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Norway are ranked 11th in the world, and seventh-best in Europe. They have a strong footballing pedigree, being former European Champions (1987, 1993), World Champions (1995) and Olympic Gold Medalists (2000). However, since their hayday a decline has set in and they’ve not had such a great time of it since that gold medal triumph.
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However, recent results are much improved, with the combined record in qualification for this European Championship and next year’s World Cup making for good reading: Played 14 W13 D1 L0 – the only draw being a 0-0 away to Poland in October.
Norway will be hopeful the return of one of the best players in the world in Ada Hegerberg will also see a return to challenging for major tournament honours once again, and our top footy trader Jason Murphy is here to take you through their squad.
Manager – Martin Sjögren
The Swedish coach took charge of the Norway women’s team in 2016 off the back of winning the 2016 Damallsvenskan title (Swedish Women’s Top Division) with Linköpings FC and they qualified for Euro 2017 without losing a game. As the highest ranked team in Group A, they were predicted by many breeze through but ended up being one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament losing all three group games without scoring a goal. They will expect – and should do – much better this time.
Captain – Maren Mjelde
The 32-year-old has been on the books at Chelsea since 2018, usually operating as a full-back but she’ll be centre back for the national team – fitness providing. Mjelde suffered a serious knee injury in March of last year in the FA Women’s Continental Cup final that kept her out for eight months.
She only started to get her fitness back in second half of the season and might not be a guaranteed starter for this tournament, but will be keen to help her country create more history, whether she is on or off the pitch.
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Star Player – Ada Hegerberg
Earlier this year, Hegerberg ended her five-year exile from the national team (Similar to the Roy Keane – Saipan kind of situation…). In her first game back she scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 win against Kosovo (Keano didn’t do that, though). Hegerberg is undoubtably one of the most exciting players to watch this tournament. In 2018 she was the first-ever recipient of the Ballon d’Or Féminin. She also holds the record for most goals in a UEFA Women’s Champions League season (15) and is currently the all-time highest goalscorer in UEFA Women’s Champions League (59).
The Lyon star also produced a goal and assist in the recent Champions League final victory too, to win her sixth title. Also, it’s worth giving more than an honourable mention to Barcelona’s Caroline Graham Hansen. With those two, Norway have more than enough star fire power to go far in this tournament.
If Norway are going to make it far this tournament, then the Lyon striker will be key. Hegerbeg has over 40 goals for her national side, and whilst only three of those have come in major tournaments, she has not featured in the last two of those. Will there be a goal glut on her return to tournament football with Norway?
Norway v Northern Ireland
Tuesday 7th July, 8pm KO (St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton)
TV: BBC One & BBC iPlayer
England v Norway
Monday 11th July, 8pm KO (Falmer Stadium, Brighton)
TV: BBC One & BBC iPlayer
Austria v Norway
Friday 15th July, 8pm KO (Falmer Stadium, Brighton)
TV: BBC Three & BBC iPlayer
Goalkeepers: Guro Pettersen (Vålerenga), Sunniva Skoglund (Stabaek), Aurora Mikalsen (Brann).
Defenders: Tuva Hansen (Brann), Maren Mjelde (Chelsea), Anja Sonstevold (Inter), Julie Blakstad (Manchester City), Maria Thorisdottir (Manchester United), Synne Skinnes Hansen (Rosenborg), Guro Bergsvand (Brann).
Midfielders: Vilde Boe Risa (Manchester United), Amalie Eikeland (Reading), Ingrid Syrstad Engen (Barcelona), Frida Maanum (Arsenal), Lisa Naalsund (Brann), Elisabeth Terland (Brann), Guro Reiten (Chelsea).
Forwards: Anna Langas Josendal (Rosenborg), Karina Saevik (Avaldsnes), Sophie Roman Haug (Roma), Celin Bizet Ildhusoy (PSG), Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon).
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