Best Norwegian Soccer Players of All Time

Vince Massara

Are you curious about who the best Norwegian soccer players of all time are?

One standout name is Ole Gunnar Solskjær, known as 'The Baby-faced Assassin' during his time as a striker for Manchester United. Solskjær's ability to score crucial goals made him a memorable player.

However, there are other notable Norwegian players who deserve recognition as well. In this discussion, we will explore their careers and the factors that make them contenders for the title of the greatest Norwegian soccer player.

Let's delve into the world of Norwegian soccer and see who stands out among the rest.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, nicknamed the 'babyface assassin' for his deadly goal-scoring ability, is a former professional football player and the current manager of Manchester United. Originally from Norway, Solskjær started his career in his home country before joining Manchester United in 1996. He quickly established himself as one of the Premier League's top Norwegian players.

Throughout his playing career, Solskjær achieved numerous accolades. He played a pivotal role in Manchester United's historic treble-winning season in 1999, scoring the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League Final. This iconic moment cemented his place in football history. Additionally, he represented the Norwegian national team, earning 67 caps and scoring 23 goals.

After retiring from professional football, Solskjær transitioned into coaching and management. He led Molde to their first-ever Tippeligaen titles, showcasing his skills as a Norwegian football manager. Solskjær's success and experience as both a player and manager have earned him widespread respect in the football world.

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland, the rising star of Norwegian football, has captured the attention of fans worldwide with his exceptional goal-scoring ability. Here are some important points to understand his impact and potential as a player:

  • Haaland's journey to stardom began at a young age, growing up in a football family with his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, also being a professional football player. This upbringing played a crucial role in his development as a player.
  • In 2019, Haaland had a breakthrough season playing for Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored an incredible 28 goals in just 22 league appearances. This outstanding performance caught the eye of top European clubs, including Manchester United.
  • In January 2020, Haaland made a high-profile move to Borussia Dortmund, where he continued to showcase his incredible goal-scoring prowess. Since then, he's become one of the most sought-after talents in European football.
  • Haaland's playing style has drawn comparisons to his compatriot and Manchester United legend, Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Both players possess a natural instinct for goals and lethal finishing ability.
  • With his young age and immense talent, Haaland has the potential to achieve great success in his career. Many believe that he's the ability to win multiple Premier League titles and reach the pinnacle of the sport.
  • As Haaland's career progresses, it will be interesting to see how he handles the challenges that come his way, including potential moves to big clubs, his international career, and the pressure of living up to high expectations.

Erling Haaland's rise to prominence and his remarkable goal-scoring ability make him a player to watch in the world of football.

Henning Berg

Henning Berg, a highly accomplished Norwegian defender, had a significant impact on both domestic and international football. He's widely regarded as one of the best Norwegian soccer players in history.

Berg had successful spells at both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United in the Premier League. At Blackburn Rovers, he played a crucial role in their title-winning campaign in the 1994-1995 season, helping them secure their first league title in 81 years. He then transferred to Manchester United, where he won another Premier League title in the 1998-1999 season. During his time at Manchester United, he also won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, demonstrating his skills as a top-class defender.

Berg's contributions weren't limited to his club success, as he also represented the Norwegian national team with distinction. He earned 100 caps for his country and scored 9 goals. His performances on the international stage showcased his hard work, dedication, and leadership qualities.

Berg retired from professional football in 2004 and has since ventured into coaching. Notably, he worked alongside his compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjær as a coach at Manchester United.

Henning Berg's achievements, both at club and international level, firmly establish him as one of the greatest Norwegian soccer players of all time.

John Arne Riise

John Arne Riise, a highly influential left back from Molde, has had a significant impact on the world of soccer, particularly during his time at Liverpool. Here are some important facts about his career:

  • Riise is widely recognized as one of the best Norwegian soccer players and one of the greatest Norwegian footballers of all time. He's often mentioned alongside other legendary Norwegian players like Solskjær, Flo, and Gamst.
  • Riise had an impressive international career that made him a household name in Norway. He captained the Norwegian national team, earning a record 110 appearances and scoring 16 goals before retiring from international duty in 2013.
  • At Liverpool, Riise played a key role in securing the club's third UEFA Champions League title in the 2004-05 season. His powerful left foot and versatility as a left winger and left back were crucial to the team's success.
  • Riise also enjoyed success at Blackburn Rovers and played for other top clubs like Roma and Fulham. He played nearly 300 official games in the Premier League, leaving a lasting impact with his defensive skills and ability to score goals.
  • Since retiring as a player, Riise has transitioned into a coaching role. He currently works as a football manager and shares his knowledge and experience with the next generation of players.

Tore André Flo

Tore André Flo is widely regarded as one of the greatest Norwegian soccer players of all time. He'd an impressive career, playing for renowned clubs like Leeds United, Sunderland, Rangers, and Chelsea. Flo made significant contributions to his teams' successes and left a lasting impact on both domestic and international football.

One of his standout moments was scoring the first goal against Brazil in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Flo's time at Chelsea was particularly memorable, as he helped the club win the League Cup and the Cup Winners Cup, and played a crucial role in their UEFA Champions League qualification. In his debut season with Chelsea, Flo showcased his striking abilities by scoring 14 goals. His performances and achievements solidified his status as one of Norway's finest soccer players.

Flo is a beloved figure among Norwegian fans and his legacy in Norwegian football is enduring.

Rune Bratseth

Rune Bratseth, a highly regarded Norwegian defender known for his strong leadership and defensive skills, had a successful career in German football and made a lasting impact on the Norwegian national team. He played for Werder Bremen, one of the top clubs in Germany, and experienced great success. Bratseth won both the Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal during his time at the club, showcasing his abilities and contributing to their victories.

On the international stage, Bratseth was a crucial figure for Norway. He earned 60 caps and represented his country at the 1994 World Cup, where he demonstrated his intelligent positioning and ability to read the game from the heart of the defense. His influence on the field and his successful career in German football established him as one of Norway's most influential players.

To delve deeper into Bratseth's career, here are three significant points:

  1. Bratseth had a brief stint at Premier League club Manchester United in 1996 but left after just one season.
  2. In his initial two seasons at Werder Bremen, Bratseth faced challenges in securing a regular spot in the starting lineup. However, he persevered and eventually became a key player for the team.
  3. Bratseth was part of the Norway squad for the UEFA Summer Olympics in Berlin in 1988. He played a pivotal role in defending the team and helping them reach the quarterfinals.

Bratseth's career is a testament to his talent, determination, and impact on both the domestic and international stages. His achievements in German football and contributions to the Norwegian national team have solidified his legacy as one of Norway's most influential football players.

Morten Gamst Pedersen

Morten Gamst Pedersen, a highly skilled and influential Norwegian footballer, had a significant impact during his nine-season tenure with Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League. Known for his powerful left foot and exceptional free-kicks, Pedersen left a lasting impression on Premier League history. Throughout his career, Pedersen showed his versatility and experience in various football environments, playing for Karabukspor, Tromso, and Rosenberg. However, it was his time at Blackburn Rovers that solidified his place among the greatest Norwegian soccer players of all time.

Pedersen's goal-scoring ability and expertise with set pieces made him a valuable player for Blackburn Rovers. In his 83 appearances for the national team, he scored 17 goals, proving his worth on the international stage as well. One of his most memorable moments occurred during the 2004 UEFA European Championship, when he came off the bench as a substitute to score the winning last-minute goal against Spain, securing a victory for Norway. Pedersen's knack for finding the back of the net in crucial moments earned him a reputation as a clutch player.

Pedersen's contributions to both club and country can't be overstated. His talent was highly regarded, and he was consistently selected for the Norway national team for his exceptional performances. Pedersen's skill, determination, and impact in the Premier League make him one of the finest Norwegian soccer players of all time.

Sven-Göran Eriksson (Coach)

During his time coaching the Norwegian national team, Sven-Göran Eriksson had a significant impact on the country's soccer success. Here are some important facts about his coaching tenure:

  • Eriksson led Norway to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, which was a remarkable achievement considering the country hadn't participated in the tournament for 56 years. This was a turning point for Norwegian soccer and showcased Eriksson's ability to improve the team's performance.
  • Eriksson's coaching style focused on tactical discipline and organized gameplay. His strategic approach helped Norwegian players excel on the international stage, allowing them to compete against stronger opponents.
  • Under Eriksson's guidance, Arne Semundseth Riise became the first Norwegian player to join Manchester United, one of the world's most prestigious clubs. Riise's success is a testament to Eriksson's coaching expertise and his ability to develop players to perform at the highest level.
  • Eriksson's coaching achievements extended beyond the national team. He later became the manager of Manchester City, where he achieved several titles, including the club's first major trophy in over 30 years. His debut season at Manchester City demonstrated his ability to build successful teams, a trait later recognized by renowned coach José Mourinho.

Martin Ødegaard

Martin Ødegaard is a talented and influential attacking midfielder who's made significant progress in his young career, gaining worldwide recognition from football fans. He was born on December 17, 1998, in Drammen, Norway, and began his football journey at Strømsgodset, a Norwegian club. At the remarkable age of 15, Ødegaard became the youngest player to feature in a senior league match.

Ødegaard's outstanding performances caught the attention of top clubs, leading to his signing with Real Madrid in 2015. He initially played for the club's reserve team, where he showcased his potential by scoring nine goals before his retirement in 2017. This impressive display earned him a promotion to the first team, where he left a lasting impact.

One of Ødegaard's most notable achievements was his loan move to Arsenal in 2021. He made an immediate impact by scoring a crucial goal against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. His performances played a vital role in Arsenal's success, helping them secure two titles in his first season and achieving The Treble.

John Carew

John Carew, a retired Norwegian professional footballer, had a successful career as a forward, representing Norway in major tournaments and making a lasting impact on the international stage. Here are some important facts about Carew:

  • Carew scored 24 goals in 91 appearances for the Norwegian national team, showcasing his talent on the international stage in tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro.
  • Known for his physicality and ability in the air, Carew stood at an impressive 6 feet 5 inches tall, making him a formidable presence in the box and a valuable asset in set-piece situations.
  • Throughout his career, Carew played for various clubs in European leagues, including notable spells at Leeds United, Valencia, and Aston Villa. He showed his versatility as a striker, adapting to different footballing environments and leaving a mark wherever he played.
  • Carew's skill, athleticism, and goal-scoring ability solidified his status as one of the notable Norwegian footballers of his time. He was a key player alongside other Norwegian stars like John Arne Riise and Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • Unfortunately, Carew's career was affected by a knee injury that forced him to retire from professional football in 2012. However, he's remained involved in the football world, pursuing coaching and other ventures after retiring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is the Best Player in Norway?

The best player in Norway is a matter of personal opinion and can vary from person to person. However, there are several Norwegian footballers who have achieved great success and made a significant impact in European leagues, contributing to the development of the sport. These players have showcased their skills and talent on the field, earning recognition and admiration from fans and experts alike. While it is difficult to determine the absolute best player in Norway, the country has produced a number of exceptional talents who have left a lasting mark in the world of football.

How Many Norwegians Play in the Premier League?

Currently, there are a number of Norwegian players making their mark in the Premier League. These players are considered rising stars, thanks to the excellent player development in Norwegian soccer academies. As a result, their transfer market value has increased and they have performed well in international competitions. However, they also face challenges adapting to the Premier League. Despite this, they play a crucial role in the national team and have had a significant impact on the local league. When comparing them to players from other countries in the Premier League, it is clear that they have immense potential. The future looks promising for Norwegian players, as they are likely to attract interest from top European clubs.

Has Norway Ever Played World Cup?

Norway has participated in three FIFA World Cup tournaments. In 1994, they had an impressive run, making it to the Round of 16. In 1998, they finished third in their group.

Who Was the First Norwegian to Win the Champions League?

Erik Thorstvedt, a Norwegian football player, made history as the first Norwegian to win the Champions League. His achievement not only demonstrates the impact of Norwegian players in European club competitions but also contributes to the growing international prominence of Norwegian football. Thorstvedt's success serves as an inspiration for aspiring Norwegian footballers and showcases the talent and skill that exists within Norwegian football. This milestone highlights the progress and development of Norwegian football on a global scale.


The best Norwegian soccer players of all time have made significant contributions to the sport both domestically and internationally. Their skill, dedication, and achievements have had a lasting impact on Norwegian soccer history.

From legendary goalkeepers to talented strikers and defenders, these players have showcased their abilities in top leagues and represented their country with pride.

Their success serves as an inspiration for future generations of Norwegian footballers.

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