Today will see us go over some of the best footballers from Norway.
Now we may not have seen the international side at a big tournament in a while.
However one thing is for sure.
This country has provided.
And continues to provide.
World class footballers, who are taking some of the best leagues by storm.
So from the likes of Odegaard.
To of course the main man Erling Haaland.
This post sees us go through the best to come from the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’
Table of Contents
Historical Overview of Football in Norway
With a rich history that dates back to the early 1900’s.
It can be mindblowing to think that with all the talent they have produced.
That they have been invisible on the World Cup and Euro stage.
From players such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was lethal in the late 1990s.
The fact is a country, that has had a competitive league.
In which teams have gone head to head.
For a Norweigan Cup and League title.
That the international stage has not seen Norway.
That is because of the new generations coming through.
It’s almost inevitable that we will see them very soon.
As Norwegian players continue to make an impact for sides like Arsenal and Manchester City.
Showcasing the country’s footballing prowess.
Top Norwegian Footballers of All Time
I have name-dropped a few names already.
There are plenty of top Norweigan footballers who have established themselves for top clubs.
In this section, we will reflect on the best of the best.
Who has made considerable contributions, winning numerous prestigious tournaments?
So let’s delve in:
Norway’s Football Icons
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær was a legend during his time at Manchester United in which his winning goal in Uefa Champions League secured a famous treble, that would only be repeated again 24 years later.
- Henning Berg was a defender who played key roles in winning three premier leagues across his time with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers.
- John Arne Riise became a legend at Liverpool in where he won a Champions League and was known for his sweet left foot.
- Thorstein Helstad was a clinical striker who scored 10 times in 38 games for his country.
- Magne Hoseth, who is currently the head coach of Faroe Islands was a skilled and creative midfielder who played for various clubs across Norway and Denmark.
When you think of legends of the Norwegian game, these are some of the first that would come to mind.
These have all made significant contributions at club level, winning titles, that will make sure their names stay as legends within the Norwegian game.
Impressive Goalkeepers from Norway
1. Egil “Drillo” Olsen
Now in his 80’s having spent the majority of his life s a player and coach. He played a role for the Norwegian national team from 1964 to 1971, where he earned 16 caps. Has for club level he spent the majority of his career at Vålerenga.
2. Frode Grodås
From Hornindal in Norway, Frode Grodås had a successful career that included playing for top clubs in and out of Norway.
Making 21 appearances for Chelsea in his three-year stint in the late 90s. As well as making 50 appearances for Norway between 1991 and 2002.
3. Thomas Myhre
Thomas Myhre played plenty of football for top clubs in Europe, including Everton, Charlton, Sunderland, and Besiktas. Making over 346 appearances for club.
He also took over from Frode Grodås as number one of the Norweigan national side, making 56 caps.
4. Frode Olsen
Frode Olsen made his debut in 1990, in what was a career that lasted 14 years. In this time he played at the last world cup Norway made in 1998. As well as featuring for clubs such as IK Start and Sevilla.
5. Ørjan Håskjold Nyland
This brings us to the current times, where Ørjan Håskjold Nyland has the responsibility of being Norway’s No1 in goal.
The 32-year-old has played for Reading, Aston Villa, and Norwich City. His most recent stint was for RB Leipzig in which he made two appearances.
Skilled Defenders from Norway
So while Norway’s defense may not have held firm enough to qualify them for a tournament in the current century.
If you go back over the years you can acknowledge some of the best defenders from Norway.
1. Rune Bratseth
One of the most notable Norwegian footballers from their history is Rune Bratseth.
A player who was key at a national level, featuring 60 times, was most known for his time at Werder Bremen where he spent the majority of his career at.
Bratseth was known for his leadership from the back and defensive qualities. Which helped him to land as Norway’s Golden Player.
2. John Arne Riise
With a fierce left foot that would terrify any keeper, John Arne Riise was a fantastic left-back in the 2000s.
Still in the game today at the age of 42 for Avaldnes, he was more famously known for his time at Liverpool, in which he won a Champions League medal in 2005.
3. Brede Hangeland
Good luck winning an aerial dual with Brede Hangeland, as this 6ft 6in center-half held a very commanding presence during his time in the Premier League.
His aerial ability and strong work ethic were just a few reasons why he was highly regarded. One of his main achievements was helping Fulham to famously reach the Uefa Cup final back in 2010.
4. Kristoffer Ajer
A member of the current Norweigan national side Kristoffer Ajer has shown his class for Celtic in which he won the Scottish League title three times.
All before making his move to Brentford where he is currently aged just 25 years old.
Midfield Maestros from Norway
Now on to the midfield maestros to come from Norway:
1. Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen arrived on the scene, just as I was first getting into football. Playing for Blackburn, he was a specialist of the dead ball situation. Setting up and scoring many goals, with his great technique.
Aged 41, you would be shocked to find out that the Nordic player is still footballing now, playing for 1. Divisjon side Ranheim.
2. Stefan Johansen
Recently retiring from international football, we have Stefan Johansen who played for Queens Park Rangers.
Before them he played for Fulham and Celtic, making a combined 200 appearances in the UK.
At the international level, he played a key role, displaying his technical skills through his 55 appearances, which saw him net 6 times.
3. Martin Ødegaard
Passing on the baton to the next generation we have Ødegaard who has taken his career to the next level since joining Arsenal.
Despite a stagnant time at Real Madrid, the 24-year-old is now blossoming in the Premier League showing his dribbling skills, vision, and passing accuracy.
Prolific Strikers from Norway
Norway has seen some prolific strikers from the past to right now, take center stage.
Here we take a look at the best to play that number 9 position:
1. Jørgen Juve
One of the most famous strikers in Norweigan history playing close to 100 years ago.
In a 14-year career, he was clinical in front of goal, scoring 33 goals in 45 games for his country.
2. Harald Martin Brattbakk
Scoring over 208 goals in 355 games, it’s safe to say that Harald Martin Brattbakk had a great career as a striker.
Coming on the stage in the early 90’s, he appeared for Celtic and Rosenborg.
3. John Carew
Taking over from Brattbakk, we have John Carew who rose to prominence during his four-year spell at Aston Villa.
A period in which most fans will remember him for, making 113 appearances and scoring 37 goals. He also went on to make 91 caps for the Norweigan national side, before ending his career at the club I support West Ham.
4. Ole Gunnar Solskjær
One of the most recognized footballers in Norweigan history we have Ole Gunnar Solskjær. From scoring last-minute goals to taking on the realm of Manchester United manager, he has had quite the career. At international level, he scored 23 goals in 67 appearances.
5. Erling Braut Haaland
While he may only be 22, Haaland may have done enough for Norway to already go down as a great. One of Europe’s hottest properties, Erling Braut Haaland has an insane record for the Norweigan national side boasting 24 goals in 25 games.
The Achievements and Contributions of Norwegian Footballers
While seeing Norway lift a World Cup could be on the near horizon.
When it comes to other accolades and trophies, Norweigan footballers aren’t short of it.
In fact, if you look in the cupboard of some of the footballers we went over above.
You will see some of the biggest awards that can be won by a footballer.
Here are some examples:
1. The Ballon d’Or: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Ole Gunnar Solskjær achieved a lot of success in the late 1990s.
The Nord went from winning the Ballon d’Or in 1995 to recognizing his outstanding contribution to Manchester United.
Before then picking up the Treble with Manchester United in 1999.
2. The Golden Foot Award & Fifa World Player Of The Year: Ada Hegerberg
Norway not only has one of the best male footballers but also women too.
Has Ada Hegerberg, who is playing in her 2nd World Cup in 2023, won the famous Golden Foot Award in 2016
Making the then-21-year-old the first woman to win the award. Before then winning Fifa’s world player of the Year just two years later.
Current Promising Norwegian Footballers
Norway is currently seeing one of the best generations coming through than arguably ever before.
With a balance in all areas of the pitch, that was maybe missing in previous years for the Nords.
Is now all seemingly there.
It also helps massively when you have a goal-scoring machine and assist king too, as they currently have.
So let’s now take a dive into current promising Norweigan footballers.
Erling Braut Haaland
Haaland is very quickly making a name for himself, becoming a huge rising star from Norway.
Born in 2000 and aged just 23, he is putting on display after display, scoring multiple goals.
And essentially being a real menace up front.
Coming on to the scene at RB Salzburg.
It wasn’t until his move to Borussia Dortmund that fans around the world started to consider.
That we may be someone special starting to emerge.
After all a goal a game ratio is hard to ignore.
So is 41 goals in 41 games.
Which is insane.
With Ballon d’Ors on the horizon, as well as World Cup appearances.
Haalang has already won many of the top prizes in world football.
Consisting of a Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in just his first season in England.
Has we continue to see his remarkable goal-scoring ability.
Speed, strength and clinical finishing.
Who knows what stats and achievements the tall Nordic striker will end his career on.
Martin Ødegaard can consider himself fairly unlucky that he isn’t the number one Norweigan player talked about right now.
On the bat of an impressive season.
Which is somewhat overlooked due to Arsenal bottling the league title.
He scored 15 goals in 37 games while laying off 7.
Making him one of the stand-out performers for his club.
Now while the attacking midfielder is only 24.
He has been in the game for what seems like forever.
Ever since he was brought by Real Madrid for a huge sum as a young teenager.
Having fully found his feet now.
He is showing why the Los Blancos paid out big for him aged just 16.
Showing his exceptional skills, versatility, and football intelligence.
Of which we should see him develop more.
Should see the club and international captain reach great heights within football.
Norway currently has two great strikers to call upon.
You of course have Haaland.
But there is also Alexander Sorloth.
Who in recent times has been knocking them in for fun in the Spanish league for Real Sociedad.
Of which over two seasons scored 16 in 67 appearances.
Now at Villarreal after spells with RB Leipzig, Crystal Palace, and Trabzonspor, this striker has had an impact at the international level.
Being the focal point for the Nords attack before the arrival of Haaland.
When Sheffield United got relegated at the end of the 2021/22 season, Sander Berge was probably too good a player to go down.
A gifted Norwegian footballer, who is versatile showing his ability to bring a team upfield with his passes.
While also having the defensive capabilities to his game, as remained with the Blades ever since.
He has helped them in rebounding back to the Premier League.
However whether they can keep the player for years to come, is yet to be known.
As with Berges physicality, technical abilities, and tactical awareness, it will make him a very useful asset to any side.
Taking into consideration his age too, it is likely Berge will only develop these skills further to take his career to the next level.
Once on the books of Manchester United, Joshua King is still making a significant impact.
Not just at the club but also international level.
Playing at Fenerbache now, King has always been known for his raw speed, clinical finishing, and skill on the ball.
With him primarily playing up front, but also with great control and agility, utilized as a wide man too.
Now again like Sorloth, King was one of Norway’s main strikers before Haaland jumped on the scene.
Representing them over 62 times since he made his debut against Iceland in 2012, scoring 20 goals over that time spell.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are some of the famous Norwegian soccer players?
Some famous Norwegian soccer players include Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and John Arne Riise.
Which Norwegian soccer player has the highest FIFA rating?
Erling Haaland is currently the highest rated soccer player on Fifa, rated 88. Which puts him among the highest in the game. With EA 24 about to come out, it is expected that he will be 89+.
Has Norway achieved significant success in international football?
No, Norway has not had much success in international football failing to qualify for a tournament since 2000. Making them inferior to its closest neighbours Denmark and Sweden who have all qualified and finished well in international football.
How many FIFA World Cup campaigns have Norway qualified for?
Norway has qualified for two FIFA World Cup campaigns in its history, in 1938 and 1994.
Who is considered the best Norwegian soccer player of all time?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considered as the greatest Norwegian soccer player of all time. However, the former red devil could be under threat by the rise of Erling Haaland.
Which are the top clubs in Norway?
Rosenborg is the most successful football club in Norway, with 26 Eliteserien titles and 12 Norwegian Football Cups.