Rogne makes Riise comparison in early switch to Scotland
Norwegian youngster Thomas Rogne believes moving abroad as a teenager could see him scale the heights of one of Norway's best players.
Thomas Rogne believes that John Arne Riise’s departure from Norway as a youngster is a perfect example that he has made the right choice in leaving for Celtic. The Norwegian central defender, 19, moved to Glasgow this week from Stabaek and wants to follow in the footsteps of the Roma defender in making a big name for himself outside of his homeland.
Riise left Aalesund for Monaco as a 17-year-old in 1998 and has gone on to establish himself as his country’s top performer. A Champions League winner with Liverpool, he scored Roma’s 90th minute winner in their 2-1 win over Juventus on Saturday night.
The success of Riise, together with Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, is an inspiration to the teenager and Rogne says that he is keen to follow their lead.
“Riise left Norway when he was 17 and Hangeland was about 20 when he went and they made it abroad, so hopefully I can follow their lead,” said Rogne. “My dream has always been to play for one of the big clubs in Europe but I didn’t think it would happen so early.
“First of all I have to get fit because I have not played for six weeks, then I will see about targets for the number of games I play.”
Rogne, who moved to Scotland under freedom of contract after his deal with Stabaek expired, has been tipped as one for the future by his new boss Tony Mowbray. His experience of top level football is limited, having made only 13 league appearances for his former club since his debut back in 2007.
His progress was hindered by injury after tearing the anterior cruiciate ligament in his knee during a pre-season friendly against Russians Krylia Sovetov in La Manga. He recovered sufficiently to play his part in his team's third place finish in the 2009 season and impressed in their Champions League qualification double header against FC Copenhagen in August, in which they lost 3-1 on aggregate.
Despite his age and lack of fitness, Rogne feels he is already equipped to take on SPL football and is itching to get involved. Having overcome serious injury, he also feels he has the mental toughness to overcome the barriers of trying to make it into the Celtic first team.
“I believe I am ready for the challenge,” he said. “Two years ago I was ruled out for nine months after injuring my cruciate in a pre-season game.
“Mentally it was tough to come back but it made me stronger and I think I have an advantage because of that now.”