An unusual and much-hyped football match played out at Ullevaal Stadium during the weekend, with oldtimers from the World Cup in 1998 meeting again after 20 years. This time Brazil’s re-united national team beat Norway’s, by a score of 3-0.
The match was initiated by newspaper Aftenposten, who gave it so much coverage that it drew complaints for blurring the lines between editorial and commercial content. Aftenposten lost at the Norwegian Press Federation’s complaints board and had to print its embarrassing scolding last week for violating ethical guidelines.
Aftenposten not only tried to defend itself but gallantly carried on with its project that pitted the two former national teams against each other again before a crowd that Aftenposten placed at around 15,000. Norway had shockingly beaten Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, but the Brazilians proved to be in better shape than the Norwegians this time around. Ageing stars like Rivaldo and Zé Roberto outplayed the Norwegians, who included Kjetil Rekdal, the Flo brothers, Erik “Myggen” Mykland and Ståle Solbakken.
Several of them have been coaching after retiring from professional football. All were looking forward to this year’s World Cup that kicks off on Thursday, even though Norway didn’t even qualify for it this time around.