‘He Was Amazing’ – Paul Ince Reckons Stig Inge Bjornebye Was The Best Player He Played With At Liverpool

Chris Wright

8th, March 2016



At the peak of his powers, Paul Ince represented several of the biggest clubs in European football, not to mention his country on more than 50 occasions.

Indeed, Ince had the honour of playing alongside an entire constellation of 1990s stars, including the likes of Youri Djorkaeff, Eric Cantona, Roberto Carlos, Bryan Robson, Ryan Giggs, Javier Zanetti, Roy Keane, Robbie Fowler, Tony Adams, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer.

Strange then, that the former Liverpool midfielder would name a serviceable but almost entirely unglamorous left-back as the finest player he had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with during his two-year stint at Anfield.

Speaking at a book signing in Norway (there’s your first clue), Ince was asked about the inordinate number of Norwegian players he played alongside at Liverpool between 1997 and 1999.

He replied by singling out Stig Inge Bjornebye for special praise, before – slightly surprisingly – going on to laud the unspectacular defender as the best player he ever played with.

Stig was an amazing player. Maybe the best I played with, because he had the inner drive. The ability to motivate himself. The ability to work hard all the time.

He was not the greatest talent, the most skilful player, but he had something that many of the others lacked: the guts and attitude to do his job.

As decent as Bjornebye undoubtedly was, he was definitely one of those ‘solid 6/10’ full-backs that seemed so prevalent in the mid-1990s. Gary Kelly take a bow.

That said, Ince is a bit of a conkerbox at the best of times so who knows what he saw when he watched Bjornebye through those special cosmic eyes of his.

Posted in Hardmen, Liverpool, Newsnow

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  1. JLBK says:

    This is a cry for help as Ince is clearly high on drugs. #prayforincey

  2. Joe says:


  3. Bruno says:

    Ok, Ince. Danny Mills was great too.

  4. Jarren says:

    Meanwhile, somewhere in France, Mr. Cantona raises his right eyebrow for three seconds before returning to his newspaper.

  5. P says:

    Given the cast of characters he played around this does seem odd. However, doesn’t it seem that outside full-backs, holding midfielders, non-goalscoring wingers, and keepers are so often described as “6/10″ ,”serviceable”, or something of that “solid, but not fantastic” nature.

    For us fans, it will always be the strikers with great goal rates, flashy dribblers, and anyone with a handful of long range strikes or free-kick goals who seem to be the “best” and most vital players in a team.

    But coming from the view of a fellow footballer, it doesn’t seem odd that the guys who were the epitome of stability and played above their natural ability would be considered the “best”.

    I don’t know, I just think certain types of players never get their proper accolades.

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