Born: 13.07.1975 in Rennebu
Position: Right Back
Vegard Heggem's career was short but sweet. If he had been fit to play, Heggem would probably have been a key member of Norway's Euro 2004 challenge. However, injuries put a stop to his once-promising career, and forced him to retire from the game at the age of 27. In this country, and especially in the Trondheim area, Heggem will forever be known for scoring that goal at the San Siro.
Heggem joined Rosenborg from second division Orkdal in 1995, and didn't take long to become a valuable member of the squad. At first, he played mainly as a substitute, but as the 1995 season progressed, Heggem got more and more playing time at right-back. It was more of the same in 1996, but towards the end of the season, Heggem had established himself as first-choice, and was also a regular for the Norwegian U21 side. He was still one of the more unknown members of Rosenborg, but that all changed one December night in Milan. In the last match of the Champions League group stage, Rosenborg needed to win against the mighty AC Milan at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium to reach the quarter-finals. With twenty minutes remaining on the clock, the score tied 1-1, and with Milan seemingly in full control of the match, it looked as if Rosenborg's run in Europe was about to end. Then, Heggem became an instant hero in Trondheim and most of the rest of the country when he rose above Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini to head home a Harald Brattbakk cross, which turned out to be the winning goal. Rosenborg had done the impossible - beating one of the best teams in Europe away from home, and becoming just the second Norwegian side ever to reach the quarter-finals of a European competition. In the quarter-finals, Rosenborg were drawn against another Italian team, Juventus, and the Bianconeri proved to be too strong, winning 3-1 on aggregate.
In 1997, Heggem played nearly every match as Rosenborg wrapped up yet another title and came agonizingly close to repeating last year's Champions League performance, and it seemed to be only a matter of time before Heggem got his full international debut. Heggem did get his chance in February 1998, in the friendly against France, and scored on his debut. His play earned him a spot in Norway's 1998 World Cup squad, but he spent the entire tournament on the bench. He was, however, a regular in the ensuing Euro 2000 qualifying campaign, and also got his big move abroad when he was signed by Liverpool in the summer of 1998.
At Anfield, Heggem didn't take long to make the right-back position his own. He played 29 matches in his first season, despite missing about a month with a hamstring injury. He also played regularly the next season, but by now, he was beginning to be seriously bothered by the recurring hamstring injury, which forced him to miss large parts of the season and several international friendlies. He did recover in time for the Euro 2000 finals. Unfortunately, this was also the last time he wore a Norway shirt. He once again injured his hamstring in the match against Yugoslavia, and this time the injury just wouldn't heal properly. He played only three matches for Liverpool the following season, before succumbing to the troublesome hamstring injury yet again. He spent practically the entire 2001/02 season on the treatment table, and didn't play a single first-team match. Shortly before the end of the season, he attempted a comeback in a reserve team game, only to limp off the pitch with another hamstring injury. In the summer of 2003, Heggem was released by Liverpool, and he subsequently moved back to Norway and announced his retirement from the game. He now lives in his hometown Rennebu, where he has started a new career in salmon farming.
National Team Appearances
|3||06.09.1998||Oslo||Latvia||1-3||European Champ. Qual.|
|4||10.10.1998||Ljubljana||Slovenia||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|5||14.10.1998||Oslo||Albania||2-2||European Champ. Qual.|
|8||27.03.1999||Athens||Greece||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|10||30.05.1999||Oslo||Georgia||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|12||04.09.1999||Oslo||Greece||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|13||08.09.1999||Oslo||Slovenia||4-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|14||09.10.1999||Riga||Latvia||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
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