28 July 2011

Fact File: Norwegian Football Museum

Fotballmuseet is the Norwegian Football Museum, of The Football Association of Norway.

Location: in the Norwegian national stadium Ullevaal, Oslo
Opening year: 2002 (when the Norway FA had their 100-years anniversary)
Annual visitor number: 12 000
Collection size: 250 objects (about 80% is on display)

Although not one of the great footballing nations, Norway's genuine passion for the game is consistent and admirable.
The Norwegians are, as other Scandinavians, generally great anglophiles and the English Premier League has a tradition of immense interest, just like in Sweden. Therefore objects related to the Norweigan players who have made it in the UK are of special interest to the museum such as the shirt and boots of Morten Gamst Pedersen.
The most important object in that category is undeniably the FA cup medal of goalkepper Erik Thorsvedt who won the cup in 1991 with Tottenham Hotspurs.

Unarguably the biggest success of the Norwegian National Team is the third place from the Berlin Olympics 1936, having beaten the host nation Germany in the quarter final 2-0. A splendid achievement. The bronze medals from 1936 (beating Poland in the bronze game 3-2 after a Brustad hat-trick) are rightly regarded as the museum's finest objects alongside the very ball from the bronze match:
The ball belonged to the goal keeper, Henry Tippen Johansen. He gave the ball away to a friend in the 1950’s and the ball laid in a garage for over 30 years. When the ball was found again, the family’s dog used it as a toy until they realized that this was one of the most precioused footballhistorical items in Norway. The museum got the ball when the Football museum opened in 2002.

In recent years Norway has performed with mixed results in the big tournaments but made a great upset in the World Cup of 1998 when they beat Brazil 2-1 in the group stage. The yellow shoes of Kjetil Rekdal who scored Norway's second from the penalty spot is a symbol of the Norwegian National Team peak of success in the 1990's.

Football boots of an amusing alternative kind: The National team manager Egil "Drillo" Olsen always used a special pair of green rubber boots in the 90’s. The boots became sort of a trademark for the Norwegian team. The museum has these boots in the museum and they have also been used as a logo for the Museum.

Future plans for the Norwegian Football Museum include a school project and an exhibition about Ullevaal stadium and a smaller exhibition about about the work that the Norwegian football federation are doing in Vietnam (“Football for all in Vietnam”-project) opened in May 2011.

Thanks to Tommy Christensen, director, Fotballmuseet.

At this time our deepest sympathies goes out to the Norwegian people after the tragic events of July 2011.

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