Born: 28.10.1962 in Stavanger
Widely regarded as Norway's best goalkeeper ever. Thorstvedt began his career at his hometown club Viking as a teenager, but was unable to get first-team football with Erik Johannessen, himself a former international goalkeeper, standing in his way. So in 1982, Thorstvedt joined ambitious second dicision team Eik Tønsberg. The move was a success. Thorstvedt flourished, Eik were promoted, and at the end of the season, Thorstvedt was given his international debut in a friendly against Kuwait, less than a month after his 20th birthday. The next season, Thorstvedt established himself as first-choice goalkeeper for the Olympic side and was also given a couple of matches for the regular international team.
Following Johannessen's retirement, Thorstvedt rejoined Viking before the 1984 season. Later that year, he would play in his first international tournament - the Los Angeles Olympics. Norway had finished third behind Poland and East Germany in the qualifiers, but when the Eastern Bloc countries decided to boycott the Games, Norway was given one of the vacant spots. Thorstvedt played well in the tournament, but Norway were knocked out in the group stage. However, Thorstvedt's play in the Olympics and the domestic league had now firmly established him as Norway's first-choice goalkeeper, and he was ever-present in the following World Cup qualifying campaign. At club level, Thorstvedt's Viking finished second in the league in 1984, and lost the Cup final against Fredrikstad, in part thanks to Per Egil Ahlsen's spectacular 35-yard free kick. The next season, Thorstvedt played every international, including the amazing away win against Italy. Meanwhile, Viking finished a disappointing 7th, and at the end of that season, Thorstvedt would once again leave his hometown, getting his big move abroad when he was signed by Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
At Gladbach, Thorstvedt hit the wall for the first time in his career. He played only five games for the club in his first season at the Bökelbergstadion and only twice the next season. He was, however, still first-choice goalkeeper for Norway, although his lack of playing time at his club meant that Rosenborg's Ola By Rise was starting to breathe down his neck. His disappointing stay at Gladbach came to an end in 1987, when he moved back to Scandinavia to join Swedish champions IFK Göteborg - a move that would get his career back on track. Thorstvedt was ever-present in his two seasons at Göteborg, and reaffirmed his position as Norway's best goalkeeper. After briefly losing his spot on the national team to By Rise in 1986, Thorstvedt was back between the sticks in the remaining Euro 88 qualifiers and the subsequent World Cup qualifying campaign. And in December 1988, he began the next chapter of his career when he was signed by Tottenham.
It must be said that Thorstvedt's career at White Hart Lane couldn't possibly have gotten off to a worse start. Less than five minutes into his debut against Nottingham Forest, he dropped a clanger that gifted Nigel Clough the opening goal. Despite the blunder, he kept his place in the team and soon proved that the mistake against Forest was a fluke, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the English league, and earning the nickname "Erik The Viking". At the national team, he was virtually ever-present, only missing the occational because of the injury. Norway never came close to qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, but things were about to change.
In late 1990, Ingvar Stadheim resigned and Egil "Drillo" Olsen took over as national team coach. It was the start of a new era for Norway. Emphatic wins against Cyprus were a sign of things to come, and in June 1991, Norway shocked the footballing world with a 2-1 win against Italy in a Euro qualifier. At this point, Norway actually had a chance of making it to Euro 92, but faded down the stretch. In the meantime, Thorstvedt had won the 1991 FA Cup with Tottenham, making him the first Norwegian to win a major honour in English football. And in September 1992, after six months on the injured list, Thorstvedt was back in the national team just in time for the start of the 1994 World Cup qualifiers. In the first game, Thorstvedt barely had to show up, with Norway thrashing San Marino 10-0. In the next game, Thorstvedt had a busier day at the job when Norway shocked Holland with a 2-1 win. Thorstvedt was outstanding throughout the qualifying campaign, conceding only four goals in nine matches (he missed the away match against Poland through suspension after being sent off in the home game against the Poles) as Norway won the group ahead of favorites Holland and England - and qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1938.
At the World Cup finals, Thorstvedt was again outstanding. Along with Rune Bratseth, he was Norway's best player at the tournament, conceding only one goal. But Norway's attack was not nearly as impressive as its defence, and Norway were knocked out in the group stage by the slimmest of margins. This was also the beginning of the end for Thorstvedt's career. He had surgery after the World Cup, and by now, injuries were starting to take its toll on the keeper, who had also lost his place in the Tottenham goal to Ian Walker. He did play most matches in the Euro 96 qualifiers, but was constantly bothered by a back injury that forced him to miss several matches. His troublesome back also prevented a move to Wolverhampton in late 1995. A transfer fee had been agreed, but the deal fell through when Thorstvedt failed the medical. He played his 97th and final international in a friendly against Northern Ireland in 1996. Shortly afterwards, his back injury resurfaced, and Thorstvedt realized he could no longer ignore the signals from his body, and retired from the game. He needed only three more caps to reach the 100 mark and seven more to tie Thorbjørn Svenssen's all-time record of 104 caps.
Following his retirement, Thorstvedt has worked as goalkeeping coach for the national team, and as director of football at Viking. Today, he is a television pundit.
National Team Appearances
|2||19.05.1983||Århus||Denmark||2-2||Olympic Games Qual.|
|4||17.08.1983||Oslo||Denmark||1-1||Olympic Games Qual.|
|5||21.09.1983||Oslo||Wales||0-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|6||26.10.1983||Moss||Finland||4-2||Olympic Games Qual.|
|7||29.10.1983||Stavanger||East Germany||1-1||Olympic Games Qual.|
|8||09.11.1983||Poznan||Poland||0-1||Olympic Games Qual.|
|17||12.09.1984||Oslo||Switzerland||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|18||26.09.1984||Copenhagen||Denmark||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|19||10.10.1984||Oslo||Soviet Union||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|20||17.10.1984||Oslo||Republic of Ireland||1-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|24||01.05.1985||Dublin||Republic of Ireland||0-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|28||16.10.1985||Oslo||Denmark||1-5||World Cup Qualifier|
|Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)|
|29||30.10.1985||Moscow||Soviet Union||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|30||13.11.1985||Luzern||Switzerland||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|35||24.09.1986||Oslo||East Germany||0-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|IFK Göteborg (Sweden)|
|38||03.06.1987||Oslo||Soviet Union||0-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|39||16.06.1987||Oslo||France||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|41||09.09.1987||Reykjavik||Iceland||1-2||European Champ. Qual.|
|42||23.09.1987||Oslo||Iceland||0-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|43||14.10.1987||Paris||France||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|47||14.09.1988||Oslo||Scotland||1-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|48||28.09.1988||Paris||France||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|50||02.11.1988||Limassol||Cyprus||3-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|53||21.05.1989||Oslo||Cyprus||3-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|55||05.09.1989||Oslo||France||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|56||11.10.1989||Sarajevo||Yugoslavia||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|57||15.11.1989||Glasgow||Scotland||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|61||12.09.1990||Moscow||Soviet Union||0-2||European Champ. Qual.|
|62||10.10.1990||Bergen||Hungary||0-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|64||14.11.1990||Nicosia||Cyprus||3-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|65||01.05.1991||Oslo||Cyprus||3-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|67||05.06.1991||Oslo||Italy||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|68||28.08.1991||Oslo||Soviet Union||0-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|70||13.11.1991||Genova||Italy||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|71||09.09.1992||Oslo||San Marino||10-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|72||23.09.1992||Oslo||Netherlands||2-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|73||07.10.1992||Serravalle||San Marino||2-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|74||14.10.1992||London||England||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|76||02.06.1993||Oslo||England||2-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|77||09.06.1993||Rotterdam||Netherlands||0-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|79||22.09.1993||Oslo||Poland||1-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|80||10.11.1993||Istanbul||Turkey||1-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|81||19.01.1994||San Diego||Costa Rica||0-0|
|86||23.06.1994||New York||Italy||0-1||World Cup|
|87||28.06.1994||New York||Republic of Ireland||0-0||World Cup|
|88||12.10.1994||Oslo||Netherlands||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|90||29.03.1995||Luxembourg||Luxembourg||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|92||07.06.1995||Oslo||Malta||2-0||European Champ. Qual.|
|94||16.08.1995||Oslo||Czech Republic||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|95||06.09.1995||Prague||Czech Republic||0-2||European Champ. Qual.|
NOTE: Matches in red are not recognized as full internationals by FIFA.
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