Saturday, December 13, 2014

Scandinavia excluding Sweden and Denmark

Norway 1998

This is the all-time team for Scandinavia, excluding the two gaints of the region: Sweden and Denmark.  I created two other all-time teams for them. 

While Sweden and Denmark have done great internationally, Norway has always made headlines by winning upset wins. They beat England in 1981, which led to the famous rant by commentator Bjørge Lillelien. They qualified for the WC in 1994 and 1998.  In 1998, they beat Brazil 2-1 in the final group game and advanced to the second round.  

Finland is known for its near miss.  In 1997, Finland needed to win against Hungary at home to earn a playoff spot at the World Cup qualifiers. They scored an own goal during an injury time.

Iceland is one of the smallest countries in UEFA, but they managed to earn a spot at the 2014 UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoff.  In 2016, Iceland qualified for the Finals at the Euro 2016.  They made a strong run, beating England in the second round before losing to the host France in the quarter-final.

Iceland's celebration at Euro 2016

GK: Erik Thorstvedt (Norway)
He was one of the top goalkeepers in the Premiership during the 1990's.   He spent 6 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won the FA Cup.  He was capped 97 times and went to the WC in 1998.

GK: Jussi Jaaskelainen (Finland)
He holds the record for being the longest serving foreign player in the Premier League after playing for Bolton Wanderers from 1997 until 2012.  He was capped 56 times for Finland.

GK: Frode Grodas (Norway)
He was the starting keeper at the 1998 WC Finals.  He won the 1997 FA Cup with Chelsea, where he started in the Final.  he had 50 caps.

RB:  Henning Berg (Norway)
He earned 100 caps, playing in 1994 and 1998 WC Finals.  He spent 12 seasons in England, playing for Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, winning the Premiership three times for both clubs.  He was a part of the team that won the Champions' League in 1999, but missed the Final through an injury.

SW: Rune Bratseth (Norway)
He is one of the best defenders in Norway's football history.  He went to the WC in 1994.  Bratseth started his career at local club Rosenborg BK. He was best remembered for his career with Werder Bremen.

Rune Bratseth

CB: Ronny Johnsen (Norway)
In 1996, he became the most expensive Norwegian defender when he signed for Manchester United.  He also played for Sem, Stokke, Eik-Tønsberg, Lyn, Lillestrøm, Beşiktaş, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Vålerenga. He was capped 62 times for Norway. He went to the WC in 1998.

CB: Sami Hyypia (Finland)
Hypia was probably one of the most successful Finish players playing outside his home country. He was best remembered for his 10 seasons with Liverpool.  He was at one point their captain.  He was voted 38th as the greatest ever players for Liverpool by their fans.  He was voted 19th as the greatest Foreign Player ever in the Premier League. He also had a successful career with Williem II in Holland.  

CB:  Ragnar Sigurosson (Iceland)
He played in Sweden, Denmark and Russia.  He is best known for his "Man of the Match" award during Iceland's upset of England at the Euro 2016. he scored a goal while being rock soild at the back.  He earned a move to Fulham after the tournament.
Sigursson vs England

LB: John Arne Riise (Norway)
He was one of the top fullback in the Premiership during his years with Liverpool.  He spent 7 seasons with Liverpool.  He also had stints with Roma in Italy and Monaco in France.  For Norway, he was their all-time cap leader.  He ony went one major tournament, namely Euro 2000, but he made no appearance. 

LB: Stig Inge Bjørnebye (Norway)
He was capped 76 times between 1989 to 2000.  He played in England from 1992 to 2003,  with both Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers.  He represented the Norwegian national team in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2000 and was capped 75 times, scoring once.

CM: Asgeir Sigurvinsson (Iceland) 
He is conisdered to be Iceland's greatest players.  He spent his foreign career with Standard Liege, Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart.  He won the Bundelsliga in 1983-1984 with Stuttgart.

CM/ST/RB:  Jorgen Juve (Norway)
He is considered Norway's greatest footballer.  He scored 33 goals in 45 games.  He was captain of the Norwegian team which won Olympic bronze medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics.  He played as a striker, center-half and a rightback.  he played for Lyn at home and Basel in Switzerland.

RW/DM/CM/RB: Teemu Tainio (Finland)
He was capped 61 times for Finland.  His foreign career included stints with Auxerre, Tottenham Hotspurs, Sunderland, Ajax and NY Red Bulls.

LW: Arne Brustad (Norway) 
He is regarded as one of Norway's greatest players.  He won Olympic bronze medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics and scored 5 goals in 4 matches.  He also went to the WC Finals in 1938.

AM: Jari Litmanen (Finland)
He is probably Finland's greatest player.  He was an important player for Ajax when it won the Champions' League in 1995. The team was regarded one of the greatest club sides in recent history. He also played for Barcelona and Liverpool.  He earned 137 caps for Finland.


FW: Tom Lund (Norway)
He is regarded as one of Norway's greatest players. He spent his entire career with Lillestrom.  Ajax tried to sign him as a replacement for Johan Cruyff in 1973, but he stayed at home.  He was capped 47 times between 1972 and 1982.

ST: Kolbeinn Sigborsson (Iceland)
He started his career in Iceland before making a name in Holland.  After a successful run with AZ, he joined Ajax in 2011 and later, moved to Nantes in France.  For the national team, his scoring rate at the time of writing 1 goal for every 2 games.  He was a hero at Euro 2016, where he scored the winner against England.

ST: Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Norway)  
Nicknamed "The Baby-faced Assassin".  He played 12 seasons for Sir Alex at Manchester United.  He is known to be "super sub" on the team.  He often scored important goals coming off the bench.  He was probably best remembered for scoring the winning goal against bayern Munich at the 1999 Champions' league Final. He was capped 67 times for Norway.

ST: Tore Andre Flo (Norway) 
He came from the Flo football family in Norway. He went to the WC in 1998 and Euro 2000.  He is best remembered for his stint with Chelsea between 1997 and 2000.  He won a Cup Winners' Cup in 1998.

ST: John Carew (Norway) 
He is probably best remembered for his years with Valencia, where he won two La Liga titles and a runner-up medal at the Champions' League in 2001. He also played in Turkey, England and France.  He was capped 91 times for Norway.

ST: Arnór Guðjohnsen (Iceland)
He is Eidur's father.  He was one of the few professional players from Iceland during his era.  He played with Anderlecht for 6 seasons and Bordeaux for another two seaons.  He also played in Sweden.

ST: Eidur Gudjohnsen (Iceland)
He is probably the best known footballer from Iceland.  He made his national debut as a 17 years old when he came in as a substitute for his father against Estonia in 1996.  The pair is the only father and son to have played in the same international match.  He was probably known for his career with Chelsea and Barcelona. He won a Champions League title with Barcelona. 

Honorable Mention
Thorbjørn Svenssen (Norway), Brede Hangeland (Norway), Morten Gamst Pedersen(Norway), Oyvind Leonhardsen (Norway), Andre Bergdolmo (Norway), Havard Flo (Norway), Steffen Iversen (Norway), Odd Iversen (Norway), Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland), Niklas Moisander (Finland), Juhani Peltonen (Finland), Antti Niemi (Finland).

Squad Explanation
-- Norway has done well internationally in the 1930's and then, in the 1990's.  This team is dominated by Norwegians from the two eras. 
--  Gamst Pedersen is a good player, but his international career happened after the Golden Generations of the 1990's.  I feel the lack of international exposure killed his chance with this team.
-- Brede Hangeland is similar in a similar situation.  The other centerbacks selected have great, international experience.
-- After Euro 2016, this team was adjusted.  Raggnar Sigurosson was added to the squad.  His club career was limited at this monent as compared to Hangeland, but the impact of that Euro 2016 outweighted a lot of things I considered.
-- Thorbjørn Svenssen was dropped largely because he lacked football experience outside of Norway.  
-- I also selected Kolbeinn Sigborsson over Odd Iversen.  Besides having a good Euro 2016, Sigborsson proved himself in the Dutch league. Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson made to the Honorable Mention.  Gylfi Sigurdsson probably should make it to the team one day.  At this point, the midfielders on my team were still very good.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
John Carew is the surprise starter.  Gudjohnsen, Solskjær and Flo might have been more famous, but Carew actually started over Solskjaer and Flo over long period of time.  Besides, he was playing La Liga when it was the best in the world, reaching the semi-final of the Champions' League numerous times as an important player for his team.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chan, here Norway in there 90`s 4-5-1 formation
    Berg - Svenssen - Bratseth - Riise
    Juve (c)
    Lund Kvammen
    Jensen Brustad
    Flo T.A.

    Subs; Johansen, Grodas, Johnsen R, Halvorsen, Bjornebye, Solskjaer, Bredesen, Rekdal, Hennum, Gundersen, Iversen