Molde FK

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Molde Fotball Logo.svg
Full nameMolde Fotballklubb
Short nameMFK
Founded19 June 1911; 103 years ago (1911-06-19)
GroundAker Stadion,
Molde, Norway
Ground Capacity11,800
ChairmanØystein Neerland
ManagerTor Ole Skullerud
2014Tippeligaen, 1st
Current season
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Molde Fotball Logo.svg
Full nameMolde Fotballklubb
Short nameMFK
Founded19 June 1911; 103 years ago (1911-06-19)
GroundAker Stadion,
Molde, Norway
Ground Capacity11,800
ChairmanØystein Neerland
ManagerTor Ole Skullerud
2014Tippeligaen, 1st
Current season

Molde Fotballklubb is a football club from Molde, Norway, that currently plays in the Tippeligaen, the Norwegian top division. Founded on 19 June 1911, Molde was originally known as International. Molde are three-time league champions (2011, 2012, 2014) and four-time Norwegian Cup winners (1994, 2005, 2013, 2014), and have finished 2nd in the league a further seven times. Molde is one of only two Norwegian clubs to have participated in the UEFA Champions League.

Its home matches are played at Aker Stadion, which has a maximum capacity of 11,800. The stadium was inaugurated in 1998, and was a gift from the 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 ("Thorn bush", a reference to the city's nichname "The Town of Roses") and were started after the 1994 Cup Final victory.[1]

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 championship in 1994 and 2005, and the participation in the Champions League in the 1999–2000 season, when Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos visited Molde.

The club was the first professional club of former Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and in January 2011 he returned to manage the club. In his first season as manager, which also was the club's centenary season, Molde won the league championship for the first time. The next season Solskjær and Molde retained the championship. Today the club has approximately 900 members and around 55 teams in three departments.[2]


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.[3] On a general election 24 April 1912, it was decided that the club would be named "International",[4] perhaps because the opponents were primarily visitors from cruise ships or trading vessels,[5] or that it was to make room for the many Danes who worked on the engine factory Gideon.[4] The same year, on 5 August, the club played its first competitive match. The match away against Kristiansund ended 2–2.[4] The rising interest and activity in football in neighbouring towns caused the club to change its name to "Molde Fotballklubb" in 1915.[6]

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 at that period.[7] The club played in local lower leagues, except for a short visit to 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 First Division with a 5–1 win against Sogndal Fotball in Sogndal on 16 September 1973.[8]

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 Norwegian First Division, leading the league in nine of 22 league-rounds. Before the last match, Molde would win the league if they beat Sarpsborg and Viking lost against Strømsgodset. Both Molde and Viking won their last match, so Molde won the silver medals, one point behind Viking.[7]

Since then, Molde has generally stayed in the top division and has become one of the nations 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 First Division in every even-numbered year, and promoted to the First Division 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.[9]

In 1982, Molde played in their first cup final, despite being relegated from the 1982 Norwegian First Division. They lost the final at Ullevaal Stadion 3–2 against Brann.[10]

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 would have ensured the title. Despite numerous opportunities, Moss won the game 2–0 at Molde stadium, thus winning the league championship, while Molde won their second silver-medals.[11] 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.[12]

When Molde again was relegated from Norwegian Premier League 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.[13] The local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten started to invest in the club, and have since 1993 invested approximately NOK 500 million on old debts, new players and the new stadium.[14][15][16]

The silver generation (1994–2000)[edit]

Åge Hareide was the main coach of Molde in 1994, when they finished second in their First Division 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 on aggregate, Molde qualified for their third cup final. After having lost for Molde, Rosenborg's 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.[17][18]

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

During the 1995 season, Molde got 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, while Stavrum and Sundgot also contributed to one of Brann's biggest losses at home.[19] 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.[20]

Solskjær scored thirty-one goals in forty-two matches for Molde and was sold to Manchester United on 29 July 1996, and Molde finished 8th that season. In 1997, Molde finished 4th in the league, and Erik Brakstad replaced Åge Hareide as coach ahead of the 1998 season.[21] Hareide has since then been in charge of Helsingborg, Brøndby, Rosenborg, Norway, Örgryte, and Viking.

In 1998, Molde played the first 21 matches without losing, which was a Norwegian record until Rosenborg managed 26 matches without losing in 2009.[22] In the 22nd round, Molde lost against Vålerenga while Rosenborg beat Kongsvinger and surpassed Molde on the top of the table and the Rosenborg-player Mini Jakobsen 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, while Molde had to settle with silver.

In 1999, Molde has a successful season, finishing second in the league and reaching the semifinal of the 1999 Norwegian Cup, where they were eliminated by Brann. They participated in the Champions League, in which Molde was drawn against CSKA Moscow in the second qualifying round of 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League. In the first match in Moscow, Molde lost 2–0. In the second leg, a 19-year old Magne Hoseth had his big break-through with two goals when CSKA Moscow was beaten 4–0[23] and qualified for the third qualifying round where they met Mallorca. The first leg against Mallorca ended 0–0 at home, and Andreas Lund became the big hero when he equalized on a penalty and with 1–1 aggregate Molde qualified for the group stage on away goals,[21] 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.[24] In the group stage, Molde was 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.[25]

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.[26] After one season, Bengtsson and his assistant Kalle Björklund was signed for three more years.[27] 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 weren't much enthusiasm around the club's sixth silver medals, because of the defensive tactics and lack of local players.[28]

In the first six matches of the 2003-season, Molde collected five points, and on 22 May 2003 Bengtsson got fired and was replaced by Odd Berg.[29][30] In the third round of 2003 Norwegian Cup Molde was eliminated by the second tier team Skeid,[31] 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.[32] 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, Bosse Johansson was the main coach of Molde, and on 15 June 2005 Molde won 3–2 against Nybersund and qualified for the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup, having lost in the third round for three consecutive years.[33] Molde finished 12th in the league, and had to play 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.[34] Bo Johansson left Molde after only one season in the club, and on Christmas Eve was Arild Stavrum announced as the new Molde-coach.[35]

Following the Norwegian Cup champions, Molde played in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. On 25 August 2006, they were drawn to face Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA Cup first round. They were knocked out 2–0 on aggregate after holding Rangers to a 0–0 draw at the Aker stadion.[36] The same year, Molde was relegated, after 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 round of the season. Arild Stavrum was fired at the end of the season[37]

A new era (2007–present)[edit]

In December 2006, Kjell Jonevret became head coach after Stavrum got fired, even though Ove Christensen was their first choice.[38] With Jonevret as coach, Molde won the 2007 First Division and was again promoted to Tippeligaen.

After the promotion to Tippeligaen, Molde recorded a 5–1 win against Vålerenga on the last day of Moldejazz 2008,[39][40] as well as eliminating Brann from the cup with an impressive 8–0 win at home four days later.[41] 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 Rosenborg, who overtook Molde unbeaten record from 1998.[22] 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 Aalesund, but Aalesund won the cup on penalty shoot-out.

After only 20 points during the first 22 matches in the 2010 Tippeligaen, Kjell Jonevret was fired and replaced by Uwe Rösler.[42] With Rösler as the head coach, Molde collected 20 points in the last 8 matches and avoided relegation.[43] 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 Tippeligaen.[44]

Prior to the club's 100-year anniversary, the former Molde and Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjær returned to Molde to manage the team.[45] In the opening match of 2011 Tippeligaen, which was his first competitive match, Molde lost 3–0 away against newly promoted Sarpsborg 08.[46] On 19 June 2011, Molde celebrated their anniversary with a 2–0 win against Sogndal[47] and positioned themselves on the top of the league. 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 rounds of matches remaining, lost 6–3 at home to Brann.[48]

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

Although Molde could only finish Sixth behind champions Stromgodset in the 2013 Tippeligaen, they beat Rosenborg 4-2 on November 24 to take the Norwegian Football Cup for the third time in their history (the others were in 1994 and 2005).

Ole Gunnar Solskjær signed for the Premier League side Cardiff City on January 2, 2014.

Kjell Jonevret, Molde manager 2007–2010 
Uwe Rösler, Molde manager 2010 
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Molde manager 2011-2014 
Tor Ole Skullerud, Molde manager 2014– 


Main article: Aker Stadion
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 NOK 212 million 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.[49] In the opening match, Molde beat Lillestrøm 4–0 in their first home game of the season, attracting 13,010 spectators.[50] 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 on the new stadium.[51] The all-time spectator record was set on 26 September, when Molde hosted Rosenborg in front of 13,308 people.[52] 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 to not remove the seats afterwards.[53] Today the capacity of Aker Stadion is 11,800.[49]

Before moving to Aker Stadion in the beginning of the 1998 season, Molde had been playing their home games at Molde Idrettspark (at the time called Molde stadion, currently Molde Idrettspark), a municipal-owned multi-use venue,[54] since 1955. Molde Idrettspark was inaugurated on 28 August 1955, when Kristiansund was beaten by 1–0.[13] About 2,500 spectators attended the inaugural match.[13] 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.[13] When Molde earned a promotion to the 1974 Norwegian First Division, the main stand got expanded.[13] The unsurpassed record attendance at Molde Idrettspark is 14,615 in a match against Moss in 1987[55][56] Today Molde Idrettspark is used by Træff and Molde 2.

Players and staff[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 24 August 2014[57]

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

3SenegalMFAmidou Diop
4NorwayDFRuben Gabrielsen
5FinlandDFJoona Toivio
6NorwayMFDaniel Berg Hestad (Captain)
7NorwayMFHarmeet Singh
8NorwayFWFredrik Gulbrandsen
9SwedenMFMattias Moström
10NorwayMFThomas Kind Bendiksen
11NorwayFWOla Kamara (on loan from Austria Wien)
12NorwayGKØrjan Nyland
14NorwayDFMartin Linnes
15NorwayDFPer Egil Flo
16NorwayMFEtzaz Hussain
18NorwayDFMagne Simonsen
19NorwayMFEirik Hestad
20NorwayFWTommy Høiland
22United StatesMFJoshua Gatt
23NorwayDFKnut Olav Rindarøy
24NorwayFWMohamed Elyounoussi
25NorwayDFVegard Forren
30SenegalFWPape Paté Diouf
31United StatesFWBen Spencer
32NorwayFWSander Svendsen
34United StatesGKEthan Horvath
SwedenGKAndreas Linde

For transfers, see transfers winter 2014–15.

Reserve squad[edit]

As of 21 March 2014[58]

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

37NorwayDFOle Martin Rindarøy
38NorwayFWStian Rode Gregersen
41NorwayDFHenrik Pettersen
42NorwayMFEirik Haugan
43NorwayFWMats Aambø
44NorwayMFEskil Rønningen
45NorwayMFSebastian Remme Berge
46NorwayFWErik Frantzen
47NorwayFWAgwa Okuot Obiech
48NorwayFWJan Tidjani Aboubacar
49NorwayFWAlexander Jonassen
50NorwayGKIsak Gangeskar
51BrazilGKNeydson da Silva
52NorwayFWErlend Hustad
53NorwayMFOla Husby
54NorwayMFKjetil Tøsse
55NorwayDFKristian Strande
56NorwayDFSebastian Larsson

Players on loan[edit]

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

33NorwayMFAndreas Hollingen (at HamKam)

Coaching staff[edit]

Parts of Molde's coaching staff in 2011. Rear from left: Are Lervik, Petter Rudi, Odd Berg, Mark Dempsey, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and Richard Hartis. Front from left: Erling Moe, Knut Hallvard Eikrem, and Per Magne Misund.
ManagerTor Ole Skullerud
Assistant coachBård Wiggen
CoachErling Moe
Goalkeeping coachPer Magne Misund
Fitness coachBørre Stenslid


Administrative staff[edit]

Chairman: Øystein Neerland
Director: Tarje Nordstrand Jacobsen







Most matchesDaniel Berg Hestad 814 (at the end of the 2013 season)
Most goalsJan Fuglset 164
Most goals scored in a league-game6, Jan Fuglset vs. Strømsgodset in 1976
Longest unbeaten run21 games in 1998
Greatest victory in Tippeligaen8–0 Moss in 1996
Heaviest loss in Tippeligaen0–8 Stabæk in 2006


European history[edit]

1975/76UEFA CupFirst RoundSwedenÖster1–00–61–6
1978/79UEFA CupFirst RoundSoviet UnionFC Torpedo Moscow3–30–43–7
1988/89UEFA CupFirst RoundBelgiumK.S.V. Waregem0–01–51–5
1995/96UEFA Cup Winners' CupQualifying RoundBelarusDinamo-93 Minsk2–11–13–2
First RoundFranceParis Saint-Germain2–30–32–6
1996/97UEFA CupQualifying RoundGeorgia (country)FC Dinamo Tbilisi0–01–21–2
1998/99UEFA CupSecond Qualifying RoundBulgariaPFC CSKA Sofia0–00–20–2
1999/00UEFA Champions LeagueSecond Qualifying RoundRussiaCSKA Moscow4–00–24–2
Third Qualifying RoundSpainMallorca0–01–11–1(a) Q
Group Stage Round 1 and 5PortugalPorto0–11–3N/A
Group Stage Round 6 and 2SpainReal Madrid0–11–4N/A
Group Stage Round 4 and 3GreeceOlympiacos3–21–3N/A
2000/01UEFA CupFirst RoundSpainRayo Vallecano0–11–11–2
2003/04UEFA CupQualifying RoundFaroe IslandsKÍ Klaksvík2–04–06–0
First RoundPortugalUnião de Leiria3–10–13–2
Second RoundPortugalBenfica0–21–31–5
2006/07UEFA CupSecond Qualifying RoundLatviaSkonto0–02–12–1
First RoundScotlandRangers0–00–20–2
2010/11UEFA Europa LeagueSecond Qualifying RoundLatviaJelgava1–01–22–2(a)
Third Qualifying RoundGermanyStuttgart2–32–24–5
2012/13UEFA Champions LeagueSecond Qualifying RoundLatviaVentspils3–01–14–1
Third Qualifying RoundSwitzerlandBasel0–11–11–2
2012/13UEFA Europa LeaguePlay-Off RoundNetherlandsHeerenveen2–02–14–1 Q
Group Stage Round 5 and 1DenmarkCopenhagen1–21–2N/A
Group Stage Round 2 and 6GermanyStuttgart2–01–0N/A
Group Stage Round 4 and 3RomaniaSteaua București1–20–2N/A
2013/14UEFA Champions LeagueSecond Qualifying RoundRepublic of IrelandSligo Rovers2–01–03–0
Third Qualifying RoundPolandLegia Warsaw1–10–01–1 (a)
2013/14UEFA Europa LeaguePlay-off RoundRussiaRubin Kazan0–20–30–5
2014/15UEFA Europa LeagueSecond Qualifying RoundSloveniaND Gorica4–11–15–2
Third Qualifying RoundUkraineZorya Luhansk1–21–12–3


Recent history[edit]

SeasonLeagueCupEuropeTop goalscorer
20071. Divisjonpromoted 1302235622869First roundMame Biram Diouf10
2008Tippeligaen9268612394331SemifinalJosé Mota12
2009Tippeligaen2301758623556FinalMame Biram Diouf16
2010Tippeligaen1130101010424540Third roundUEFA Europa LeagueThird qualifying roundBaye Djiby Fall16
2011Tippeligaen1301776543858QuarterfinalPape Paté Diouf12
2012Tippeligaen1301956513162SemifinalUEFA Champions LeagueThird qualifying round
UEFA Europa LeagueGroup stage
Davy Claude Angan13
2013Tippeligaen63012810473844WinnerUEFA Champions LeagueThird qualifying round
UEFA Europa LeaguePlay-off round
Daniel Chima9
2014Tippeligaen1302253622471WinnerUEFA Europa LeagueThird qualifying roundMohamed Elyounoussi13

List of Molde FK managers[edit]

As of 23 November 2014[61]

Jan Fuglset1982–84
Åge Hareide1990–91
Ulrich Møller1991–93
Jan Fuglset1992–93
Åge Hareide1994–97
Erik Brakstad1 Jan 1998 – 31 Dec 2000
Gunder Bengtsson1 Jan 2001 – 22 May 2003
Odd Berg22 May 2003 – 31 Dec 2003
Reidar Vågnes1 Jan 2004 – 5 March 200559191426778632.20
Bo Johansson18 March 2005 – 31 Dec 20053315612575545.45
Arild Stavrum1 Jan 2006 – 31 Dec 2006318617547325.81
Kjell Jonevret1 Jan 2007 – 30 Aug 201012561273723317248.80
Uwe Rösler31 Aug 2010 – 31 Dec 2010862011375.00
Ole Gunnar Solskjær1 Jan 2011 – 2 Jan 201412569253123614355.20
Tor Ole Skullerud13 Jan 2014 –413074933173.17

History of league positions (since 1963)[edit]

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3

Molde also briefly appeared among the championship contestants in 1958, but the league was differently organized at the top levels until 1963.[62]

Notable former players[edit]


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