Fulham defender Riise quits Norway team

OSLO Mon May 6, 2013 12:07pm BST

Fulham's John Arne Riise (C) is challenged by Manchester United's Antonio Valencia during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage stadium in London February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Fulham's John Arne Riise (C) is challenged by Manchester United's Antonio Valencia during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage stadium in London February 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

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OSLO (Reuters) - Fulham left back John Arne Riise, Norway's most-capped player, has called time on his international career at the age of 32.

"After a lot of thought I've decided not to continue with international football," he said in a Norwegian FA statement on Monday.

"I am going into the final stage of my career and I'm at an age where I have to take a clear decision if I want to achieve my final goal, to play another four or five years in Europe."

The former Liverpool, AS Roma and Monaco defender has won a total of 110 caps since making his debut against Iceland in 2000.

Riise, a Champions League winner with Liverpool eight years ago, is in his second season with English Premier League club Fulham.

"John Arne has shown great enthusiasm and was always the first man at training and player meetings. I respect his decision and wish to thank him for his contribution," said Norway coach Egil Olsen.

Norwegian FA president Yngve Hallen also praised Riise's efforts for the national team.

"John Arne has had a fantastic history in international football. He has been a decisive player in many matches. His contribution on the pitch has been formidable," said Hallen.

Norway are fourth in World Cup Group E qualifying, four points behind leaders Switzerland and two adrift of Iceland and Albania with five matches to go.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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