Born: 21.07.1971 in Risør
Erik Mykland, nicknamed "Myggen" ("The Mosquito"), is one of the most technically gifted players to ever grace the Norwegian national team. He is also one of the most controversial, due to various incidents off the pitch and a highly controversial autobiography. Never much of a goalscorer, Mykland is a hard-working player who creates lots of scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is also an excellent tackler despite his rather slight build.
Mykland grew up in the town of Risør on Norway's south coast, and it soon became clear that he was an exceptional talent. At the age of 16, he moved to Bryne to go to school and play football. However, his spell at Bryne was an unhappy one. He was homesick, dropped out of school and quit the club after one year. He moved back to Risør, and nearly gave up football in the process. Fortunately, he was offered a second chance by the south coast's leading club, Start. Relishing the opportunity, Mykland made his first-team debut for the Kristiansand club shortly after his 18th birthday, and quickly became a star on the young Start team, as well as the Norwegian U21 side which was managed by Egil "Drillo" Olsen. When Olsen was appointed manager of the senior national team in late 1990, he called up a number of his young stars, including Mykland, who got his full international debut against Tunisia in November that year.
It would take another year before Mykland's next full international. In the meantime he had another impressive season with Start, who finished third in the League, the team's best season in nearly a decade. He was also the best player on the pitch in the U21 team's sensational 6-0 win against Italy (which included future stars Demetrio Albertini and Dino Baggio). He was recalled to the senior squad for the friendly against Bermuda in early 1992, and this time he was in the international squad to stay. Later that year, he scored his first international goal in the 10-0 demolition of San Marino at the start of Norway's successful World Cup campaign. The 1994 World Cup itself was somewhat of a disappointment for Mykland who was unable to produce his best form at the tournament. However, he still had another fine season for Start, and at the end of the season, he was given his first chance in one of Europe's big leagues, when he was loaned out to Dutch club Utrecht, with the option of a permanent move. However, things did not work out at Utrecht. Mykland spent most of his time in Holland on the bench, and returned to Start.
The summer of 1995 was not a good one for Mykland. He lost his form at Start, was subsequently dropped by the national side, and made the headlines for the wrong reasons when he was caught out drinking less than two days before a match. He was also publicly criticized by coach Olsen for his smoking habit. A newspaper interview, where he basically said "I'm not an athlete, I'm a footballer" also earned him a lot of criticism. The first half 1996 was not much better. Mykland did regain his form, but Start, having sold most of its best players, were now in free fall and were relegated at the end of the season. Mykland abandoned the sinking ship when he was signed by Austrian club FC Linz that summer. This was a turning point for Mykland, who quickly became a star player at the club, and was recalled by the national team. After one year at Linz, Mykland was signed by Greek giants Panathinaikos. Greek football seemed to fit Mykland, and he soon became a regular at the club. In 1998, he once again played in the World Cup, but again failed to make an impact at the tournament. To make matters worse, he once again made the headlines in the Norwegian tabloids, when he and Henning Berg were spotted at a nightclub when they were supposed to be in bed at the hotel. After the tournament, Mykland quit the national team, stating he was tired of journalists watching his every move, and being treated like a child.
However, his international career was not finished yet. Seven months after announcing his international retirement, Mykland, enjoying another excellent season at Panathinaikos, was persuaded by new national coach Nils Johan Semb to return to the national side. Mykland didn't disappoint, and was a key player as Norway qualified for the 2000 European Championship. And in his third attempt, Mykland was finally able to show his class in a major international tournament. Even though Norway were knocked out in the group stage, and played some pitiful football, Mykland had an excellent tournament, and was easily Norway's best player. After the tournament, Mykland joined German club 1860 München. He would play three more matches for Norway, before announcing his international retirement in October 2000, this time for good. His international retirement coincided with the release of his autobiography that revealed details about Norway's Euro 2000 campaign that were never meant for the public and attacked Norway's style of play. The book effectively burned his bridges to the national team.
Mykland left Munich in 2002 after a disagreement with his coach, and joined FC København in Denmark, where he was an important member of the side that became Danish champions in 2003. Amazingly, that was Mykland's first-ever championship medal at senior level. It was also his last hurrah as a top-level footballer. He hardly played at all in 2003/04 because of injury, and was released by the Copenhagen side at the end of the season. Shortly afterwards, Mykland retired, ending a 15-year career that was sometimes brilliant, sometimes controversial, but never boring.
In 2008, after four years out of the game, Mykland was back in the headlines - for both bad and good reasons. First, it was revealed that he had spent his post-retirement years developing a cocaine addiction, but that he was now clean. Then, Mykland announced that he wanted to make a comeback for Start, the club where his colorful career took off nearly two decades earlier. After building up his fitness level, Mykland put on the Start shirt for the first time in 12 years when he came on as a substitute in the final game of the 2008 season. He also played seven matches for Start in 2009, but re-retired in the summer after admitting his play was not up to his old standards. He now works as a television pundit.
National Team Appearances
|7||09.09.1992||Oslo||San Marino||10-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|8||23.09.1992||Oslo||Netherlands||2-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|9||07.10.1992||Serravalle||San Marino||2-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|10||14.10.1992||London||England||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|14||28.04.1993||Oslo||Turkey||3-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|15||02.06.1993||Oslo||England||2-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|16||09.06.1993||Rotterdam||Netherlands||0-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|18||13.10.1993||Poznan||Poland||3-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|19||10.11.1993||Istanbul||Turkey||1-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|21||19.01.1994||San Diego||Costa Rica||0-0|
|27||23.06.1994||New York||Italy||0-1||World Cup|
|28||28.06.1994||New York||Republic of Ireland||0-0||World Cup|
|29||07.09.1994||Oslo||Belarus||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|30||12.10.1994||Oslo||Netherlands||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|31||16.11.1994||Minsk||Belarus||4-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|Utrecht (Netherlands) - on loan|
|32||14.12.1994||Valetta||Malta||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|34||07.06.1995||Oslo||Malta||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|35||15.11.1995||Rotterdam||Netherlands||0-3||European Champ. Qual.|
|37||29.11.1995||Port of Spain||Trinidad & Tobago||2-3|
|FC Linz (Austria)|
|39||09.10.1996||Oslo||Hungary||3-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|40||10.11.1996||Bern||Switzerland||1-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|44||30.04.1997||Oslo||Finland||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|46||08.06.1997||Budapest||Hungary||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|48||20.08.1997||Helsinki||Finland||4-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|49||06.09.1997||Baku||Azerbaijan||1-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|59||27.03.1999||Athens||Greece||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|60||28.04.1999||Tbilisi||Georgia||4-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|61||30.05.1999||Oslo||Georgia||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|62||05.06.1999||Tirana||Albania||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|64||04.09.1999||Oslo||Greece||1-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|65||08.09.1999||Oslo||Slovenia||4-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|66||09.10.1999||Riga||Latvia||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|1860 München (Germany)|
|76||02.09.2000||Oslo||Armenia||0-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|77||07.10.2000||Cardiff||Wales||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|78||11.10.2000||Oslo||Ukraine||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
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