Brede Hangeland: – – Feels like a new chance
ULLEVAAL (Dagbladet): – It is incredibly inspiring and nice to be a part of it. Throughout my adult life, I have had a burning commitment to the national football team, says Hangeland.
– Then you can say that it failed when it was like most times as a player. But now it feels like a new chance to get involved and maybe make it, the 40-year-old tells Dagbladet at Ullevaal Stadium.
Norway tells down to the political matches in the World Cup qualifier against Latvia (Saturday) and the Netherlands (Tuesday).
Hangeland had a high-profile role when he was captain of Norway. He made his debut in 2002 and played 91 international matches. After retiring in 2016, he took on a new high-profile role – this time as a football expert for TV 2.
On the national team, he has reached a toned down profile outwardly. He is a so-called “player manager” in the support apparatus. In practice, this means that he is one of Ståle Solbakken’s most important sparring partners.
About his own role, Hangeland says:
– It’s a bit loose organization. Simply put, I try to make everyone else around me as good as possible. Whether it’s Ståle, Kent Bergersen (assistant) or Andrew Findlay (analysis). I try to understand who people are and get the best out of them. I have a professionalism and will to win like Ståle and many parts. We need to lift this up to the same mindset.
Explains mysterious year
He had a meaningful career as a midfielder. On the CV are Viking, FC Copenhagen, Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Solbakken praises Hangeland for a wise football head:
– In training, he is more of an observer. Kent and I run the trainings, he says.
– We use Brede for everything he can. He was national team captain for a long time. He’s played with some of the players here.
Hangeland should basically go around and watch matches, and talk to players. But the corona situation has made this challenging. Very much of the mapping of players is about watching videos.
– There will be a few hours with this during the week. We also try to have control over twice as many players as there are in the collection, says Hangeland.
Together with, among others, John Arne Riise, he made several brave attempts to get to the European Championships and World Cup finals. But it would never happen, and Norway has not been in the championship in 21 years.
Now the national team is quite close. With victories over Latvia and the Netherlands, the Qatar World Cup awaits next year.
Veton Berisha and Fredrik Bjørkan had to be sent home yesterday due to injuries. Otherwise, the squad is intact.
And at Ullevaal it will be still barren on Saturday.