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Molde Fotballklubb [²mɔldə] is a professional football club based in Molde, Norway, that competes in Eliteserien, the top flight of Norwegian football. Founded on 19 June 1911, the club was originally known as International and changed its name to Molde in 1915. Molde are three-time league champions (2011, 2012, 2014) and four-time Norwegian Cup winners (1994, 2005, 2013, 2014), and have finished second in the league a further nine times. Molde is one of only two Norwegian clubs to have participated in the UEFA Champions League.

Molde
Molde Fotball Logo.svg
Full nameMolde Fotballklubb
Short nameMFK
Founded19 June 1911; 108 years ago (1911-06-19), as International
1915; 104 years ago (1915), as Molde FK
GroundAker Stadion
Capacity11,800
ChairmanOdd Ivar Moen
ManagerErling Moe
LeagueEliteserien
2018Eliteserien, 2nd of 16
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The club's home matches are played at the 11,800-capacity Aker Stadion. The stadium was inaugurated in 1998, and was a gift from local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten. The club was formerly based at Molde stadion, which hosted the club's record attendance of 14,615. Molde's supporter club is called Tornekrattet ("Thicket of thorns", a reference to the city's nickname "The Town of Roses") and was founded after the 1994 Norwegian Cup final victory.[1] Molde has its strongest rivalry with Rosenborg.

Until the beginning of the 1970s, the club mainly played in local lower division leagues, except for a short visit in the Hovedserien in the 1957–58 season. In 1974, Molde was back in the top division and finished second in the league, and have since then become one of Norway's leading clubs and generally stayed in the top division. Molde also finished second in the league in 1987, when the club lost the championship to Moss in the decisive match of the season.

During the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, Molde was the second-best team in Norway (behind 13-times in a row champions Rosenborg), with league silver medals in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2002, and cup championships in 1994 and 2005, as well as participation in the UEFA Champions League in the 1999–2000 season, when Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos visited Molde.

As of 2017, the club has approximately 1000 members and around 55 teams in three departments.[2] Erling Moe is the current manager of the club since taking over as a caretaker manager on 19 December 2019 when Ole Gunnar Solskjær left the position to manage Manchester United as a caretaker manager. On 29 April 2019 it was announced that Moe signed a contract as permanent head coach till the end of the 2020 season.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early years (1911–63)Edit

Molde FK was founded on 19 June 1911 by a group gathered by Klaus Daae Andersen (born 30 September 1873); they named J. Ferdinand Dahl as the inaugural chairman.[4] On a general election on 24 April 1912, it was decided that the club would be named International,[5] perhaps because the opponents were primarily visitors from cruise ships or trading vessels,[6] or that it was to make room for the many Danes who worked in the Gideon engine factory.[5] The same year, on 5 August, the club played its first competitive match, an away match against Kristiansund which ended 2–2.[5] The rising interest and activity in football in neighbouring towns caused the club to change its name to Molde Fotballklubb in 1915.[7]

The breakthrough (1964–77)Edit

On 2 August 1964, Molde shocked nine-time Norwegian Cup champions and nine-time Norwegian League Champions Fredrikstad by eliminating them from the 1964 Norwegian Cup in the third round with a 3–2 win at home. Jan Fuglset, Torkild Brakstad and Harry Hestad, amongst others, played at Molde during that period.[8] The club played in local lower leagues, save for a short visit in the top division in the 1957–58 season. In 1970, Molde was promoted to the second tier and played there for three seasons until its promotion to the top flight with a 5–1 away win against Sogndal on 16 September 1973.[9]

In 1974, Molde returned to the premier division following the debut of several talented players in the first team, which coincided with the return of top level players like Fuglset, Brakstad and Hestad. Molde shocked the established clubs in their first season of the 1. divisjon, leading the league in 9 of 22 matchdays. Ahead of the final match of the season, Molde would win the league if they defeated Sarpsborg and Viking lost against Strømsgodset. However, both Molde and Viking won their last match, meaning Molde won the silver medal after finishing one point behind champions Viking.[8]

Since then, Molde has generally stayed in the top division and has become one of Norway's leading clubs. The club has produced a respectable number of national team players, and players who have gone professional in foreign leagues.

Ups and downs (1978–93)Edit

Between 1978 and 1984, Molde did not play on the same level in two consecutive years. Molde was relegated from the 1. divisjon in every even-numbered year, and promoted to back to the first tier in every odd-numbered year, making it three consecutive promotions and relegations. In fact, Molde and Brann did not play at the same level these years, as Brann were promoted when Molde was relegated and the other way around.[10]

In 1982, Molde played in their first cup final, despite being relegated from the 1982 1. divisjon. They lost the final at Ullevaal Stadion 3–2 against Brann.[11]

The 1987 season was the closest Molde came to winning the league championship before winning it in 2011, when a draw at home against Moss in the final round would have ensured the title. Despite numerous goal scoring opportunities, Moss won the match 2–0 at Molde stadium, thus winning the league championship, while Molde won their second silver medal.[12] The attendance of 14,615 set the record at the old Molde stadion.

Molde played their second cup final in 1989. The first match against Viking ended in a 2–2 draw, and the subsequent replay was won 2–1 by Viking.[13]

When Molde again was relegated from the Norwegian top flight in 1993, the club was in major economic difficulties following a number of projects, the most notably of which was an extension of the main stand at Molde stadion.[14] Local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten started to invest in the club, and since 1993 they have invested approximately 500 million kr on old debts, new players and the new stadium.[15][16][17]

The silver generation (1994–2000)Edit

Åge Hareide was the main coach of Molde in 1994, when they finished second in their 1. divisjon group and was thus re-promoted to Tippeligaen. Molde also met their main rivals Rosenborg in the semi-final of the 1994 Norwegian Cup, and with 4–3 win on aggregate, Molde qualified for their third cup final. After having lost to Molde, Rosenborg head coach Nils Arne Eggen called Molde's playing style for "arse-football" ("rævvafotball"). Molde won their first title by defeating Lyn 3–2 at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.[18][19]

 
Molde striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær was signed by Manchester United after his successful two-season spell at Molde

During the 1995 season, Molde became known for their three strikers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Arild Stavrum and Ole Bjørn Sundgot. In their first league match, Molde won 6–0 against Brann in Bergen, with Solskjær scoring two goals and Stavrum and Sundgot also contributing in one of Brann's heaviest-ever losses at home.[20] With six-straight wins, Molde stayed in the top two positions of the league throughout the season, but eventually finished second, 15 points behind Rosenborg.[21]

Solskjær scored 31 goals in 42 matches for Molde and was sold to Manchester United on 29 July 1996 as Molde finished in eighth position that season. In 1997, Molde finished fourth in the league, and Erik Brakstad replaced Åge Hareide as head coach ahead of the 1998 season.[22]

In 1998, Molde played their first 21 matches without losing, a Norwegian record until 2009, when Rosenborg went 26 matches undefeated.[23] In the 22nd round, Molde lost against Vålerenga while Rosenborg defeated Kongsvinger to surpass Molde at the top of the table. Rosenborg player Mini Jakobsen subsequently said, "It was fun as long as you managed to keep up. Thank you for helping to create tension in the Premier League!" On 26 September 1998, Rosenborg won 2–0 against Molde in the 23rd round and won the championship, with Molde settling for second place.

In 1999, Molde had a successful season, finishing second in the league and reaching the semi-final of the 1999 Norwegian Cup, where they were eliminated by Brann. Molde also participated in the UEFA Champions League, where Molde was drawn against CSKA Moscow in the second qualifying round. In the first match in Moscow, Molde lost 2–0, while in the second leg, 19-year-old Magne Hoseth had his big break-through with two goals when CSKA was defeated 4–0[24] to send Molde to the third qualifying round, where they met Mallorca. The first leg against Mallorca ended 0–0 at home. Away at Mallorca were Molde one goal behind for a long time, but Andreas Lund became the big hero when he equalized on a penaltyin the 84th minute. With a 1–1 aggregate score, Molde qualified for the group stage on away goals,[22] and Molde became the team from the smallest city to have qualified for the group stage of Champions League until Unirea Urziceni repeated the feat in 2009–10.[25] In the group stage, Molde were drawn against Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos, and with one win and five losses, Molde finished last in their group. On the occasion of Molde's 100-year anniversary in 2011, the readers of the local newspaper Romsdals Budstikke voted 1999 as the best year in the history of the club.[26]

From "Gunder method" to relegation (2001–2006)Edit

On 6 November 2000, after the sacking of Erik Brakstad, Gunder Bengtsson was announced head coach for two years.[27] After one season, Bengtsson and his assistant Kalle Björklund were signed for three more years.[28] In 2002, Gunder Bengtsson led Molde to second place in the league, but like when he won the league with Vålerenga in 1983 and 1984, there was not much enthusiasm around the club's sixth silver medal because of the defensive tactics and lack of local players in the squad.[29]

In the first six matches of the 2003 season, Molde collected five points. On 22 May 2003, Bengtsson was fired and replaced by Odd Berg.[30][31] In the third round of 2003 Norwegian Cup, Molde were eliminated by second-tier club Skeid.[32] Despite the change in the coaching staff, Molde was struggling in the relegation zone throughout the season, but after a 3–2 win away against Sogndal in the last match of the season, Molde avoided the relegation playoffs.[33] In 2004, the team led by Reidar Vågnes, former assistant coach under Erik Brakstad, but Molde only managed 11th place, four points clear of relegation.

In 2005, Bo Johansson became head coach of Molde, and on 15 June 2005, Molde won 3–2 against Nybergsund to qualify for the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup, having lost in the third round for three consecutive years.[34] Molde finished 12th in the league and had to play in the relegation playoff against Moss, which Molde won 5–2 on aggregate. Molde won their second Norwegian Cup title on 6 November 2005 when they won 4–2 after extra time against Lillestrøm in the final.[35] Bo Johansson left Molde after only one season with the club, and on Christmas Eve, Arild Stavrum was announced as the new head coach.[36]

Following the Norwegian Cup champions, Molde played in the 2006–07 UEFA Cup. On 25 August 2006, they were drawn to face Scottish giants Rangers in the first round. They were eliminated 2–0 on aggregate after holding Rangers to a 0–0 draw at the Aker Stadion.[37] The same year, Molde was relegated, having been in the relegation zone for the last four seasons. The relegation became final after losing 8–0 against Stabæk at Nadderud in the second-last match of the season. Arild Stavrum was fired at the end of the season.[38]

A new era (2007–present)Edit

In December 2006, Kjell Jonevret became head coach after Stavrum was fired, though Ove Christensen was the club's first choice.[39] With Jonevret as coach, Molde won the 2007 1. divisjon and was again promoted back to the Tippeligaen.

After the promotion, Molde recorded a 5–1 win against Vålerenga on the last day of Moldejazz 2008,[40][41] as well as eliminating Brann from the cup with an impressive 8–0 win at home four days later.[42] Regardless of these strong results, Molde finished ninth in their comeback season in the top flight.

Molde was again the second-best team in Norway in 2009 after champions Rosenborg, who that season overtook Molde's 1998 unbeaten streak record.[23] Conversely, Molde ruined Rosenborg's march for the double with a 5–0 win at Aker Stadion in the quarter-final of 2009 Norwegian Cup. In the final, Molde met their local rivals Aalesunds FK, but Aalesund won the Norwegian Championship on penalty shoot-out.

After only 20 points during the first 22 matches in the 2010 Tippeligaen, Kjell Jonevret was sacked and replaced by Uwe Rösler.[43] Under Rösler, Molde collected 20 points in the last eight matches and avoided relegation.[44] Despite the poor performance by the team, Baye Djiby Fall, who spent the season on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow, became the first Molde player since Jan Fuglset in 1976 to be the top goalscorer in Eliteserien.[45]

Prior to the club's 100-year anniversary in 2011, former Molde and Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjær returned to Molde to manage the club.[46] In the opening match of 2011 Tippeligaen, his first competitive match, Molde lost 3–0 away against newly promoted Sarpsborg 08.[47] On 19 June 2011, Molde celebrated their anniversary with a 2–0 win against Sogndal[48] and positioned themselves at the top of the league table. Molde was leading the league until they eventually won their first championship on 30 October 2011, when Rosenborg, the only team that could mathematically have still beaten them to first place with two matches remaining, lost 6–3 at home to Brann.[49]

Molde successfully defended their title in 2012 by beating Hønefoss 1–0 on 11 November, with one match remaining in the season.

Although Molde could only finish sixth behind champions Strømgodset in the 2013 Tippeligaen, they defeated Rosenborg 4–2 in the 2013 Norwegian Cup final on 24 November to win the Norwegian Cup for the third time in their history.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær left the club to sign for Premier League side Cardiff City on 2 January 2014. Under new manager Tor Ole Skullerud, Molde won their first domestic league and cup double in 2014, however Skullerud was fired in August 2015 due to a run of mediocre results and Solskjær (whose run at Cardiff lasted just nine months) was brought back to the team. On 19 December 2018 Solskjær left the club to join Manchester United as caretaker manager, with club director Øystein Neerland stating that Solskjær left on a loan deal for the remainder of the season.[50] However, Solskjær was signed permanently by Manchester United in March 2019[51] and Molde's caretaker manager Erling Moe got the manager job on a permanent basis on 29 April.[52]

KitEdit

Molde's club colours are blue shirts, white shorts and white socks,[2] which has become the standard Molde FK home kit.

StadiumEdit

 
Aker Stadion

Molde's current stadium is the Aker Stadion, formerly known as Molde Stadion, located at Reknes, by the seashore of central Molde. The 212 million kr cost was mostly paid for by investor Kjell Inge Røkke, after whom the ground has been nicknamed "Røkkeløkka". The official name of the new stadium was Molde Stadion until 3 May 2006, when the stadium name changed to Aker Stadion following a sponsorship deal with Røkke's company Aker. The stadium was inaugurated on 18 April 1998, when the stadium was officially opened by Prime Minister and Molde fan Kjell Magne Bondevik.[53] In the opening match, Molde defeated Lillestrøm 4–0 in their first home match of the season, attracting 13,010 spectators.[54] Tommy Berntsen scored the first goal on Aker Stadion with an own goal, while Daniel Berg Hestad was the first Molde player to score a goal at the new stadium.[55] The all-time attendance record was set on 26 September when Molde hosted Rosenborg in front of 13,308 people.[56] When Molde qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League group stage, the stadium was converted to an all-seater, with seats being installed on the lower sections of the short end stands. This reduced the attendance capacity permanently because the club chose not to remove the seats afterwards.[57] Today the capacity of Aker Stadion is 11,800.[53]

Before moving to Aker Stadion in the beginning of the 1998 season, Molde had been playing their home matches at Molde Idrettspark (at the time called Molde stadion, currently Molde Idrettspark), a municipal-owned multi-use venue,[58] since 1955. Molde Idrettspark was inaugurated on 28 August 1955, when Kristiansund was defeated 1–0.[14] About 2,500 spectators attended the inaugural match.[14] The first top-tier league match was played here on 28 July 1957, when Molde managed a 1–1 draw against Sandefjord in the first round of 1957–58 Norwegian Main League.[14] When Molde earned a promotion to the 1974 1. divisjon, the main stand was expanded.[14] The unsurpassed record attendance at Molde Idrettspark is 14,615 in a match against Moss in 1987.[59][60] Today, Molde Idrettspark is used by Træff and Molde 2.

SupportEdit

Molde's supporter club is Tornekrattet (English: "The thicket of thorns"). The name Tornekrattet is a reference to the city's nickname "Rosenes by" (English: "The Town of Roses") and was founded after the 1994 Norwegian Football Cup Final victory.

RivalriesEdit

Molde has their strongest rivalry with Rosenborg. Other rivals are Møre og Romsdal neighbours Aalesund and Kristiansund.

The rivalry with Rosenborg arises from the numerous times the two teams have battled for the Eliteserien title. With 29 titles between them, this fixture has become known as one of the finest Eliteserien match-ups.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 1 July 2019[61]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Andreas Linde
2   DF Martin Bjørnbak
3   DF Christopher Telo
4   DF Ruben Gabrielsen (Captain)
5   DF Vegard Forren
7   MF Magnus Wolff Eikrem
8   MF Fredrik Sjølstad
9   MF Mattias Moström
10   FW Leke James
11   MF Martin Ellingsen
12   GK Álex Craninx
14   FW Erling Knudtzon
No. Position Player
16   MF Etzaz Hussain
17   MF Fredrik Aursnes
18   DF Kristoffer Haraldseid
19   MF Eirik Hestad
23   FW Eirik Ulland Andersen
28   DF Kristoffer Haugen
30   FW Mathis Bolly
45   DF Emil Breivik
50   FW Jakob Nyland Ørsahl
52   GK Oliver Petersen
59   MF Tobias Hestad
99   FW Ohi Omoijuanfo

For season transfers, see 2019 Molde FK season.

Players on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
6   DF Stian Rode Gregersen (on loan to Elfsborg until 31 December 2019)
20   FW Thomas Amang (on loan to Kristiansund until 31 December 2019)
21   MF Tobias Svendsen (on loan to Sandefjord until 31 December 2019)
25   DF Martin Ove Roseth (on loan to Sogndal until 31 July 2019)
No. Position Player
26   GK Mathias Eriksen Ranmark (on loan to Mjøndalen until 5 August 2019)
27   FW Daniel Chima Chukwu (on loan to Heilongjiang FC until 31 December 2019)
44   DF Simen Hagbø (on loan to Brattvåg until 31 December 2019)
49   FW Sivert Gussiås (on loan to Strømmen until 31 December 2019)

ReservesEdit

Former playersEdit

Player recordsEdit

All current players are in bold

Player of the seasonEdit

2010–
Season Name Nationality Position Notes Ref
2010 Magne Hoseth   Norway Midfielder RB-kruset [64]
2011 Espen Bugge Pettersen   Norway Goalkeeper RB-kruset [64]
2012 Magnus Wolff Eikrem   Norway Midfielder RB-kruset [64]
2013 Martin Linnes   Norway Defender Decided by Molde players and staff [65]
2014 Vegard Forren   Norway Defender RB-kruset [66]
2015 Mohamed Elyounoussi   Norway Midfielder RB-kruset [67]
2016 Ruben Gabrielsen   Norway Defender Vote on club website [68]
2017 Björn Sigurðarson   Iceland Forward Decided by Molde players and staff [69]
2018 Eirik Hestad   Norway Midfielder RB-kruset

Club officialsEdit

Club directorsEdit

Role Name
Chairman Odd Ivar Moen
Managing director Øystein Neerland
Finance Manager Ole Jakob Strandhagen
Marketing director Oddvar Talset
Media officer and Match day director Per Lianes

Coaching staffEdit

Role Name
Manager   Erling Moe[3]
First team coach   Trond Strande
First team goalkeeping coach   Per Magne Misund
Fitness coach   Børre Steenslid
Analysis manager   Petter Rudi
Performance analyst   Eric Kirkevold
Player coordinator   Marcus Andreasson

Medical and sport science staffEdit

Role Name
Physiotherapist   Lars Håvard Sæbø[70]
Manual therapist   Rune Roksvåg
Sports rehabilitator   Espen Gjøstøl
Doctor   Endre Skjølberg
Doctor   Kjell Erik Strømskag
Doctor   Martin Engeland
Head of sport secretariat   Snorre Strand
Equipment manager   Tore Monsen
Assistant equipment manager   Stian Grønås
Main chef   Torbjørg Haugen

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

LeagueEdit

First tier
Second tier
Third tier

CupEdit

DoublesEdit

  • League and Cup: 2014

Non-officialEdit

RecordsEdit

 
Daniel Berg Hestad holds the club record for competitive appearances with 666.
Accomplishment Record
Most matches Daniel Berg Hestad 666 (900 in total[71])[72]
Most goals Jan Fuglset 164
Most goals scored in a league game 6, Jan Fuglset v Strømsgodset in 1976
Longest unbeaten run 24 games in 2014
Greatest victory in Eliteserien 8–0 v Moss in 1996
Heaviest loss in Eliteserien 0–8 v Stabæk in 2006

Source:[60]

European historyEdit

The following is a list of the all-time statistics from Molde's games in the three UEFA tournaments the club has participated in, as well as the overall total. The list contains the tournament, the number of games played (P), won (W), drawn (D) and lost (L). The number of goals scored (GF), goals against (GA), goal difference (GD) and the percentage of matches won (Win%). The statistics include qualification matches and is up to date as of the match against KR on 11 July 2019.

As of 11 July 2019
Tournament P W D L GF GA GD Win%
Champions League 22 6 8 8 29 26 +3 027.27
Europa League / UEFA Cup 59 22 13 24 80 81 −1 037.29
Cup Winners' Cup 4 1 1 2 5 8 −3 025.00
Total 85 29 22 34 114 115 −1 034.12

Recent historyEdit

List of Molde managersEdit

History of league positions (since 1963)Edit

1963–
1970
1971–
1973
1974–
1978
1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984–
1993
1994 1995–
2006
2007 2008–
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3

Molde played in the top tier and appeared among the championship contestants in 1947–48 and 1957–58, but the league was differently organized at the top levels until 1963.[73]

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

In December 2013, Molde signed a four-year deal with Nike starting January 2014.[74]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1980 Hummel Opel
1981–1982 Storebrand
1983–1986 Glamox
1987–1989 Norsk Tipping
1990 ?
1991 Expert
1992–1999 Diadora G-Sport
2000–2001 Commit
2002 Umbro
2003–2013 Sparebanken Møre
2014– Nike

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b 1. divisjon was the name of the top tier of Norwegian league football from 1963 until 1990. The top tier changed its name to the sponsor-affiliated name Tippeligaen ahead of the 1990 season. The second tier formerly known as 2. divisjon inherited the name 1. divisjon ahead of the 1991 season. The third tier, formerly known as 3. divisjon was named 2. divisjon ahead of the 1991 season and the names of all the lower divisions were adjusted accordingly. Effecting 2017, the top tier is named Eliteserien.

ReferencesEdit

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  12. ^ ""Seriesølvet i 1987 går det ikke an å sette pris". rbnett.no (in Norwegian). Romsdals Budstikke. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
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External linksEdit