Craig Bellamy has spoken publicly in a little more detail about his side of the infamous incident in Portugal which hit the headlines just before Liverpool’s Champions League victory in Barcelona. The stories revolved around an argument between Bellamy and team-mate John Arne Riise, with allegations that Bellamy had attacked Riise with a golf club.
Most of the allegations seemed to start off in the Norwegian media, with a strong feeling that Riise himself had been the indirect source of the claims that had been published. Liverpool’s only announcement was that it was an internal matter and would be dealt with internally. By the time Bellamy was interviewed after the Barcelona game, where he celebrated his goal with a mock golf swing, he said the whole incident had been made bigger by “you guys”, referring to the media.
Now Bellamy has told The Mirror’s Oliver Holt about what really happened – or at least his side of the story anyway. As in the reports, Bellamy said the row did start off when Riise refused to be dragged up to do a bit of singing: “It started when we were all doing a bit of karaoke. I only sang one song and that was Red, Red Wine by UB40, that was because Jerzy Dudek was drinking it. That’s how silly it all was. A lot of the other lads wanted Riise to get up there next because he hadn’t turned up at the dinner earlier and I tried to get him up, too.”
According to Craig, the left-back wasn’t willing to sign and wasn’t too happy about being asked: “I wasn’t that bothered whether he wanted to sing or not so I sat back down but he wasn’t too happy about me trying to get him to sing so he let me know about it. The situation was calmed down then but when I was walking back to the hotel with Steve Finnan, who I was rooming with, I lost control for a few seconds, and that was really about it.”
Bellamy went on: “I went and confronted Ginger and I said to him ‘don’t be doing that in front of the players again’.” From the way Bellamy has hinted at what John Arne had been like in the bar earlier, it does seem that it was the Norwegian who lost control first, and a public scene was the result. Bellamy seems to have felt embarrassed about it all, and brooded about it for a while before deciding he had to put Riise straight.
“I didn’t want to cause a scene in front of everybody else. I just wanted to talk to him about it alone.”
Continue reading Bellamy tells his side of Portugal incident