Norway travel to the EHF EURO 2018 with a very different reputation from that they brought to the previous event, in Poland in 2016. The EURO 2016 was a breakthrough competition for the Norway men’s team, who made it to their first ever semi-final at a major international tournament after stunning favoured opponents such as France and hosts Poland.
The team’s best result prior to the final ranking of fourth achieved at the EURO 2016 was sixth in 2008 – the same as their highest World Championship position, in 1958.
Norway’s EHF EURO 2016 campaign brought the side into the spotlight. They followed that success with another historic result at the World Championship in January 2017, where they reached their maiden final and claimed their first ever medal – silver.
Three of Norway’s players earned a place in the All-star Team at the World Championship – high-scoring right wing Kristian Björnsen, back Sander Sagosen and line player Bjarte Myrhol. Sagosen was also in the All-star team at the EURO 2016.
On the road to Croatia, Norway recorded four wins and two losses in the qualification phase. One of those victories came from a 35:30 result against the current world champions, France.
16 January: Line player Joakim Hykkerud (78 internationals/71 goals) replaces Espen Lie Hansen.
18 January: Left back Espen Lie Hansen (133 internationals/422 goals) replaces Joakim Hykkerud
24 January: Goalkeeper Kristian Saeveras (0 internationals/0 goals) replaces Espen Christensen
Remaining replacements Norway: 2 (0 in main round)
At the age of just 22, Sander Sagosen is already well-known among handball fans. The back court player has followed in his father’s footsteps, who played 14 matches for Norway in the 1990s.
Sagosen made his debut on the national team in 2013 when he was only 18, and confirmed his position as a key member of the side very quickly. The versatile player was named as All-star centre back at the EHF EURO 2016 and All-star left back at the France 2017 World Championship.
After starting his professional career in Norway, Sagosen gained his first VELUX EHF Champions League experience with Danish club Aalborg, where he stayed for three years. In 2016/17, he played a crucial role in Aalborg’s third domestic title win in history.
In the summer of 2017, the young talent moved to Champions League powerhouse PSG and, as with every step before, impressed from the first day.
Goalkeeper Torbjørn Bergerud is another of Norway’s exceptional young talents. The 23-year-old was a major part of Norway’s success at the World Championship 2017, where he saved a penalty after the buzzer in the semi-final against Croatia. The memorable moment sent the game to extra time and led Norway to their first ever win in a penultimate match at a major international tournament.
Bergerud started his senior career with Norwegian club Drammen before leaving for Swedish side Lugi in 2015. After one year in Sweden, he moved to Denmark to join Team Tvis Holstebro. In the summer of 2018, he will transfer to top German club Flensburg.
44-year-old Christian Berge became head coach of Norway in the spring of 2014, stepping into the role after Swedish Robert Hedin. Before becoming a coach, Berge played 63 international matches for Norway, as part of the national team from 1997 to 2006. He also played for German EHF Champions League club Flensburg for several years, before departing for Denmark.
Berge’s coaching career began with Danish club Aarhus, where he started as an assistant. In 2008, he returned to Norway to coach Elverum, then became coach of youth age category national teams in 2013.
At the EHF EURO 2016, Berge led the Norway men’s team to their first ever semi-final at a major international competition. One year later, in January 2017, he took them all the way to the World Championship Final, where the squad finished with the silver medal after being defeated by hosts France.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events