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Rosenborg Ballklub (RBK) is a Norwegianmarker football club from the city of Trondheimmarker, currently playing in the Norwegian Premier League. With 21 league titles and nine Norwegian Cup (Norwegian Championship) titles, the club is the most successful in Norway, and has dominated Norwegian football since the start of the 1990s. Rosenborg's domestic title streak of 13 consecutive wins is second in the world only to the 14-year streak of Skonto Riga of Latviamarker, their runs both ending in 2005.

Rosenborg were founded as Odd in 1917. Their home ground since 1957 is Lerkendal stadionmarker, a modern all-seater stadium most recently upgraded from 2000 to 2002. Average attendance in the 2007 season was a record 19,903.


Early years (1917-59)

On 19 May 1917, twelve young men from Rosenborg in Trondheim founded Sportsklubben Odd. The name Odd was a tribute to Odd of Skienmarker, the most successful team in Norway at the time. Odd spent their first few years playing against other local teams before attempting to join the regional series in 1920. As with most of the "buddy" clubs formed at the time, they were repeatedly denied access. Since many of these players also played for the bigger teams, the authorities feared a possible shortage of players if too many small clubs were let in. As the years went by, disillusioned players began leaving the club, and in 1923 the first team played only a single match.

By 1926, management of the club had passed on to a new generation of members, and it was through their efforts that Odd were finally admitted into the regional series in 1927, ten years after the club was founded. A year later, all was set for entry into the Football Association of Norway, had it not been for the fact that the association refused to have two member clubs with the same name. The club therefore took on its current name, Rosenborg Ballklub, on 26 October 1928.

Rosenborg enjoyed little success at first, moving constantly between the lower divisions of the regional series. Yet their performance was improving and in 1931 the team qualified for the highest level, and one year later they played in the Norwegian Cup for the first time. It was also at this time that Rosenborg started planning for a new home ground at Lerkendal, although this project was not completed until after World War II.

The breakthrough (1960-68)

Rosenborg's youth team has been one of the best in the country ever since the club was founded and an especially talented generation of youth players during the 1950s would grow up to form the basis for the first team's success in the 1960s and onwards. In 1960 they were promoted to the highest level in Norwegian football, the Main League (later the 1st Division). In the same year Rosenborg progressed all the way to the final of the Championship, where they faced Odd, the team from which they had adopted their original name in 1917, as well as their colours. It took a rematch to decide the winner, but Rosenborg were able to claim their first trophy. Rosenborg won the cup again in 1964, but had in the meantime gotten themselves relegated to the 2nd Division, where they played from 1963 to 1966.

Rosenborg were once again back in the top flight in 1967 and this would prove to be a highly successful year for the club. Lead on by such players as Harald Sunde, Nils Arne Eggen, and the talented young forward Odd Iversen, Rosenborg won their first league title. Iversen scored 17 goals in 18 matches that year, and would go on to score a massive 30 goals in the following season, although he alone could not prevent Rosenborg from being beaten to the title by Lyn. By the end of the 1960s it was clear that Rosenborg had emerged as one of Norway's leading football clubs.

The 1960s saw Rosenborg venture onto the European stage for the first time. As winners of the cup in 1964, the club debuted in the Cup Winners' Cup the following year. Three years later, Rosenborg entered the European Cup as winners of the league.

Ups and downs (1969-87)

Rosenborg hired Englishman George Curtis as coach ahead of the 1969 season. Curtis introduced the new 4-4-2 formation and shifted focus towards tactics and organization rather than all-out attacking football. This move worked well to begin with, as Rosenborg were crowned league winners for the third time. However, when both Odd Iversen and Harald Sunde left the club, Rosenborg virtually stopped scoring goals and failed to win again in 1970. Curtis was criticized for being too defensively minded and was replaced by recently retired player Nils Arne Eggen, who reverted to a more crowd-pleasing style of play. Eggen's first of four tenures as coach was a resounding success; Rosenborg won The Double.

The double-win in 1971 marked the end of the club's first golden age. Rosenborg lost the cup final two years in a row and began to struggle in the league. A flurry of coaches (including Eggen) came and went without making an impact and in 1977 the team won only one match the entire season, finishing dead last.

Nils Arne Eggen was then called in for his third tenure, from 1978 to 1982, and with the return of the now 35-year old Odd Iversen, Rosenborg climbed back into the 1st Division the following year. In 1979, Iversen became top goalscorer for the fourth time in his career, but by the time he had retired in 1982, the club had still not regained its former glory. That would finally happen in 1985 when, after 14 trophyless years, Rosenborg defeated Lillestrøm in the final match of the season to win the league by a single point.

Domination (1988-2002)

The year 1985 may have been a turning point in Rosenborg's fortunes, but it was in 1988 that things really started to happen. The club received fresh capital from its new main sponsor and was fully professionalized. Nils Arne Eggen returned to Trondheim to once again become head coach, this after leading Moss to the league title in 1987. In the waning years of the 1980s, the club secured double-wins twice, in 1988 and 1990.

Rosenborg went on to dominate Norwegian club football throughout the 1990s. In strong contrast to the Norwegian national team's defensive and often criticized (yet highly effective) style of play at the time, Rosenborg achieved success through strict adherence to crowd-pleasing, offensive football. The Norwegian Premier League, established in 1991, was won 13 times in a row from 1992 onwards. The Norwegian Cup was won five times.

In 1995, Rosenborg qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time, a feat which helped secure the club's finances and further cement its dominance at the domestic level. The income provided through successive qualifications has allowed Rosenborg to become by far the wealthiest club in Norway. Always able to offer the most promising new players better terms than their opponents, as well as the prospect of playing in Europe, Rosenborg were assured of future league championships and European qualifications. During this period, few clubs were ever able to mount a serious challenge for more than a season at a time.

European adventures

Rosenborg participated in the group phase of the Champions League eleven times in the twelve years between 1995 to 2006. Eight of them were consecutive (from 1995 to 2002), which was a record until 2004, when Manchester United qualified for the group phase for a ninth successive year.

Rosenborg have on two occasions managed to progress beyond the first group stage of the Champions League. In the 1996-97 season, they were heading for an early exit, but with A.C. Milan squandering valuable points, the stage was set for a deciding match at San Siromarker. Rosenborg defeated Milan 2-1, ousting the Italians and putting themselves in the quarter finals, where they lost 3-1 on aggregate against Juventus. In the 1999-00 season, Rosenborg won their group to secure a place in the second group stage. The most memorable game was away against Borussia Dortmund, who were defeated 3-0.

Other highlights include the 2-0 win versus Real Madrid and the 5-1 victory over Olympiacos, both in the 1997-98 season. There have also been some dismal performances, particularly against French teams. Rosenborg lost 0-5 to Lyon in 2002 and were crushed 2-7 by Paris Saint-Germain in 2000.

The Norwegians failed to qualify in 2003, losing out to Deportivo de La Coruña, but managed to qualify again in 2004 after beating Maccabi Haifa, and in 2005 – despite the disappointing season – they qualified for the tenth time after winning 4-3 against Steaua Bucureşti.

Rosenborg managed to qualify for the 11th time in 2007. The club impressed with a 1-1 draw away against Chelsea FC and beating Valencia CF 2-0 both home and away.

In July 2009, Rosenborg was eliminated from the UEFA Europa League in the second qualifying round against Qarabag F.C. from Azerbaijanmarker.

Consolidation (2003)

At the end of 2002 Rosenborg saw the retirement of Nils Arne Eggen after many successful years, during which he was only relieved once, in the 1998 season, by his assistant, Trond Sollied. Eggen was replaced by Åge Hareide, who had previously led both Helsingborg and Brøndby to championships in their respective leagues.

Hareide asserted that in order to not only stay ahead at the domestic level, but also perform better at the European level, Rosenborg would have to become more cynical and focus more on defensive skill, while still maintaining the offensive play that had made the team so strong in the first place. The new manager also highlighted the need to renew the aging squad, whose continuity had been another key to the club's success; many of the players had been in the club since the start of the 1990s. In a controversial move, Hareide began this process by releasing the popular Bent Skammelsrud, who subsequently retired.

Under new leadership, Rosenborg laid waste to the league, losing only three games and winning 14 points ahead of runners-up Bodø/Glimt. The club claimed its seventh Double, again defeating Bodø/Glimt in the cup final. Despite failing to qualify for the Champions League, Rosenborg had enjoyed another great season and it looked like Hareide's beginning reforms were paying off, but 2003 turned out to be his one and only season at the club as he accepted an offer to lead the Norwegian national team in December of that year. He was replaced by his assistant Ola By Rise, a notable former goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach at the club.

Troubled times (2004-2005)

With Hareide's unexpected departure at the end of 2003 the club failed to properly execute the reforms he had begun. It also became clear that with the increased flow of capital into Norwegian football, some clubs were finally beginning to perform at a more consistent level close, or even equal, to that of Rosenborg. Rosenborg were no longer able to dominate every match, instead taking on the appearance of a team fed up with success.

Rosenborg were league winners again in 2004 but it was only through more scored goals that they were able claim the title. Ola By Rise's contract was terminated in October, even though he succeeded in leading the team to the Champions League, and for some time it was uncertain who would take over. In November the club announced the return of Nils Arne Eggen as a sort of advisor to former assistant manager, Per Joar Hansen, who was promoted to manager. Bjørn Hansen and Rune Skarsfjord would also act as assistant managers.

The scheme proved so unsuccessful that Rosenborg's 2005 season was for the most part a disaster. The club battled to avoid falling into the relegation zone for much of the season, Eggen left his role midways, and Per Joar Hansen left, probably under pressure, in August. Per-Mathias Høgmo followed Hansen as the club's manager immediately after his departure. His first months were marred by a series of embarrassing losses and an early exit from the cup, but with a late-season return to form the team held on to its place in the top flight and finishing third in the Champions League Group Stage, qualifying them for the UEFA Cup.

A new era (2006-present)

Rosenborg's woes continued in the spring of 2006. Halfway through the season, rival Brann held a commanding 10-point lead. On 27 July, Per-Mathias Høgmo went on sick leave, citing burn-out as the cause. Assistant manager Knut Tørum took up the reins. For the third time in three years, an assistant would take the helm. This time, however, it was a complete success. Rosenborg won eight straight games, gobbling up Brann's lead, and finally overtaking them. On 22 October, in what was described as "the biggest clash since the Battle of Stiklestadmarker". Rosenborg defeated Brann away, giving the club a six-point lead with two rounds to go. The following weekend, Rosenborg defeated Viking, securing the club's 20th league title. On 31 October, Per-Mathias Høgmo ended prolonged speculation on whether he would return and in what role, when he held a press conference where he stated that he resigned as manager with immediate effect, and would withdraw from football altogether. Tørum accepted an offer to be the permanent manager. Another resignation came on 11 February 2007, when director Rune Bratseth announced his resignation, citing among other things huge pressure from the media as his reason to resign. He was replaced by Knut Thorbjørn Eggen, son of former manager Nils Arne Eggen, from August 1.

Despite the good result in 2006, manager Knut Tørum wasn't able to gain the same success in the 2007 season. That, together with his troubles to get along with director Knut Thorbjørn Eggen resulted in his resignation on 25 October 2007. Assistant manager Trond Henriksen took charge of the club for the remainder of the 2007 season. Rosenborg finished the season in 5th place.

After Tørum's resignation, Rosenborg started negotiating with Trond Sollied to fill the head coach vacancy. Sollied, who since his departure in 1998 had become a merited coach in Belgium, had earlier been linked back to Rosenborg at several occasions. After a lengthy process Sollied turned down the job, giving ammunition to those criticizing the way in which Rosenborg has dealt with their recurring head coach issue in the latter years. On December 28, Rosenborg announced Erik Hamrén as their new coach for the 2008 season. Hamrén started as coach in Rosenborg on 1 June 2008, after he had fulfilled his duties as coach for Aalborg BKmarker. Days before Hamren's arrival Knut Thorbjørn Eggen announced his immediate resignation. The media speculated Eggen's resignation had been demanded by Hamrén in order to gain total control over the club. At July 27 2008, Rosenborg became the first Norwegian team ever to win a final match in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, beating Dutch team NAC Breda 2-1 on aggregate. The win put RBK in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup, where they advanced to the Group Stage. They did not won the Intertoto Cup, however; under rules instituted for the 2006 competition, the trophy is awarded to the Intertoto Cup club that advances farthest in the UEFA Cup. In the group stage Rosenborg failed to impress, finishing last with two points. The club also failed in the League, finishing at a disappointing 5th place, for the second year in a row.

In front of the 2009 season Hamrén brought several new players to Rosenborg, one of them being Rade Prica, who Hamrén knew well from Aalborg. At the end of the season, Rosenborg won the league by 69 points, 13 points ahead of the nearest rival Molde FK. Rosenborg lost only one league game, a 3-2 loss against IK Start. Rosenborg had their run for taking the double stopped by Molde in the cup's quarter final, losing 5-0. The club got their revenge in late September, when they defeated Molde in the league and by that secured their 21st league title.

Colours and badge

The founding members of Rosenborg bought their first kits in 1918. The shirts were blue with a yellow vertical stripe on the front and the shorts were white. The current white shirts and black shorts, introduced in 1931, were another tribute to the football club Odd. A shirt sponsor was introduced for the first time in 1971.

Rosenborg normally use black shirts and white shorts for away matches, or either all-white or all-black kits.


Rosenborg play their home games at Lerkendal Stadiummarker. Lerkendal was opened 10 August 1947, and saw major upgrades in 1996, and from December 2000 to October 2002, when it was made into an all-seater, modern stadium.

The current capacity is 21,166. Record attendance through all times is officially 28,569 (Adresseavisen says 28,619 [12888]) against Lillestrøm in 1985. However, as this was the final and decisive league game, there was so much pressure at the gates that they had to be opened, so there was no way to count the rest of the attendance, which makes the real number higher.

Field measurements are 105 × 68 meters.


  • Norwegian Premier League:
    • Winners (21): 1967, 1969, 1971, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009
    • Runners-up (5): 1968, 1970, 1973, 1989, 1991

  • Norwegian Football Cup:
    • Winners (9): 1960, 1964, 1971, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2003
    • Runners-up (5): 1967, 1972, 1973, 1991, 1998

Recent history



Players and staff

Current squad

(2nd Vice-Captain)

Out on loan

Coaching staff

Administrative staff


External links

  • Official site:
26 20 3 3
79 23 63
CL group stage
26 18 2 6
75 33 56
CL 2nd group stage
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61 26 54
3rd round
UC 3rd round
elim. group stage CL
26 17 6 3
71 30 57
3rd round
CL group stage
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57 30 56
last 16
CL group stage
26 19 4 3
68 28 61
UC 3rd round
elim. 3rd qual. round CL
26 14 6 6
52 34 48
CL group stage
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50 42 34
last 16
UC 3rd round
elim. group stage CL
26 15 8 3
47 24 53
26 12 5 9
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last 16
UC 3rd round
elim. group stage CL
26 11 6 9
40 34 39
last 16
UC Group stage
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60 22 69
EL elim. 2nd qualifying round
Manager Erik Hamrén
Assistant Trond Henriksen
Goalkeeper coach Jørn Jamtfall
Fitness coach Geir Håvard Hjelde
First Team Development Coach Trond Nordsteien
Chairman Terje Svendsen
Director Nils Skutle
Director of football Erik Hoftun

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