is a football (soccer) club from Norway.
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About Molde FK
Molde Fotballklubb is a association 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 one time league champions and two time Norwegian Cup winners, and have finished 2nd in the league a further seven times. Molde is one of two Norwegian clubs that 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 Idrettspark, which hosted the club's record attendance of 14,615. Molde's supporterclub is called Tornekrattet
("Thorn thicket") and were started after the 1994 cupfinal.
Until the beginning of the 1970s, the club mainly played in local lower division leagues, except from a short visit in the Hovedserien in the 1957–58 Norwegian Main League season. In 1974 Norwegian First Division 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 1989 Norwegian First Division, when the club lost the championship to Moss FK in the decisive match of the season.
During the 1990's and the beginning of the 2000's, Molde was the second best team in Norway (behind 13-times in a row champions Rosenborg BK), with league silver's in 1995 Norwegian Premier League, 1998 Norwegian Premier League, 1999 Norwegian Premier League and 2002 Norwegian Premier League and cup championship in 1994 Norwegian Football Cup and 2005 Norwegian Football Cup, and the participation in the Champions League in the UEFA Champions League 1999-2000 season, when Real Madrid C.F., F.C. Porto and Olympiacos F.C. visited Molde.
The club was Manchester United F.C. legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær's first professional club, and in January 2011 he returned to manage the club. In his first season as manager, which also was the club's 100-years anniversary season, Molde won the league championship for the first time. Today the club has approximately 900 members and around 55 teams in three departments.
Early years (1911–63)
Molde FK was founded on 19 June 1911 by a group gathered by Klaus Daae Andersen (born 30 September 1873); they named J. Ferninand Dahl as the inaugural chairman. On a general election 24 April 1912, it was decided that the club would be named "International", perhaps because the opponents were primarily visitors from cruise ships or trading vessels, or that it was to make room for the many Denmark who worked on the engine factory Gideon.
The breakthrough (1964–77)
On 2 August 1964, Molde shocked nine-time List of Norwegian football cup champions and nine-time List of Norwegian football league champions Fredrikstad FK by eliminating them from the 1964 Norwegian Football 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. The club played in local lower leagues, except from a short visit to the top division in the 1957–58 Norwegian Main League. In 1970, Molde was promoted to the Adeccoligaen and played there for three seasons until its promotion to the Tippeligaen with a 5-1 win against Sogndal Fotball in Sogndal on 16 September 1973.
In 1974 Norwegian First Division, 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 Tippeligaen, leading the league in nine of 22 league-rounds. Before the last match, Molde would win the league if they beat Sarpsborg FK and Viking FK lost against Strømsgodset IF. Both Molde and Viking won their last match, so Molde won the silver medals, one point behind Viking.
In 1982, Molde played in their first 1982 Norwegian Football Cup, despite being relegated from the 1982 Norwegian First Division. They lost the final at Ullevaal Stadion 3-2 against Brann.
The 1987 Norwegian First Division was the closest Molde has come to winning the league championship, when a draw at home against Moss FK would have ensured the title. Despite numerous opportunities, Moss won the game 2-0 at Molde Idrettspark, thus winning the league championship, while Molde won their second silver-medals. The attendance of 14,615 set the record at the old Molde Idrettspark.
Molde played their second cup final in 1989 Norwegian Football Cup. The first match against Viking ended in a 2-2 draw, and the subsequent replay was won 2-1 by Viking.
When Molde again was relegated from Norwegian Premier League in 1993 Norwegian Premier League, 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 Idrettspark.
The silver generation (1994–2000)
Åge Hareide was the main coach of Molde in 1994, when they finished second in their Adeccoligaen group and was thus re-promoted to Tippeligaen. Molde also met their main rivals Rosenborg BK in the semi-final of the 1994 Norwegian Football 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 FK Lyn 3-2 at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.
During the 1995 Norwegian Premier League, 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 SK Brann in Bergen, with Solskjær scoring two goals, while Stavrum and Sundgot also contributed to one of Brann's biggest losses at home. With six straight wins, Molde stayed in the top two positions of the league throughtout the season, but eventually finished second 15 points behind Rosenborg.
Solskjær scored thirty-one goals in forty-two matches for Molde and was sold to Manchester United F.C. 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. Hareide has since then been in charge of Helsingborgs IF, Brøndby IF, Rosenborg BK, Norway national football team, Örgryte IS and is now the coach of Viking FK
In 1998, Molde played the first 21 matches without losing, which was a Norwegian record until Rosenborg managed 26 matches without losing in 2009. In the 22nd round, Molde lost against Vålerenga Fotball while Rosenborg beated KIL Toppfotball 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 Football Cup, where they were eliminated by Brann. They participated in the UEFA Champions League, in which Molde was drawn against PFC 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 and qualified for the third qualifying round where they met RCD 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, In the group stage, Molde was drawn against Real Madrid C.F., F.C. Porto and Olympiacos F.C., 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.
The "Gunder"-method (2001–2006)
On 6 November 2000, after the sacking of Erik Brakstad, Gunder Bengtsson was announced head coach for two years. After one season, Bengtsson and his assistant Karl Gunnar Björklund was signed for three more years. In 2002, Gunder Bengtsson led Molde to second place in the league, but like when he won the league with Vålerenga Fotball 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.
In 2003, Molde was struggling in the relegation zone, and on 22 May 2003 Bengtsson got fired and was replaced by Odd Berg (footballer). In the third round of 2003 Norwegian Football Cup Molde was eliminated by the second tier team Skeid Fotball. 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 was the main coach of Molde, and on 15 June 2005 Molde won 3-2 against Nybergsund IL-Trysil and qualified for the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup, having lost in the third round for three consecutive years. Molde finished 12th in the league, and had to play relegation-playoff against Moss FK, 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 SK in the 2005 Norwegian Football Cup Final. Bo Johansson left Molde after only one season in the club, and on Christmas Eve was Arild Stavrum announced as the new Molde-coach.
Following the Norwegian Cup champions, Molde played in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. On 25 August 2006, they were drawn to face Scotland giants Rangers F.C. 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. 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 Fotball at Nadderud, in the second last round of the season. Arild Stavrum was fired at the end of the season
A new era (2007–present)
In December 2006, Kjell Jonevret became head coach after Stavrum got fired, even though Ove Christensen was their first choice. With Jonevret as coach, Molde won the 2007 Norwegian 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, as well as eliminating Brann from the cup with an impressive 8-0 win at home four days later. 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. With Rösler as the head coach, Molde collected 20 points in the last 8 matches and avoided relegation.
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. In the opening match of 2011 Norwegian Premier League, which was Ole Gunnar Solskjær's first competitive match, Molde lost 3-0 away against newly-promoted Sarpsborg 08 FF. On 19 June 2011, Molde celebrated their anniversary with a 2-0 win against Sogndal Fotball 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 BK, 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 SK Brann.
Molde's current stadium is the Aker Stadion, formerly known as "Molde Stadion", located at Reknes, by the seashore of central Molde. The 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 (company). The stadium was inaugurated on 18 April 1998, when the stadium was officially opened by Prime Minister of Norway and Molde-fan Kjell Magne Bondevik. In the opening match, Molde beat Lillestrøm SK 4–0 in their first home game of the season, attracting 13,010 spectators. 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. The all-time spectator record was set on 26 September, when Molde hosted Rosenborg BK in front of 13,308 people. 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. Today the capacity of Aker Stadion is 11,800. since 1955. Gamle Molde stadion was inaugurated on 28 August 1955, when Kristiansund FK was beaten by 1-0. The unsurpassed record attendance at Gamle Molde stadion was 14,615 in a match against Moss FK in 1987
For season transfers, see List of Norwegian football transfers winter 2011–12.
Out on loan
Players on loan
- (Q) – Qualified for Group Stage
List of Molde FK managers
As of 27 November 2011
History of league positions (since 1963)
Molde also briefly appeared among the championship contestants in 1958, but the league was differently organized at the top levels until 1963.
Notable former players
Most matches played
The following is a list of the ten Molde players with the most appearances in the top league.
Most goals scored
The following is a list of the elleven Molde players who have scored the most top league goals.
Cup champions for Molde 1994
Cup champions for Molde 2005