Across Europe

The Rise Of Norweigan Football

It is on these pleasant summer evenings that young starlets, unknown to most, make their mark on the beautiful game. Now you may be inclined to believe that I am describing my absolute destruction of five-a-side teams up and down the country. But, sadly, that’d be wrong. I am actually referring to the Scandinavian leagues, and this week I will be indulging myself, and you guys, in the Eliteserien (Norway guys! Norway!).

In this bite-sized Norweigan nugget, I will be opening up the door and guiding you through what this treasure trove of a nation has been hiding away from the regular futbolista since Ole Gunnar Solskjær broke onto the scene for Molde FK. From the inevitable Brann powershift to why Erling Håland is the next big star, things are changing in the land of the midnight sun…

Rosenborg BK are regulars at the top of the table. Whether it’s the Tippaligaen or the newly coined Eliteserien, you can guarantee they’ll be right up there. Three titles on the bounce and hunting for a fourth, but they’re going to have to fight for it. SK Brann have come to play.

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Nicklas Bendtner was the main reason Rosenborg BK got their hands on the title last season.

Situated within the heart of beautiful Bergen in southwest Norway, SK Brann was founded in 1908 and quickly established themselves in the top flight of Norway, if not for long…

After a topsy-turvy history, SK Brann have found themselves two points ahead of Rosenborg at the top of the Eliteserien in the 2018 campaign. Individually, they aren’t the best, but together, they get things done. The solid defensive partnership of Costa Rican Bismar Acosta and Dutch brute Vito Wormgoor have powered Brann to nine clean sheets in seventeen games. Solid. This well-constructed unit follows into the three-man midfield, with 24 year old holding midfielder Kristoffer Barmen pulling the side together. He allows boss Lars Nilsen to give freedom to his forward players.

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Vito Wormgoor had a spell as a youth in the Ajax academy, alongside Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen.

This season so far has proved that once SK Brann get ahead, it’s hard for the opposition to get back. Their impenetrable defence is nigh impossible to break through…

Unless your name is Erling Braut Håland. Four goals against the table-toppers put his widely whispered name up to the microphone. Manchester United wanted this lad and you can see why.

Move over Alexander Sørloth, there’s a new giant goalscoring Norweigan in town. He may be 6ft 3in, but he has serious pace. It’s quite odd actually watching him at full tilt, his long, gazelle-like legs power past central defenders with incredible ease, yet he is still a huge threat in the air. The perfect striker? There’s every chance he could be, but at 18 he is far from the finished article.

In my eyes, he is not yet at that ‘killer’ level, where every shot he takes nestles in the corner, but there’s no doubt that former sharpshooter and Molde FK boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær plans on working on it.

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DREAM? Alexander Sørloth got his move to the big lights of the Premier League, but has failed to make a significant impact.

The Leeds born Norweigan will be lighting up the big stage in no time, and with the right people around him, will become one of Europe’s greats.

If you’re interested in watching him yourself, I’d recommend this clip here.

The Norweigan top flight may not be on the mainstream British sports channels but I urge you to open your mind and take in some of the up and coming European talents on show in a league that is progressing at lightning speeds. You won’t regret it.

 

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