Former Norwegian international Stig-Inge Bjørnebye had decided to retire after failing to recover from an eye injury.
Training ground injury
The Blackburn Rovers FC defender, who at 33 is the longest serving Norwegian player in the English Premiership, fractured an eye socket in a training ground collision in April 2002 and has not been able to shake off the effects of the injury since.
It is not possible to play football when you get double vision every time you look down at the ground," said Bjørnebye. "This has been a very difficult decision, but in the end it was a decision that made itself."
A keen ski jumper as a youngster, Bjørnebye moved to Liverpool FC from Norwegian side Rosenborg BK in 1992, winning the League Cup with his side in 1992. He stayed at Anfield until 2001, when he left to join his former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness at Ewood Park. He won the League Cup again with Blackburn in 2002.
The left-sided defender, most famous for his precise passing and skill from free-kicks, earned 75 caps for Norway in a long international career, and played in the finals of the FIFA World Cup and two UEFA European Championships.
"I am not very good at [remembering what my fondest footballing memories are] but if I had to pick, I would say my time with Rosenborg, the World Cup game against Mexico in 1994 and my three cup finals - at Ullevål, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium," he said.
Back to Oslo
Bjørnebye has made no solid plans for the future, beyond a decision to move back to Oslo in May with his wife Hege Frøseth - a former Norwegian international handball goalkeeper - and their three children.
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