The Premier League is considered to be the best league in the world by many experts. Its competitiveness, amount of high-quality players, and clubs make this league one of the most viewed throughout the world.
This season is particularly important because Liverpool have ended their 30-year wait for the title and Jurgen Klopp managed to create a formidable team, which are on their way to set a new record in the points amassed throughout the campaign. But they should win all 3 remaining matches.
While the league basically focuses on native players, there have been many cases where foreign players achieved a great deal of success. Some were “silent players” and did their job quietly. We will talk about 3 Norwegian players that you might not know played in the Premier League.
Claus Lundekvam is a true Southampton legend, a defender who spent more than 10 years on the south coast of Britain, becoming a real symbol and legend of the club. We cannot call him a gifted player, and throughout his career in Brann, Southampton and the Norwegian team he scored only five goals, but in terms of dedication, charisma, and leadership Claus was an example for everyone, despite the fact that he was not completely professional out of the football pitch.
Lundekvam really liked Southampton – here he could go sailing, play for pleasure, live his life, but when Klaus ended his career, and there was no longer any need to restrain himself from drinking and drugs, he suffered greatly. Even when he was a soccer player, Lundekvam could have missed a couple of liters of beer with Matt Le Tissier and other Southampton teammates and took an active part in the alcohol sessions after the match, which was a tradition in 90s English football. And besides, he made bets on events such as the first corner, who will throw the ball from the center of the field, after agreeing with the captains of the opponent.
Illegal betting, which Lundekvam later revealed in an interview with Norwegian newspaper, was one of the most improper things Lundekvam did. He himself admitted that he was not proud of this. While there have been cases of athletes involved in gambling this was real unsportsmanlike conduct. It is really astonishing that Lundekvam managed to get rid of such behaviors, and while rumors still circulated that the Norwegian allegedly visited various betting websites to obtain online casino free spins promotions they turned out to be hoaxes and Lundekvam had nothing to do with betting.
After the end of his career, Lundekvam began to drink alcohol excessively, take up to ten grams of cocaine per day, and, in the end, lost his family, friends, and human appearance, once attacking a journalist with a gun while being under the influence of drugs. It is worth paying tribute to a strong personality – Lundekvam was able to pull himself together, go through a rehabilitation period, and now works as the highest-paid expert on Norwegian television. Klaus was able to return the family, has a dog named Lucky, and recalls the two-year devastating period after the end of his career as a nightmare.
The first Norwegian in England was an amazing goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt, after whose arrival in Tottenham a trend began for Scandinavian goalkeepers in the Premier League clubs. As a result, Peter Schmeichel appeared in Manchester United and Jussi Jääskeläinen in Bolton. Thorstvedt was a goalkeeper of a powerful stature – tall, broad-shouldered with a swing of arms that any goalkeeper could envy.
Erik was the goalkeeper of the Norwegian national team, which made a European breakthrough with Egil Olsen and many players. Alas, Thorstvedt was forced to finish his career quite early – in 1996, due to back problems. After that, he tried to become a coach, which he did not succeed and went on television, where he works as an expert. He was also a host of a humorous football show in Norway.
Erik was the first Norwegian to win the FA Cup when his Tottenham Hotspur with stars like Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker managed to defeat Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1991. By and large, no one considered him to be a legionnaire in London, like the other Norwegians who followed Thorstvedt, since representatives of this nation have been learning English since childhood, and adhere to the classic British style in football.
Henning Berg, like any Norwegian football-obsessed boy, adored English football and became a fan of Manchester United long before Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him from Valerenga in the late 80s. Then nothing came out of the lack of a work permit for the young right-wing/central defender, but later Berg, once in the Blackburn and becoming the champion of England with Kenny Dalglish, nevertheless ended up in Manchester United which paid 5 million pounds for him, which was quite a decent amount for the defender at that time.
Berg got to Manchester United at the right time, when the team was ready for European achievements and hegemony in the domestic arena and was able to collect a solid collection of trophies, being an active participant in the campaign for the Champions Cup. Sir Alex Ferguson liked Henning’s versatility and his understanding with another Norwegian, Ronny Johnsen. Berg never seemed to be a key player of Manchester United, but he was always ready to replace one of the central defenders, but he missed the famous Champions League final against Bayern Munich because of an injury.
After Berg returned to Blackburn, he still won the League Cup with the team of Mark Hughes and moved to the Rangers, after which he began a coaching career that led him to his almost native Blackburn. Berg did not manage to stabilize the game of Blackburn, and after several unsuccessful attempts at several teams, he is managing Cyprus-based club Omonia. Who knows – at some point he might return to the Premier League.