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Monday, July 15, 2024

Fewer foreigners in pro-football

Widespread financial problems among top Norwegian football (soccer) clubs has left them with little money to import foreign talent. As a result, the number of foreigners playing top-league professional football in Norway has hit its lowest level in six years.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that while many clubs had an average of eight foreign players just two years ago, the number is now down to six. Names like Marek Sapara (ex-Rosenborg player), Alanzinho (ex-Stabæk), Edu (ex-Lyn) and Mame Biram Diouf (ex-Molde) are now “only good memories,” reports Aftenposten.

Swedes continue to account for the largest source of foreign footballers, with 21 remaining among Norwegian clubs. Players from Iceland are next in line.

Nils Johan Semb, a former coach for Norway’s national soccer squad who now heads the Norwegian Football Association, thinks the decline in investment in foreign players is good, because it means clubs will be forced to nurture Norwegian talent at home.

“This trend will strengthen our national team in the long run,” Semb told Aftenposten. “The clubs will scout young, local talent much earlier.”

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