15 Greatest Norwegian Footballers Ever

Who is the best Norwegian football player of all time?

Compared to the other two Northern Europe countries, Sweden and Denmark, Norway national team's achievements in world football is not too great. This country only played in three World Cup tournaments and one European Cup tournament. However, Norway has a major contribution in the world of football, especially in producing hundreds of quality football players.

In this article, I present a list of 15 best Norwegian footballers of all time. The players in this list do not only have good records in the national team, but they also won many prestigious achievements at club level. Without further ado, here is the list:

15. Morten Gamst Pedersen

Morten Gamst Pedersen is a winger who has played for the Norwegian national team since 2004. The players began to steal the public's attention since playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2004. At that time, Pedersen was signed to fill the position of Damien Duff who moved to Chelsea. His career at Blackburn from 2004 to 2013 was quite brilliant, in which Pedersen scored 35 goals from 288 league matches.

14. Øyvind Leonhardsen

Oyvind Leonhardsen spent most of his career playing for clubs in the Premier League. Moving from Rosenborg to Wimbledon in 1994, Leondhardsen also joined Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. Throughout his career, Leonhardsen is known as a fast, smart, and agile midfielder. One of his best individual achievement was awarded the title as Norway's best player in 1994.

13. Erik Thorstvedt

Erik Thorstvedt is regarded as the best Norwegian goalkeeper of all time. This player played for Norway in the period 1982-1996. In a period of fourteen years, his position as the team's primary goalkeeper was almost irreplaceable. Not only that, he was also trusted to be the number one goalkeeper at Tottenham Hotspur for nine years. At Tottenham Hotspur, Thorstvedt won an FA Cup trophy in 1991.

12. Stig Inge Bjørnebye

Stig Inge Bjornebye is a retired left-back who is known for his impressive performance at Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers in the period 1992-2003. He became the first choice left-back at Liverpool from 1994 to 1999, before the position was replaced by Steve Staunton who was signed from Aston Villa. Throughout his career, Bjornebye won the League Cup twice, once when he played for Liverpool and once when he played for Blackburn Rovers.

11. André Bergdølmo

Andre Bergdolmo is a retired defender who possessed complete defensive abilities. He can be played as a left back, right back, and center back. His ability to be played in different positions made him a mainstay of the team. The best period of Bergdolmo happened when playing for Rosenborg from 1997 to 2000, where he won four Norway League titles. He also won double winners at Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, where he claimed the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup titles.

10. Thorbjørn Svenssen

Thorbjorn Svenssen is regarded as the best captain of the Norwegian national team of all time. Out of 104 appearances with the national team of Norway, he played in 93 matches as a captain. His big and tall stature made Svenssen be nicknamed as "The Rock." His very vital role as Norwegian national team central defender in the period 1947-1962 made him much loved by football fans of this country.

9. Brede Hangeland

Calm, powerful, and tactful. Brede Hangeland is a central defender who plays for English club Fulham since 2008. Before playing for Fulham, Hangeland led FC Copenhagen win the Danish league twice. Hangeland reportedly was wanted by big clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea, but he joined Fulham because of the coach, Roy Hodgson. The best achievement of Hangeland at Fulham is helping the club to be the UEFA Cup's runner-up in the 2008-2009 season.

8. Steffen Iversen

Steffen Iversen is considered Tottenham Hotspur's one of the best players of all time. During played for Spurs from 1996 to 2003, Iversen won a League Cup trophy. He mainly played as a striker, formed a duet with a British target man, Les Ferdinand. Not only that, Iversen also became the top scorer of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League twice, in 1999 and 2000. This player ended his career in 2012 at the biggest Norwegian club, Rosenborg FC.

7. Ronny Johnsen

Ronny Johnsen was signed from Besiktas to Manchester United in 1996. With a fee of 1.2 million pounds sterling, Johnsen became Norway's most expensive defender of all time. The price was paid off by Johnsen's brilliant performances, where he helped Manchester United win four Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy and an FA Cup trophy. His duet with Jaap Stam in the late 1990s was even considered the best center-back duo in the Premier League.

6. Tore André Flo

Together with Gianfranco Zola, Tore Andre Flo was known as Chelsea's best strikers in the late 1990s. The tall player had a very vital role in helping Chelsea to be the champions of Winners' Cup in 1998 and the FA Cup in 2000. Because of his prowess as a striker, Flo is often dubbed the nickname "Flonaldo" by Chelsea fans. Unfortunately, because his position as a first team striker was taken by Jimmy Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, Flo was transferred to Glasgow Rangers in the 2000-2001 season.

5. John Carew

John Carew is an example of a reliable target man. He is big, strong, and very good at scoring with header. This player also played for various big European clubs such as Roma, Valencia, Besiktas, Lyon, and Aston Villa. Carew's best career occurred when he played for Valencia in the 2001-2002 season, where he won a La Liga title and became the Champions League's runner-up.

4. Jørgen Juve

With a record of 33 goals, Jorgen Juve is the all-time top scorer of Norway national football team. Juve spent his entire professional career as a footballer in the period 1928-1938 playing for only one club in the Norwegian league, FC Lyn. He was also the captain of the Norway national team that won the bronze medal in the 1936 Olympics. After his retirement, Juve actively worked as a writer and published many football themed books, articles, and journals.

3. Henning Berg

Henning Berg is the first player in the history of football to win the Premier League championship with two different teams. He won his first title at Blackburn Rovers in 1995, and he won his second title at Manchester United in 1999. Alternating with Ronny Johnsen, Henning Berg was trusted to play as the first-team Manchester United's central defender, accompanied Jaap Stam. This player ended his career as a professional footballer in 2004 at Glasgow Rangers.

2. John Arne Riise

Strong, fast, and tough. John Arne Riise is recognized as one of the best left-backs in the world. His golden times happened when he played for Liverpool in 2001 to 2008, where Riise won a Champions League trophy, an FA Cup trophy and a League Cup title. Not only that, Riise also holds the record as the player with the highest number of appearances for the Norwegian national team, with a total of 110 appearances.

1. Ole Gunnar Solskjær

The striker is known as one of the best super-sub in the world and he underwent a very brilliant career at Manchester United from 1996 to 2007. At Manchester United, he played alongside the world's best players such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel. Throughout his career, Solskjaer won six Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy, and two FA Cup trophies.

Solskjaer is known as a very effective striker who possessed great techniques and high intelligence. He could easily convert the slightest chance into goal. After retiring as a professional footballer, Solskjaer works as Manchester United's reserve team coach. I personally hope to see him become the coach of Manchester United's first team someday in the future.

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