From the publisher:
‘Sterkere Sammen’ translates as ‘stronger together’ - something the last couple of years has taught us all.
Over two decades since their men last reached a major tournament, but with a new generation of talent to rival the very best sides that have come before and the women heading to this summer’s Euros as dark-horses, we thought it was time we went to Norway.
As the world finally opened back up and we stepped off the plane onto Oslo tarmac, we expected this to be an ‘anti-Qatar’ issue, because, led initially by fans of Tromsø IL, Norway was at the vanguard of vocal opposition to FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
However, while there was much to learn about why Norway felt so strongly that the issue of World Cup hosting decisions needed to be discussed, we found this was less to do with opposition to Qatar and more about being a society built on equality, co-operation and togetherness.
We experienced those qualities directly, as people bent over backwards to open doors to Norwegian football heroes past and present, all of whom were generous with both their time and stories.
Egil Olsen and his dogs invited us into his living room, where overlooking the twinkling lights of a winter’s evening in the capital, we gathered around the fire and re-lived his struggles at Wimbledon and glory days with the national side.
As Ullevall geared up to host a World Cup qualifier vs Latvia, John Arne Riise opened up to us about a tough childhood at the hands of bullies and how that helped spur him onto Champions League glory.
We meet Erik Thorsvedt for coffee and a cinnamon bun, while listening to some shocking tales from his time at Tottenham Hotspurs alongside Paul Gascoigne. Later, we visit IL Heming, the club where ‘football’s Greta Thunberg’, Morten Thorsby started his career, before speaking to the Sampdoria midfielder about his work to fight devastating climate change.
Equality and togetherness spread throughout the game and Norway boast a proud history in the Women’s game and ensure that their male and female national sides receive equal pay.
Voted Norway’s greatest ever player, Hege Riise sits with us to talk about winning the World Cup, European Championships and Olympic Gold. We also speak to the first Norwegian to play for FC Barcelona, Caroline Graham Hansen.
Despite only having 30 minutes spare, the President of the Football Association Lise Klaveness sat with us for hours talking about corruption, diplomacy and her dream of making football available to everyone around the world, inspired by her own love of the ball.
Issue 7 also features exclusive interviews with the likes of Jan Åge Fjortoft, Ståle Solbakken, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mathias Normann, Maren Mjelde and Martin Sjogren, plus the story of the player who stole ‘The Scream’. That’s just for starters.
Our Norway edition will take you from Oslo to Bodø north of the Arctic Circle, taking in Molde, Aalesund and the Lofoten Islands and help you decide where to stay, what to do and where to eat when you inevitably decide to book your own trip.