Group A: Norway         Castellano   Page 2

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Belgium  2

Brazil  2



Chile  2


Croatia  2

Denmark  2

England  2

France  2

Germany  2


Italy  2




Morocco  2

Netherlands  2


Norway  2



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United States


   Norges Fotballforbund   

Coach: Egil OLSEN

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10.06.98 Montpellier



16.06.98 Bordeaux



23.06.98 Marseille

Team Colors: Red shirt, White pants with Blue trims.

Confederation: UEFA

Third participation in World Cup

Won bronze medal at 1936 Berlin Olympic Games

Keep an Eye on: Tore Andre Flo: Lanky striker, underrated and underused in England.

F Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Leading scorer in 1998 qualification.

Henning Berg: Stout, resilient, confident; classic Norwegian player.

Bent Skammelsrud...wearing the Grateful Dead's version of Norway's shirt

Key players: M Tor Andre Flo (Chelsea, England),

F Havard Flo (Werder Bremen, Germany),

F Mini Jakobsen (Rosenborg),

F Petter Rudi

Analysis: Norway has improved through a greatly improved domestic first division. Technically solid, big and strong. Having 8 starters playing in England's FA Premiership has helped with tactics and experience.

If keeps discipline, can trouble creatively superior Brazil. But not looked upon to repeat 4-2 score of last meeting.

History: The Norwegian Football Federation was created on April 30, 1902 in Oslo, and Norway became a member of FIFA in 1908. Norway played their first international match against Sweden, their neighbors and rivals, in Goteborg and were beaten 11-3. Sweden was also the first nation to play an international match in Norway, winning 4-0.

The Norwegians had to wait until June 16, 1918 for their first international victory, a 3-1 win over Denmark in Oslo. Norway created a surprise at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, beating England 3-0, yet they also lost to Czechoslovakia (4-0) and Italy (2-1). At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the Norwegians recorded their best result in international competition, winning a bronze medal after beating Poland 3-2. The Norwegians have qualified twice previously for the World Cup (1938 and 1994), but have never made it past the first round of the finals, giving them hope of a best-ever performance in France in 1998.

The majority of national team players are based in other European countries, or with the country's leading clubs -- Rosenborg, Molde and Lillestrom. Rosenborg are playing in the 1997-98 European Champions League and performing impressively.

Whatever Norway's fate, even three successive group defeats, he will retire as the most successful coach of the national side in the country's history. "He is a hero, a god," Tormod Brenna, a seasoned Norwegian football observer, said. "He always will be. It won't matter what happens in France." Where Olsen goes next is open to debate, but it is unlikely that Norway's rise from world nobodies to respected opponents during the seven years of Olsen's guidance will slow to a halt.

Nils Johan Semb, the Norway youth coach, will take over and little is likely to change, even if they perform poorly against Brazil, Scotland and Morocco in group A. Norway may have a dull reputation, they may bore the pants off most purists, but they are effective. They have their moments, too, as Brazil will remember from their meeting in the Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, in May. Norway won 4-2 against a side that included Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Romário. No weak Brazilian blend there. 

Most of Olsen's players ply their trade in the FA Carling Premiership - Petter Rudi, Tore Andre Flo, Egil Ostenstad, etc . 

Group Three of the qualifers was a breeze for Norway - they won it by eight points from Hungary and were undefeated in eight matches - but the finals will be infinitely tougher. A place in the last eight is possible but Olsen cannot lose. He is a god.

Whatever Norway's fate, Egil Olsen, the coach, will retire from international duty after France 98. 


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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


G Thomas Gill 22 4

G Frode Grodas 33 35

D Henning Berg 28 47

D Stig Inge Bjornebye 27 58

D Dan Eggen 27 11

D Gunnar Halle 32 58

D Alf Inge Haaland 25 25

D Ronny Johnsen 28 31  

D Roger Nilsen 28 30

M Lars Bohinen 28 47

M Jostein Flo 32 43

M Jahn Ivar Jakobsen 32 64

M Tommy Larsen 24 2

M Oyvind Leonhardsen 27 53

M Odd Inge Olsen 28 2

M Kjetil Rekdal 29 63

M Bent Skammelsrud 31 22

M Stale Solbakken 29 32

M Erik Mykland 26 50  

M Petter Rudi 24 15

F Havard Flo 27 5

F Tore Andre Flo 24 18

F Egil Ostenstad 25 10

F Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 24 10

F Frank Strandli 25 19  

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