Norway women's national football team

The Norway women's national football team is controlled by the Football Association of Norway. The team is former European, World and Olympic champions and thus one of the most successful national teams. The team has had less success since the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Gresshoppene (The Grasshoppers)
AssociationFootball Association of Norway
(Norges Fotballforbund)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachMartin Sjögren
CaptainMaren Mjelde
Most capsHege Riise (188)[1]
Top scorerIsabell Herlovsen (67)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 12 Steady (26 June 2020)[2]
Highest2 (July 2003)
Lowest14 (June 2018)
First international
 Sweden 2–1 Norway 
(Kolding, Denmark; 7 July 1978)
Biggest win
 Norway 17–0 Slovakia 
(Ulefoss, Norway; 19 September 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 5–0 Norway 
(Norrköping, Sweden; 22 August 1985)
 China PR 5–0 Norway 
(Foxboro, United States; 4 July 1999)
World Cup
Appearances8 (first in 1991)
Best resultChampions (1995)
European Championship
Appearances11 (first in 1987)
Best resultChampions (1987, 1993)


Norway women's national football team emerged in 1978 for the Nordic Championship tournament, which was relatively early for Western Europe, but late for the Nordic countries, beating only Iceland. Having little culture for official clubs and a series system, Norway had a lot to do to catch up to especially Sweden and Denmark. Their early history therefore consisted of losing to their neighbours and eventually beating Northern Ireland for their first ever win.

A power to be reckoned withEdit

Eventually, Norway marked themselves as one of the better countries in Europe, if inferior to their Nordic neighbours.[3] They beat England, France and Switzerland. In the first qualification for the European Competition for Representative Women's Teams (later renamed UEFA Women's Championship), Norway played opposite Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Norway lost both matches against Sweden, but beat Finland over both matches. A surprising home draw against Iceland mattered little, Norway took the second spot in a qualification where only the best teams qualified. Sweden later won the Euros.

The start of the golden yearsEdit

Norway seemed to have problems with Sweden, and they lost 0–5, their biggest loss to date (if repeated later) shortly afterwards. Compared to other teams, however, Norway improved, and they beat Denmark and West Germany in the qualification for the 1987 Euros. The Euros, consisting as the men's Euros had been until 1980 of two semi finals and a final played in one of the countries qualified for it. In this case, Norway was the host for the four matches. Norway beat Italy in the semifinals and met Sweden in the finals. The finals was the first time Norway beat Sweden in a match, as Norway won 2–1. This made the national football team the first Norwegian sports team ever to have won anything, eleven years ahead of the Norway women's national handball team.

Norway continued to win the next year as they beat Sweden again in a final in an invitational and unofficial world cup in China. In the 1989 Euros Norway made the finals against West Germany, but this time lost 1–4. After that loss the coaches resigned, leaving the helm to Even Pellerud. Pellerud saw Norway progress to the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. Before the first official world cup, Norway made it to the fourth (and Norway's third in a row) final of the Euros, where Norway again met Germany. Germany won in extra time. In the World cup Norway made it to the semifinals, where they lost to the USA.

Following that, Pellerud led the team to the 1993 Euros. Norway beat Denmark in the semifinals and Italy in the finals, winning their second Euros. Norway followed up with winning the 1994 Algarve Cup, the first ever to be arranged. The focus the next year was the World Cup and its antecedent Euros, which also functioned as a qualifier for the World Cup. Norway met Italy already in the quarter finals, and won it. Sweden managed to come back and thrash Norway in the second semifinal in Sweden, winning 5–7 after two matches. Norway was still qualified for the World Cup.

World Champions and beyondEdit

The 1995 World cup in Sweden is part of Norwegian sports heritage. Norway won all their matches in the group stage, and continued to meet an unconvincing Denmark in the quarter finals. Norway was up 3–0 with five minutes to go, and while conceding a goal a minute later, Norway was never threatened. The next encounter for Norway was the US, and in a close match, USA could never respond to an early goal by Ann Kristin Aarønes, and the USA lost their first official international tournament. Norway met Germany in the finals. Having lost two Euro finals, Norway were not among the favourites, but they defeated Germany by two goals scored within the space of four minutes, becoming world champions. Pellerud resigned shortly afterwards.[4]

From the first women's football in the Olympic Games, it was considered equal with the world cup in rank. Norway qualified as a matter of course because of their win in the World Cup. Norway drew with Brazil, and beat Germany and Japan, proceeding to the semi finals. There they lost to the US after extra time, but won the bronze medal after defeating Brazil.

The 1997 Euros turned out to be a big disappointment for the ruling world champions at home, and Norway only made it to the semi finals. This was the last time the two-year gap was used, making it easier to focus on the two competitions separately. Norway eased through to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, where they beat all their opposition in the group stage. They met Sweden in the quarter finals, proving that now Norway had the upper hand by beating them 3–1. Surprisingly, Norway lost heavily to China, who won 5–0, thus equaling the embarrassment Sweden defeated Norway some 13 years earlier. In the bronze final, Norway lost to Brazil on penalties in front of a record 90,185 spectators.

Norway was not among the biggest favourites to win the Sydney Olympics. They started off losing to the US, but picked up nicely by beating Nigeria and China, the latter by one goal. In the semi finals Norway beat Germany with a lucky own goal by Tina Wunderlich after Germany pressed the Norwegians for the better part of the match. The final saw Norway against heavy favourites USA in an even match. Tiffeny Milbrett took the lead for the US, but Norway equaled the score by Gro Espeseth and stayed in the game with a good keeper in Bente Nordby. Norway took the lead in the match via a header by Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, but Milbrett scored in stoppage time to prolong the match to extra time with golden goal. Norway scored the winner in what seemed like a handball.[5] The coach Per-Mathias Høgmo quit after achieving this feat.


Åge Steen took over as coach, but under his tutelage, things went from top to mediocre. In the 2001 Euros Norway's play was lackluster, and while making it to the semi finals thanks to the French national team, Norway lost clearly to Germany. In the 2003 World Cup Norway disappointed with a fumbling 1–4 to Brazil in the group stage before losing to USA in the quarter finals. As Greece was arranging the 2004 Summer Olympics, there were only two additional spots for European teams, and Sweden and Germany, who had both proceeded to the finals, took them. Steen continued for another year, as stipulated by his contract, but was replaced in late 2004.

Brief recoveryEdit

Under the new coach, Bjarne Berntsen, Norway took things up a notch by reaching the final of the 2005 Euros with a classic 3–2 win over Sweden in extra time in the semifinal. Again Germany defeated Norway to win the championship. Norway continued to achieve reasonable results except in the Algarve Cup where the results started to slip.

Despite this Norway qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. They drew with Australia and narrowly beat Canada, and then a 7–2 win over Ghana took them to the top of their group. Norway then progressed further by beating China 1–0, but lost 0–3 to Germany in the semifinal. In the bronze final Norway lost 1–4 to the US to finish in fourth place in the World Cup, which qualified them to enter the Beijing Olympics. Norway's top scorer Ragnhild Gulbrandsen was awarded the Bronze Boot behind Marta of Brazil and Abby Wambach of the United States.

From there Berntsen's fortunes began to wane. First he was criticized for telling Lise Klaveness she had no future in the national team under him, at 1 a.m. at Oslo airport as they were arriving back from China, a gross error that he later admitted. Then in the 2008 Olympics Norway first impressively beat USA, then lost to Japan 1–5 and went out in the quarter finals against Brazil. In October 2008, five players refused to play in the National Team, making comments that implied playing under Berntsen was too much of a burden, which led to a media outcry. With a reduced team, and also after some less controversial resignations, Norway produced a relatively good result at the 2009 UEFA Women's Championship by beating Sweden 3–1 in the quarter-finals, even with an embarrassing 0–4 against Germany and a modest 1–0 against Iceland and 1–1 against France. After the championship, Berntsen's contract ended.

Recent yearsEdit

Eli Landsem, the first woman coach and the first coach with experience of coaching women's football, took over at the end of 2009. Under her some of the players who had previously elected not to play returned. Landsem produced acceptable results and the team qualified to play in the 2011 FIFA World Cup after winning all but one of the matches in their qualification group. However Norway failed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in its history after losing to Brazil (0–3) and Australia (1–2).[6] As a result, they also failed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The next task was qualification to the 2013 European Cup competition, with Norway in Group 3 with Iceland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Hungary and Bulgaria. The campaign began badly with 3–1 losses to Iceland and 64th-ranked Northern Ireland, but in 2012 the position was recovered with wins in the last six matches, and Norway finished top of Group 3 with eight wins from ten matches.[7] They later went on to finish as runners-up in the finals in Sweden.


At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Norway was drawn into a group with Germany, Thailand and the Ivory Coast. Norway performed well in the group stage, as the team beat Thailand 4–0 and the Ivory Coast 3–1. They drew 1–1 against former champions Germany. Norway would lose 2–1 in the round of sixteen to England. England went on to win the bronze medal.


On 16 December 2016 Martin Sjögren was introduced as the new coach of Norway. He had previous coaching experience in the Damallsvenskan with Linköpings and LdB FC Malmö.[8]

Norway qualified for Euro 2017 without losing a game. They were drawn into Group A alongside the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. Norway was the highest ranked team in Group A, and were predicted by many to win the group. They ended up being one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament as they lost all three group games without scoring a goal.[9]

On 9 September 2017 Norway striker and 2016 UEFA Women's Player of the Year Ada Hegerberg announced she was taking a break from international duty, and was unsure when or if she would return.[10]

On 7 October 2017 the Norway Football Association announced that Norway's male and female players would receive equal financial compensation, with the men making a contribution to the women's team. This equalled nearly a fifty percent increase in compensation for the women.[11]

On 4 September 2018 Norway defeated the Netherlands 2–1 in their final group game of UEFA World Cup Qualifying. As a result, Norway won qualifying Group 3 and secured an automatic berth in the 2019 World Cup, while the Netherlands who won Euro 2017 were forced to go to the play-off.[12]

Home stadiumEdit

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name Ref.
Head coach   Martin Sjögren


Current squadEdit

The following 24 players were named to the squad for the UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifier against   Belarus on 21 October 2020 and against   Wales on 27 October 2020.[13]

Caps and goals as of 22 September 2020 after the match against   Wales.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Cecilie Fiskerstrand (1996-03-20) 20 March 1996 (age 24) 30 0   Brighton & Hove Albion
1GK Guro Pettersen (1991-08-22) 22 August 1991 (age 29) 0 0   Piteå
1GK Ida Norstrøm (1997-06-11) 11 June 1997 (age 23) 0 0   LSK Kvinner

2DF Maren Mjelde (captain) (1989-11-06) 6 November 1989 (age 31) 149 19   Chelsea
2DF Kristine Minde (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 28) 108 9   Rosenborg
2DF Ingrid Moe Wold (1990-01-29) 29 January 1990 (age 30) 74 3   Everton
2DF Maria Thorisdottir (1993-06-05) 5 June 1993 (age 27) 45 2   Chelsea
2DF Tuva Hansen (1997-08-04) 4 August 1997 (age 23) 3 0   Klepp

3MF Guro Reiten (1994-07-26) 26 July 1994 (age 26) 51 10   Chelsea
3MF Frida Maanum (1999-07-16) 16 July 1999 (age 21) 33 2   Linköping
3MF Vilde Bøe Risa (1995-07-13) 13 July 1995 (age 25) 32 2   Kopparbergs/Göteborg
3MF Ingrid Syrstad Engen (1998-04-29) 29 April 1998 (age 22) 30 5   VfL Wolfsburg
3MF Karina Sævik (1996-03-24) 24 March 1996 (age 24) 17 2   VfL Wolfsburg
3MF Julie Blakstad (2001-08-27) 27 August 2001 (age 19) 0 0   Rosenborg
3MF Thea Bjelde (2000-06-05) 5 June 2000 (age 20) 0 0   Arna-Bjørnar
3MF Olaug Tvedten (2000-07-20) 20 July 2000 (age 20) 0 0   Avaldsnes

4FW Elise Thorsnes (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 32) 125 21   Avaldsnes
4FW Caroline Graham Hansen (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 (age 25) 85 38   Barcelona
4FW Emilie Haavi (1992-06-16) 16 June 1992 (age 28) 82 16   LSK Kvinner
4FW Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland (1992-09-19) 19 September 1992 (age 28) 54 19   Rosenborg
4FW Amalie Eikeland (1995-08-26) 26 August 1995 (age 25) 15 3   Reading
4FW Synne Jensen (1996-02-15) 15 February 1996 (age 24) 24 4   Vålerenga
4FW Elisabeth Terland (2001-06-28) 28 June 2001 (age 19) 0 0   Klepp
4FW Vilde Hasund (1997-06-27) 27 June 1997 (age 23) 0 0   Sandviken

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players were named to a squad in the last 12 months:

This list may be incomplete, and caps and goals may be incorrect.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Stine Hovland (1991-01-31) 31 January 1991 (age 29) 7 0 Unattached 2020 Algarve Cup INJ
DF Cecilie Redisch Kvamme (1995-09-11) 11 September 1995 (age 25) 3 0   West Ham United v.   Northern Ireland, 8 November 2019
DF Kristine Bjørdal Leine (1996-08-06) 6 August 1996 (age 24) 10 0   Reading v.   Northern Ireland, 8 November 2019

MF Synne Skinnes Hansen (1995-08-12) 12 August 1995 (age 25) 20 0   Linköping 2020 Algarve Cup INJ

FW Isabell Herlovsen (1988-06-23) 23 June 1988 (age 32) 133 67   Kolbotn v.   Northern Ireland, 8 November 2019 PRE


  • PRE = Preliminary squad
  • RET = Retired from international duty

Previous squadsEdit

Individual recordsEdit

  • Active players in bold, statistics correct as of 2020.


Recent results and fixturesEdit

  • The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Lose   Fixtures


8 November 2019 UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifyingNorway  6–0  Northern IrelandStavanger, Norway
Report Stadium: Viking Stadion
Attendance: 6, 709
Referee: Melis Özçiğdem (Turkey)


4 March 2020 2020 Algarve CupNorway  2–1  DenmarkParchal, Portugal
Report Harder   7' Stadium: Vista Municipal Stadium
7 March 2020 2020 Algarve CupGermany  4–0  NorwayLagos, Portugal
Report Stadium: Lagos Municipal Stadium
Referee: Olga Zadinová (Czech Republic)
10 March 2020 2020 Algarve CupNorway  2–1  New ZealandFaro, Portugal
Report Wilkinson   11' Stadium: Estádio Algarve
22 September 2020 UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifyingNorway  1–0  WalesOslo
Stadium: Ullevaal Stadion
Referee: Petra Pavlikova (Slovakia)
27 October 2020 UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifyingWales  0–1  NorwayNewport, Wales
19:00 Report
Stadium: Rodney Parade
Referee: Marta Frías Acedo (Spain)
1 December 2020 FriendlyEngland  v  NorwaySheffield, England
18:15 Report Stadium: Brammall Lane


Overall official recordEdit



World Cup recordEdit

Year Result Matches Wins Draws * Losses GF GA
  1991 Runners-up 6 4 0 2 14 10
  1995 Champions 6 6 0 0 23 1
  1999 Fourth Place 6 4 1 1 16 8
  2003 Quarter-finals 4 2 0 2 10 6
  2007 Fourth Place 6 3 1 2 12 11
  2011 Group stage 3 1 0 2 2 5
  2015 Round of 16 4 2 1 1 9 4
  2019 Quarter-finals 5 2 1 2 7 7
   2023 To be determined
Total 8/9 40 24 4 12 93 52

Olympic Games recordEdit

Year Result Matches Wins Draws * Losses GF GA
  1996 Third Place 5 3 1 1 12 6
  2000 Champions 5 4 0 1 9 6
  2004 Did not qualify
  2008 Quarterfinal 4 2 0 2 5 7
  2012 Did not qualify
Total 3/6 14 9 1 4 26 19

UEFA Women's Championship recordEdit

Year Result Matches Wins Draws * Losses GF GA
1984 Did not qualify
  1987 Champions 2 2 0 0 4 1
  1989 Runners-up 2 1 0 1 3 5
  1991 Runners-up 2 0 1 1 1 3
  1993 Champions 2 2 0 0 2 0
        1995 Semifinals 2 1 0 1 5 7
  1997 Group stage 3 1 1 1 5 2
  2001 Semifinals 4 1 1 2 4 3
  2005 Runners-up 5 2 1 2 10 10
  2009 Semifinals 5 2 1 2 6 9
  2013 Runners-up 6 3 2 1 7 4
  2017 Group stage 3 0 0 3 0 4
Total 11/12 36 15 7 14 47 48

Algarve Cup recordEdit

The Algarve Cup is a global invitational tournament for national teams in women's soccer hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). Held annually in the Algarve region of Portugal since 1994, it is one of the most prestigious women's football events, alongside the Women's World Cup and Women's Olympic Football.

Year Result
  1994 Champions
  1995 Third Place
  1996 Champions
  1997 Champions
  1998 Champions
  1999 Third Place
  2000 Runner-Up
  2001 Fifth Place
  2002 Runner-Up
  2003 Third Place
  2004 Runner-Up
  2005 Fifth Place
  2006 Fifth Place
  2007 Fifth Place
  2008 Third Place
  2009 Ninth Place
  2010 Sixth Place
  2011 Fifth Place
  2012 Seventh Place
  2013 Third Place
  2014 Tenth Place
  2015 Fifth Place
  2016 did not enter
  2017 Eleventh Place
  2018 Seventh Place
  2019 Champions
  2020 Third Place

Invitational trophiesEdit

See alsoEdit

Norway women's national teams


  1. ^ Caps and goals
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. ^ "U.S. vs. Norway: Big rivalry of contrasts and styles – Chicago Tribune". 1 October 2003. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  4. ^ Jere Longman (13 June 1999). "WOMEN'S WORLD CUP; Norway's Rivalry With U.S. Is Intense – New York Times". Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  5. ^ " – Olympic Sports – Norway's golden goal dethrones United States – September 28, 2000 12:53 PM". 28 September 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Norge ute av VM – og OL |". Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Women's EURO 2013 – Qualif. Grp –". Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Martin Sjögren named as Norway's Womens Team Coach". 16 December 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Euro 2017 women's football finals: your group-by-group guide". 6 November 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Ada Hegerberg takes a step back from international duty: A look at the NFF". 9 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Norway FA agrees deal to pay male and female international footballers equally". 7 October 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Women's World Cup qualifiers, play-off contenders". 4 September 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Norway – Caps and Goals
  15. ^ Year-by-year results, from RSSSF
  16. ^ Algarve Cup
  17. ^ Albena Cup
  18. ^ Four Nations Tournament
  19. ^ Cyprus Tournament

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
1991 United States  
World Champions
1995 (first title)
Succeeded by
1999 United States  
Preceded by
1996 United States  
Olympic Champions
2000 (first title)
Succeeded by
2004 United States  
Preceded by
1984 Sweden  
European Champions
1987 (first title)
Succeeded by
1989 West Germany  
Preceded by
1991 Germany  
European Champions
1993 (second title)
Succeeded by
1995 Germany