavisen, he goes into more detail about what happened ahead of important matches in the Champions League 16 years ago.
– I’ve seen that he’s been out and talked on some podcasts, but I thought it was strange that he remembered so much, because he was so drunk. I don’t think he remembers everything anyway, so some of what he says isn’t true.
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Bellamy is currently an assistant coach at Burnley, while Riise is unemployed after finishing at Avaldsnes. The former has, among other things, talked about the incident in “The Overlap”.
– It is something that should never have happened, but it shows that if you are not mentally present in the right place in life, you do things that you have no complete control over. It was probably something private for him, over which he had no control, in addition to a lot of alcohol, so it just blacked out completely, says Riise.
The 43-year-old looking back on the incident with disappointment.
– It is frightening, but I have realized that he regrets it. If he hadn’t, there would have been something totally wrong. At the time, I probably didn’t realize how serious that incident was. He slapped my legs a couple of times, trying to take them.
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Questions Bellamy explanation
Bellamy was subsequently fined a hefty fine, in addition to having to face the media storm that lasted for several weeks. The Welshman didn’t make matters any better when he celebrated in a match afterwards and imitated a hit with a golf club.
Riise has thought a lot about what unfolded at the training session in 2007.
– In hindsight, maybe I should have made something more out of it, but I felt then and there, but thinking about my career and things like that, that I shouldn’t be physical against my own team-mate. But I thought it was a shame that he talks in various podcasts, and then not everything is true. At the same time, he lies flat. That is the most important thing for me, that he knows he has made a mistake.
The former Liverpool player has put the incident behind him, but does not hide that the two brawlers will never have a close relationship.
– I can forgive someone doing something that I know is not them and that they regret – I can forgive that. But I don’t forget. We are not friends. That’s the kind of person I don’t want in my life.
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Riise finished in Liverpool in 2008, while Bellamy moved on in 2012. Both have moved on to the coaching profession after ending their careers.