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How Steve Finnan Stopped Craig Bellamy From Murdering John-Arne Riise

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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You've heard about the infamous Craig Bellamy/John-Arne Riise bust up that resulted in one of the better Champions League goal celebrations we've seen, but did you know that the ever-dependable Steve Finnan is the reason it didn't end far worse than it did?

A copy of Steven Gerrard's autobiography 'My Story' landed on our desks here at Balls.ie this afternoon, and of course the first thing we did was head straight to the index and look for the name Steve Finnan. Sure enough, the first mention of the right back who Rafa Benitez simply couldn't replace was right in the thick of a cracking story.


The story begins after Rafa Benitez knocked on Gerrard's door the morning after a booze-filled night at a karaoke bar in Portugal.

I got back to my room and I'd only been there a few minutes when I heard the boss outside my door. Rafa banged hard, sounding pretty pissed off. I answered the door, trying to look like I'd been in bed a few hours.

'What's going on?' Rafa said. He was colder than ever. To maintain my just-woken-up scam I threw in a few big yawns and rubbed my eyes. 'I dunno boss,' I said, trying not to breathe alcohol fumes all over Rafa. 'Riise and Bellamy are fighting,' Rafa said icily. 'Where is everyone else?'

'Leave it to me, boss,' I said. 'I'll go see what's happening'. There was a party on in one of the lads' bedrooms. It was carnage and Steve Finnan looked like he had either seen a ghost or witnessed a murder. I soon worked out that it was closer to murder.

Finn had got back to his room and found Bellamy in a raging mood. Bellers said 'Right, I'm going to get him.' The Welsh wizard took an 8-iron, his favourite club, out of his golf bag. Finnan was very worried then because Bellamy looked half-crazy. He went off to Ginge [Riise] and Agger's room, carrying his 8-iron. Finn chased after him but Bellers was quick.

Of course the latch had been left off the door [to allow Agger to return without waking Riise up] and so Bellamy went straight in and started walloping Riise with the 8-iron. Ginge, who was in his boxer shorts in bed, went in to protection mode, covering himself up. Finnan arrived and managed to stop Bellamy doing any more damage.

It was like a morgue at breakfast the next morning.

What if Steve Finnan hadn't been there? Thankfully we will never know because he was there, in typically reliable fashion.


Gerrard then went on to remind everyone that Finnan was involved in setting up Bellamy's goal in the Nou Camp which sparked that fantastic celebration.

A few minutes before half-time Xabi Alonso's free-kick found Finnan, who, having recovered from being the main witness to the 8-iron attack, whipped in a beauty of a cross. Bellamy drifted away from his slack Barcelona marker and powered in a header towards goal. Victor Valdes tried to scoop it out but the ball had crossed the line. Dirk Kuyt followed up and knocked it in again - but it was a Bellamy goal.

Our ecstasy turned to hilarity when we saw the Bellamy celebration.

Of course, Riise would also score in the Nou Camp that night and secure an historic win for Liverpool, which never would have happened if Bellamy did kill the Norwegian.

SEE ALSO: 4 Rafa Bentiez Signings That Couldn't Replace Steve Finnan As Liverpool's Right Back

SEE ALSO: Steve Finnan Explains Why He's The Real Hero Of The 2005 Champions League Final


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