Odd Iversen

Born: 06.11.1945 in Trondheim
Position: Forward
Caps: 45
Goals: 19


Odd Iversen was seemingly born to score goals. He was a colorful character who unfortunately, like many other footballers at the time, developed a drinking problem as his career progressed. Nevertheless, he was a player who could score from every angle. After helping Rosenborg win promotion to the top flight in 1966, he was the league's top scorer three years in a row. Largely thanks to Iversen's goals, Rosenborg became champions in 1967 and 1969, and in 1968 (when RBK "only" finished second), Iversen scored 30 goals in 18 matches, which is still the single-season record in the Norwegian league.

Iversen made his national team debut in June 1967, and for the next two years, he was a regular both in the starting lineup and on the scoresheet. He scored a remarkable amount of goals in an era when Norway was one of the worst countries in Europe. His finest moment at the national team probably came in November 1968, when Norway shocked Europe by defeating France 1-0 in an away World Cup qualifier, and Iversen scored the goal. It didn't prevent Norway from finishing last in the group, but along with the 3-0 win against Yugoslavia three years earlier, the win against France was one of the few highlights in an otherwise dour decade for the national team.

In 1970, Iversen and his Rosenborg teammate Harald Sunde moved to Belgium, to play professional football at Racing Mechelen. Mechelen was not among the biggest clubs in Belgium, but in an age where very few Norwegians were good enough to play professional football abroad, it was still something of an achievement. Iversen scored regularly for the team, and occationally returned home to play for the national side. Still, it would be an exaggeration to claim Iversen and Sunde became stars in Belgium, and they both returned home after a just couple of years at the club - Sunde in 1972, Iversen in 1973.

Iversen continued scoring goals when he returned to Rosenborg, though not quite as often as in the 60s. However, in 1976, after a series of arguments with his coach, he moved to Oslo and joined second division Vålerenga, whom he helped return to the top flight, resurrecting his national team career as well. Despite drinking heavily at the time, Iversen once again became the first division's top scorer in 1979. He returned home to Rosenborg next season, where he played three more seasons, before finally calling it a day in 1982. He retired having scored a record 158 goals (in 222 matches) in the top division - a record that would stand for 20 years, before being broken by Petter Belsvik (who quite remarkably never played for the national team) in 2002, and was later surpassed by Harald Brattbakk and current record holder Sigurd Rushfeldt.

After his retirement, Iversen's drinking problem escalated, costing him his job, his marriage and almost his life. Thankfully, Iversen is now clean and sober, and worked many years as kit man for Rosenborg. His goalscoring talent has been passed on to his son Steffen, who also became a goalscoring hero for both Rosenborg, Vålerenga and the national team. The Iversens' combined total of 124 caps and 40 international goals make them Norway's most-capped and top scoring father/son team.

National Team Appearances

# Date Venue Opponent Score Goals Competition
1 01.06.1967 Helsinki Finland 2-0
2 08.06.1967 Oslo Portugal 1-2 European Champ. Qual.
3 29.06.1967 Oslo Bulgaria 0-0 European Champ. Qual.
4 03.09.1967 Oslo Sweden 3-1 European Champ. Qual.
5 24.09.1967 Oslo Denmark 0-5
6 05.11.1967 Stockholm Sweden 2-5 European Champ. Qual.
7 12.11.1967 Porto Portugal 1-2 European Champ. Qual.
8 09.06.1968 Oslo Poland 1-6
9 23.06.1968 Copenhagen Denmark 1-5
10 18.07.1968 Reykjavik Iceland 4-0
11 18.08.1968 Oslo Finland 4-1
12 15.09.1968 Oslo Sweden 1-1
13 09.10.1968 Stockholm Sweden 0-5 World Cup Qualifier
14 06.11.1968 Strasbourg France 1-0 World Cup Qualifier
15 08.05.1969 Oslo Mexico 0-2
16 01.06.1969 Gothenburg Sweden 2-4
17 19.06.1969 Oslo Sweden 2-5 World Cup Qualifier
18 03.07.1969 Stavanger Bermuda 3-0
19 21.07.1969 Trondheim Iceland 2-1
20 24.08.1969 Helsinki Finland 2-2
21 27.08.1969 Lodz Poland 1-6
22 10.09.1969 Oslo France 1-3
23 21.09.1969 Oslo Denmark 2-0
24 11.11.1969 Mexico City Mexico 0-4
Racing Mechelen (Belgium)
25 23.09.1970 Copenhagen Denmark 1-0
26 07.10.1970 Oslo Hungary 1-3 European Champ. Qual.
27 09.06.1971 Oslo Bulgaria 1-4 European Champ. Qual.
28 22.06.1971 Oslo West Germany 1-7
29 02.08.1973 Reykjavik Iceland 4-0 World Cup Qualifier
30 23.09.1973 Trondheim Denmark 0-1
31 25.08.1976 Vejle Denmark 0-3
32 08.09.1976 Oslo Switzerland 1-0 World Cup Qualifier
33 22.09.1976 Oslo Sweden 3-2
34 26.05.1977 Gothenburg Sweden 0-1
35 01.06.1977 Oslo Denmark 0-2
36 30.06.1977 Reykjavik Iceland 1-2
37 18.08.1977 Oslo Finland 1-1
38 07.09.1977 Oslo Sweden 2-1 World Cup Qualifier
39 30.10.1977 Bern Switzerland 0-1 World Cup Qualifier
40 29.03.1978 Gijon Spain 0-3
41 21.05.1978 Oslo Republic of Ireland 0-0
42 31.05.1978 Oslo Denmark 1-2
43 09.08.1978 Helsinki Finland 1-1
44 20.08.1978 Oslo Austria 0-2 European Champ. Qual.
45 12.09.1979 Oslo Belgium 1-2 European Champ. Qual.

Back to main page