Roma defender John Arne Riise knows only too well what an inspirational figure Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard can be.

Risse was part of the Liverpool side that won the 2005 Champions League having found themselves 3-0 down in the final against AC Milan at half-time - but a talismanic display from Gerrard galvanized the Reds and secured a fifth European triumph for the Merseysiders.

And Riise - who left Anfield for the Stadio Olimpico in 2008 - has hailed Gerrard as one of the greatest players he has had the pleasure to play alongside.

"Steven was a brilliant captain for many years at Liverpool and a he is a great leader," Riise told his official blog site.

"We have great memories together and the final of 2005 in the Champions League can never be forgotten.


"I played with Gerrard for many seasons and learned plenty. He is a great footballer and a great person.

"I have played with many great footballers in my career and two of them are Gerrard and Totti. Both a great players, loyal and pleasant."

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