Norway national football team

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Norway Norway
Association Norges Fotballforbund (NFF)
Confederation EFU
FIFA code NOR
FIFA ranking 43 Decrease 6 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 9 (1928-1930)
Lowest FIFA ranking 37 (1962)
First international  Norway 8–0  Sweden
(London, Great Britain; 20 October 1908)
World Cup appearances 5 (First in 1910)
Best result Third Place, 1950


Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Silver medal – second place 1912 Stockholm Team

The Norway national football team represents Norway is international association football. It is controlled by the Norges Fotballforbund. It has particpated in five FIFA World Cup's with their best result being a third place at the 1950 World Cup in Sweden.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

The first instance of a Norway football team took place on October 20, 1908 as they were one of five teams to compete at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. In their first match against Sweden, they would get demolished 8-0. The following tournament which was the 1910 FIFA World Cup held in Austria wouldn't be much better with the team being bundled to a 5-0 defeat to Belgium in the opening round of the competition.

The following summer, Norway competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics. With the chances of not going fair being high, they shocked the Austrians 2-0 to record their first international victory in a tournament. Two more straight wins over the Russian Empire and Denmark later, they had qualified through to a Olympic final against the Olympic champions in the Netherlands. For Norway, that it would be where it would end, losing 6-0 to the Dutch and recording a silver medal. The following year, they competed in the first qualifier match in FIFA World Cup history as they took on Finland. This match also would become the first to be played with a replay attached as Sverre Andersen scored the winning goal to book Norway's spot in the World Cup.

Competing in Group C with Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, the Norwegians would finish second in the group after a 5-0 loss to the Netherlands. But wins over Austria and Germany got Norway a spot in the knockout stage where they would go down to the Danish 4-3 in what some would later classify as the match of the tournament. The next tournament at the 1920 Summer Olympics saw Norway make to the semi finals with wins over Great Britain and Czechoslovakia before once losing to the Dutch. They would go on though to record their first Nordic Football Championship title two years later in 1924 as they finish ahead of Finland. The following year it wouldn't go well as the Nordic Championship was also qualifying for the 1926 FIFA World Cup. Only a win against Denmark would be the result.

WC appearances and a third place[edit | edit source]

The qualifying for the 1930 FIFA World Cup meant that the team was put in Group 5.1 with Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania with the top two qualifying to the final round where they would took on the winners of the other group. For Norway, this meant that they would qualify with ease after ten pass the two Baltic nations to book a spot in the final round. That final round featured Denmark and the Soviet Union who had qualified through Group 5.2. They would go on to qualify through to the World Cup after a initial stumping block with a 1-1 against the Soviets before wins over Denmark and Sweden secured their passage through.

At the World Cup, Norway got placed in Group D with Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and debutant Paraguay. After securing a 2-0 win over Paraguay in the opening game, a 2-1 loss to Czechoslovakia and a 1-0 loss to Switzerland wouldn't be enough as the team finished third in the group and was eliminated from the competition. After the tournament though, they would win their third consecutive Nordic Championship, this time by defeating Denmark.

The following World Cup qualification saw Norway having no trouble booking a spot, finishing top of their group before defeating Sweden in the Nordic playoff to book a spot at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. But with a draw that featured Argentina, Uruguay and Sweden; they would end on the bottom of the table without scoring a single point with the only two goals of the tournament for Norway being from Sverre Berglie and Reidar Kvammen. After being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 1936 Summer Olympics to Germany, Norway wouldn't qualify through to the 1938 FIFA World Cup in Argentina as they finished in third behind Hungary (who qualified) and Austria.

After the second World War, Norway would win the first two editions of the Nordic Football Championship after the war in 1946 and 1949. During this period, they also finished top of their qualifying group for the 1950 FIFA World Cup which was in Sweden as they finished ahead of Belgium and Turkey. Being drawn in Group B, they suffered a 3-2 loss to Uruguay in the opening match before defeating Jamaica 6-0 with a double from Hans Andersen and Gunnar Thoresen. The pair of Anderson and Thoresen would continue in the remaining two games of the group with a 2-1 win over the Netherlands, followed by a two all draw against Austria.

This meant that for the first time in over forty years, Norway had qualified through to a World Cup knockout stage. Their opponent being Brazil. For the Norwegians, a goal either side of the half from Ragnar Hvidsten and Villy Anderson was enough to book a spot into the semi-final for the first time. Though their run would end in the semi-finals with a 3-0 defeat to the eventual champions in Sweden. Harry Karlsen would score the only goal for Norway in the third place playoff as they would defeat France by a single goal.

The unlucky 50s[edit | edit source]

The 50s in Norwegian football was a period of trouble with the national team not qualifying through to any of the final competitions. The only one that they did qualify being the 1950 FIFA World Cup and the 1952 Summer Olympics. On both occasions, they would lose to Sweden. The qualifying for the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Chile saw the team miss out goal difference to the Soviet Union.

The following World Cup qualification group in 1957, saw Norway once again finish second on goal difference. This time it was to Italy after they did defeat Portugal and Iceland comfortably, they wouldn't not score the win against the Italians as Italy finished with a higher goal difference and with that the spot in the World Cup finals. Between those two World Cup's they also competed in qualifying for the 1956 European Nations' Cup where they would lose 4-1 on aggregate in the first round to Hungary.

Tournament history[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Compete
1910 Round 1 =14th 1 0 0 1 0 5
England 1914 Quarter Finalist 8th 4 2 0 2 9 10
Netherlands 1922 Did Not Compete
Spain 1926 Did Not Qualify
Uruguay 1930 Group Stage 11th 3 1 0 2 3 3
Italy 1934 Group Stage 14th 3 0 0 3 2 9
Argentina 1938 Did Not Qualify
Sweden 1950 Semi Finalist 3rd 7 4 1 2 15 9
Chile 1954 Did Not Qualify
Switzerland 1958
Mexico 1962
Total Semi Finalist 5/12 18 7 1 10 29 34

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Norway national football team Template:Football in Norway

Template:National sports teams of Norway