John Arne Riise explains the incredible lengths he went to as a kid for a career in football

John Arne Riise trained incredibly hard to make it.

John Arne Riise had a wonderful career, establishing himself as one of the most memorable Liverpool players of his era.

Reds fans still ask 'how he scored that goal' against Manchester United in 2003 and he'll always be remembered for his assist in the 2005 Champions League final.

He made his impact in the following year's FA Cup win, too, scoring in the semi-final win over Chelsea before converting his penalty in the final's shootout.

Throw in his famous goal at Camp Nou in 2007 and Riise certainly left a brilliant impression over his 348 Liverpool appearances.

Riise was on beIN sports on Saturday to provide analysis during the Premier League games and he offered some wonderful insight into his development into a footballer.

He initially says he started playing at four years old - nothing abnormal there - before explaining just how much he trained heading into his teens.

"When I was 12, 13, I trained 21 times a week," he said, prompting Andy Gray and Richard Keys to ask him to repeat himself.

And so, Riise explained.

"At six in the morning, I ran an hour before school," he said. "Then you go to school, play football in your team after school, then in the evening before bed I ran an hour.

"The thing is though, if you're gonna make it, you have to have something special mentally. I think mental strength is the issue.

"And I learned quite early that when I was running at six in the morning, when it was snowing, icy, windy, whatever, I knew nobody else did.

"So that means I gained that hour, every day, on my opposition because they didn't do it. Because nobody wants to run in the snow like that.

"I built a goal outside my house. For five hours a day, I would shoot at the goal from different angles.

Riise won the Champions League in 2005.

"I left the house in the morning with 35 slices of bread to school because I knew I wasn't coming home until late that night.

"We had a hill outside our house. [My mum] stood at the top with her stopwatch and I was sprinting down, sprinting up.

"She could see I had something, so she wanted to push me and at the same time help me to realise I had to do this to be good."

It's quite staggering really - when you realise what some of these professionals are putting in, it's no real wonder we're the ones only watching...

News Now - Sport News