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‘Difficult for Ajax to rule Europe again’

“Inter Milan have had a fantastic start to the season but enjoying Camp Nou isn’t simple. But if (Lionel) Messi does not play, it’ll be a challenging game. I believe Barca’s defence will have a challenging match. In case Inter Milan play with their standard, they have a fantastic prospect of winning,” explained Riise on Monday on the telephone.

Messi missed Saturday’s La Liga match against Getafe following a thigh injury.

Can Riise believe Manchester United cast-offs Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez would utilize the most significant stage in club soccer to create a scene at Camp Nou? When you have players of their ability of Lukaku and Sanchez, that have been off-loaded by a single team and they move to a different club and also play in the Champions League, they’re continually going to–well, not establish themselves– possibly tell the club which let them move, it created a mistake”

Barcelona, he stated, have begun slowly since they’re low on confidence rather than since Neymar’s non-arrival has extended summer of discontent. Norway’s most capped player at 110 internationals, Riise though did not feel the same when requested if Spurs were influenced by transport rumours around players such as Christian Eriksen.

“I would not say it affects the entire group but possibly a few like Eriksson who’s already there. That may influence the dressing area. Though they are at home (on Tuesday), I don’t see them as outstanding as they were last year,” explained Riise of their 2018-19 runners-up.

“I believe Bayern (Munich) will win since are they stronger.”

Ajax also could find it hard to replicate last year’s semi-final run since they’ve lost key players,” said Riise. It’s been the way for them for quite a while. However, Riise noted the departures of Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)–that the headliners one of 11 players Ajax marketed following last year –might be too large a hole to match.

Before going out of the subject of Neymar, Riise rubbished naysayers who believe PSG and Brazil are much better off without him. “Yes, he’s had difficulties over some conclusions he’s made, but you can’t take away how great a player he is. The two PSG and Brazil are better if Neymar is about the pitch,” he explained.

Riise reported the reduction to Napoli did not reveal how nicely Liverpool played, so that’s a positive before Wednesday’s tie from Red Bull Salzburg. Plus it helps the defending winners if 19-year-old Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland misses the match at Anfield because of illness.

“I had observed a good deal of him when he played with Molde and also for the national under-21 team. He’s a young, tall, powerful striker and I am happy he picked a league (Austria) where he could grow slowly; you know he took a bigger measure. Although I’m surprised he began with a hat-trick at the Champions League, I understand that he can keep scoring goals,” explained Riise, 39. The Champions League final will be in Istanbul on May 30, over 15 years later Liverpool made an impressive second-half comeback against AC Milan–one began by a Riise help which Steven Gerrard led home–to acquire the title.

Is that in the rear of Riise’s head when he speaks about this year? “How Liverpool are playing, they could go all of the ways. But, they will need to conquer Salzburg and escape this group. From the knockout games, home and away, anything could happen, but it is looking great for Liverpool.”