Riise admits Bale admiration
John Arne Riise believes he will be up against the best left-sided player in the world on Saturday.
Last Updated: 10/11/11 7:40pm
Norway's John Arne Riise believes he will be up against the best left-sided player in the world in Cardiff on Saturday.
The friendly against Wales will see Riise face Gareth Bale for the second weekend running having played in Fulham's 3-1 Premier League defeat at home to Tottenham on Sunday.
Bale is getting back to the form which saw him burst to prominence last season with a UEFA Champions League hat-trick at Inter Milan, and the Spurs star has been a key factor in Wales' climb from 117th to 45th in the world rankings.
And Riise, 31, is under no illusions about the challenge facing him on Saturday, when he is set to win his 100th cap.
"There is no doubt about his ability, not only what he did against Inter but the whole of last season he kept going," he said.
"He was scoring goals and providing assists, he works really hard and he is not a big celebrity star, he just gets on with his job and you have to respect that.
"The things he produces are unbelievable. I played against him on Sunday, and when you play against him you have to make him run the other way by attacking yourself, otherwise it will be a one-man game.
"There is no left-sided player better than him at the moment. He has a great left foot, he is strong and quick and can cross. You can think you are going to be close to him and then he just runs past you and scores a goal."
Wales have won three of their last four games while Norway missed out on a Euro 2012 play-off place on goal difference so Riise expects a hard-fought match as he reaches his international milestone.
"It will be a nice day for myself," said the former Liverpool full-back.
"I have worked hard over 11 years for this. For now I am just focusing on having a good game and hopefully getting a good result.
"I am just the third person in Norway to get to 100 but I am here to enjoy myself. The team are looking good, it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can win and maybe we can have a little celebration after the game."
Meanwhile, Morten Gamst Pedersen has warned Wales that Norway are looking to end 2011 in style and admits he is slightly bemused by the debate over whether Bale and Wales captain Aaron Ramsey should represent Great Britain at the London Olympics next year.
The Blackburn midfielder said: "We lost out on goal difference for the Euros, but we had a very good game against Cyprus in the last qualifier and you always want to finish the year on a high and go into the new year with confidence to prepare for the World Cup.
"If I had the opportunity to play in the Olympics I would love it. It's a big achievement.
"It's nothing against Wales, it's just them showing support for the home (host) nation."