The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Norway

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This page contains a list of the greatest Norwegian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 139 of which were born in Norway. This makes Norway the birth place of the 27th most number of Soccer Players behind Romania, and Colombia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Norwegian Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Norwegian Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Norwegian Soccer Players.

Photo of Arnfinn Bergmann

1. Arnfinn Bergmann (1928 - 2011)

With an HPI of 55.52, Arnfinn Bergmann is the most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages on wikipedia.

Arnfinn Bergmann (14 October 1928 – 13 February 2011) was a ski jumper from Norway. He won the individual large hill event at the 1952 Olympics and 1952 Holmenkollen ski festival and placed third at the 1950 World Championships. In 1956 he was awarded the Holmenkollen medal (shared with Borghild Niskin and Arne Hoel). As a junior Bergmann won the national title and the ski jumping competition in Holmenkollen in 1948. The same year he won the national football title with SK Freidig. Next year he started competing as a senior and placed third at the national championships. In 1950 he was included to the national team and unexpectedly won a bronze medal at the world championships. For the 1950–51 season he stayed in Canada, where he won his every competition. In 1952 he returned to Norway and won the Olympic gold medal, the Holmenkollen and the national championships. He defended his national title in 1953, but got injured in early 1954 and missed the season. He qualified for the 1956 Olympics, but withdrew due to a flu. In 1958 he was included to the 1958 World Championships team, after he unexpectedly won the national title, but he withdrew again, for unknown reasons. He retired in 1959 after placing third at the national championships. In 1956 Bergmann moved from Trondheim to Oslo, and for the next 30 years worked as a school teacher in Oslo and Bærum. After that he returned to Trondheim and spent the rest of his active life on maintaining the local ski museum.

Photo of Jørgen Juve

2. Jørgen Juve (1906 - 1983)

With an HPI of 55.00, Jørgen Juve is the 2nd most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Jørgen Juve (22 November 1906 – 12 April 1983) was a Norwegian football player, jurist, journalist, and non-fiction writer. For most of his career, he played as a striker for Lyn. He also played for a season at FC Basel in Switzerland before retiring and earned a total of 45 caps for the Norway national team. He is the highest-scoring player ever for Norway, with 33 goals in just 45 games. He was captain of the Norway team which won Olympic bronze medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics. He also had a career as a journalist for Dagbladet and Tidens Tegn, and wrote several books.

Photo of Ole Gunnar Solskjær

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjær (b. 1973)

With an HPI of 54.80, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the 3rd most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈûːlə ˈɡʉ̂nːɑr ˈsûːlʂæːr] ; born 26 February 1973) is a Norwegian professional football manager and former player. He was most recently the manager of Premier League club Manchester United. He played as a forward. As a player, Solskjær spent the majority of his career with Manchester United and also played 67 times for the Norway national team. Solskjær began his career in his native Norway with Clausenengen, for whom he scored 115 goals in 109 league appearances over five seasons, helping them earn promotion to the Norwegian Second Division in 1993, before moving to Molde, newly promoted to the Tippeligaen, for the 1995 season. His goals helped Molde to a second-place finish and qualification for the UEFA Cup. He joined Manchester United in July 1996 for a transfer fee of £1.5 million. Nicknamed "the Baby-faced Assassin", he played 366 times for United and scored 126 goals during a successful period for the club. He was regarded as a "super-sub" for his knack of coming off the substitute bench to score late goals. In added time at the end of the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, he scored the winning last-minute goal against Bayern Munich, with Manchester United having trailed 1–0 as the game passed 90 minutes, and winning the treble for United. He remained a regular player for the side until a serious knee injury sustained in 2003 permanently plagued his playing career. Failing to recover from the injury, Solskjær announced his retirement from football in 2007. Solskjær remained at Manchester United in a coaching role as well as in an ambassadorial capacity. In 2008, Solskjær became the club's reserve team manager. He returned to his native country in 2011 to manage his former club, Molde, whom he led to their two first-ever Tippeligaen titles in his first two seasons with the club. He secured a third title when his team won the 2013 Norwegian Football Cup Final. In 2014, he served as manager of Cardiff City, during which the club was relegated from the Premier League. In late 2018, Manchester United appointed Solskjær as caretaker manager, taking over from José Mourinho for the rest of the 2018–19 season. On 28 March 2019, having won 14 of his 19 matches in charge, Solskjær signed a three-year contract to take over as Manchester United manager on a permanent basis. He took Manchester United to the 2021 UEFA Europa League final, where they lost to Villarreal on penalties. He was sacked by the club in November 2021 following a poor run of performances during the 2021–22 season.

Photo of Jørn Andersen

4. Jørn Andersen (b. 1963)

With an HPI of 51.40, Jørn Andersen is the 4th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Jørn Andersen (born 3 February 1963), sometimes written as Jörn, is a Norwegian football manager and former player who currently manages China League One club Yunnan Yukun.

Photo of Arne Brustad

5. Arne Brustad (1912 - 1987)

With an HPI of 51.37, Arne Brustad is the 5th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Arne Brustad (14 April 1912 – 22 August 1987) was a Norwegian footballer. He is regarded as one of the country's best players of all time.

Photo of Alf-Inge Håland

6. Alf-Inge Håland (b. 1972)

With an HPI of 50.98, Alf-Inge Håland is the 6th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Alfie Haaland (born Alf-Inge Rasdal Håland; 23 November 1972) is a Norwegian former professional footballer who played as a right back or midfielder. Haaland played in the Premier League with Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City, and won 34 caps for Norway. He is the father of Erling Haaland. Haaland joined the youth academy of his hometown club Bryne FK in 1979 and made his first-team debut in 1989 aged 17. He signed his first professional contract with the club a year later. Haaland then moved to Premier League club Nottingham Forest in December 1993. After a four-year spell at the club, he moved to Leeds United. He was part of the Leeds team that reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Haaland then proceeded to make his final transfer to Manchester City. In the same year, Haaland took an eight-year break before returning to Bryne FK's third team and ending his career in 2013 with Rosseland BK.

Photo of John Arne Riise

7. John Arne Riise (b. 1980)

With an HPI of 50.77, John Arne Riise is the 7th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

John Arne Semundseth Riise (born 24 September 1980) is a Norwegian professional footballer and coach who plays as a left back and a left midfielder and serves as a player-manager of Toppserien club Avaldsnes. With 110 caps, Riise is the most capped player for the Norway national team. He was named in the Norway squad for UEFA Euro 2000 but did not play in the tournament. Riise scored 16 goals before his retirement from international duty in 2013. He spent seven years playing for Premier League side Liverpool, in which he won many honours, including the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, before moving to Roma in 2008.

Photo of Ståle Solbakken

8. Ståle Solbakken (b. 1968)

With an HPI of 49.01, Ståle Solbakken is the 8th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Ståle Solbakken (born 27 February 1968) is a Norwegian professional football manager and former player who is the head coach of the Norway national team. During his playing career, Solbakken was named 1995 Norwegian midfielder of the year, and he won the Danish Superliga championship with both Aalborg and Copenhagen (in 1999 and 2001 respectively). He played 58 matches and scored nine goals for the Norway national football team during the end of the 1990s, and represented Norway at the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship tournaments. He ended his playing career in March 2001 following a heart attack. As a manager, he was named 2004 Norwegian Manager of the Year, and won eight Superliga championships with Copenhagen. Solbakken was also in charge of German club 1. FC Köln during the 2011–12 Bundesliga season and then managed English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in a six-month tenure.

Photo of Sverre Hansen

9. Sverre Hansen (1913 - 1974)

With an HPI of 47.54, Sverre Hansen is the 9th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Sverre Hansen (23 June 1913 – 22 August 1974) was a Norwegian football player who competed in the Olympic games in 1936. He was born in Larvik. He was a member of the national team that won the bronze medal in Berlin. He earned 15 caps and scored 7 goals for the Norway national football team from 1933 to 1936.

Photo of Martin Ødegaard

10. Martin Ødegaard (b. 1998)

With an HPI of 47.53, Martin Ødegaard is the 10th most famous Norwegian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Martin Ødegaard (born 17 December 1998) is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for and captains both Premier League club Arsenal and the Norway national team. Considered one of the best midfielders in the world, he is known for his technique, dribbling ability, vision and range of passing. Ødegaard began his senior club career at age 15 in 2014, playing for Strømsgodset; he set the Tippeligaen record for its youngest goalscorer, and in 2015, signed for Real Madrid in a transfer worth an initial €4 million (Kr. 35 million), where he set the club record for its youngest player. After enduring sporadic playing time, Ødegaard joined Eredivisie clubs Heerenveen and Vitesse, and La Liga club Real Sociedad, on successive loans between 2017 and 2019; Ødegaard won the Copa del Rey with Real Sociedad in 2019. Following another loan, he signed for Arsenal in 2021 in a transfer worth an initial £30 million (€35 million). After a successful first full season with Arsenal, he was announced as the club's captain in 2022. Ødegaard made his senior international debut for Norway in 2014, at age 15, and has set the record for the youngest senior Norway player, and the youngest player to play in a UEFA European Championship qualifying match. He assumed the full captaincy of Norway in March 2021.

People

Pantheon has 170 people classified as Norwegian soccer players born between 1897 and 2005. Of these 170, 150 (88.24%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Norwegian soccer players include Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Jørn Andersen, and Alf-Inge Håland. The most famous deceased Norwegian soccer players include Arnfinn Bergmann, Jørgen Juve, and Arne Brustad. As of April 2024, 31 new Norwegian soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Konrad Hirsch, Ronny Deila, and Ola Solbakken.

Living Norwegian Soccer Players

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Deceased Norwegian Soccer Players

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Newly Added Norwegian Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 18 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.