Molde Fotballklubb [ˇmɔldə] is a professional football club based in Molde, Norway, that competes in Eliteserien, the top flight of Norwegian football. Founded on 19 June 1911, the club was originally known as International and changed its name to Molde in 1915. Molde are four-time league champions (2011, 2012, 2014, 2019) and four-time Norwegian Cup winners (1994, 2005, 2013, 2014), and have finished second in the league a further nine times. Molde is one of only two Norwegian clubs to have participated in the UEFA Champions League.
|Full name||Molde Fotballklubb|
|Founded||19 June 1911 , as International|
1915 , as Molde FK
|Chairman||Odd Ivar Moen|
|2019||Eliteserien, 1st of 16|
The club's home matches are played at the 11,249-capacity Aker Stadion. The stadium was inaugurated in 1998, and was a gift from local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten. The club was formerly based at Molde stadion, which hosted the club's record attendance of 14,615. Molde's supporter club is called Tornekrattet ("Thicket of thorns", a reference to the city's nickname "The Town of Roses") and was founded after the 1994 Norwegian Cup final victory. Molde has its strongest rivalry with Rosenborg.
Until the beginning of the 1970s, the club mainly played in local lower division leagues, except for a short visit in the Hovedserien in the 1957–58 season. In 1974, Molde was back in the top division and finished second in the league, and have since then become one of Norway's leading clubs and generally stayed in the top division. Molde also finished second in the league in 1987, when the club lost the championship to Moss in the decisive match of the season.
During the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, Molde was the second-best team in Norway (behind 13-times in a row champions Rosenborg), with league silver medals in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2002, and cup championships in 1994 and 2005, as well as participation in the UEFA Champions League in the 1999–2000 season, when Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos visited Molde.
As of 2017, the club has approximately 1,000 members and around 55 teams in three departments. Erling Moe is the current manager of the club since taking over as a caretaker manager on 19 December 2018 when Ole Gunnar Solskjær left the position to manage Manchester United as a caretaker manager. On 29 April 2019 it was announced that Moe signed a contract as permanent head coach till the end of the 2020 season.
Early years (1911–63)
Molde FK was founded on 19 June 1911 by a group gathered by Klaus Daae Andersen (born 30 September 1873); they named J. Ferdinand Dahl as the inaugural chairman. On a general election on 24 April 1912, it was decided that the club would be named International, perhaps because the opponents were primarily visitors from cruise ships or trading vessels, or that it was to make room for the many Danes who worked in the Gideon engine factory. The same year, on 5 August, the club played its first competitive match, an away match against Kristiansund which ended 2–2. The rising interest and activity in football in neighbouring towns caused the club to change its name to Molde Fotballklubb in 1915. The club played its first season in the top division in 1939–40, but the season was abandoned due to the German occupation and was never completed. In the first post-war season in 1947–48, Molde were relegated from the top flight.
The breakthrough (1964–77)
On 2 August 1964, Molde shocked nine-time Norwegian Cup champions and nine-time Norwegian League Champions Fredrikstad by eliminating them from the 1964 Norwegian Cup in the third round with a 3–2 win at home. Jan Fuglset, Torkild Brakstad and Harry Hestad, amongst others, played at Molde during that period. The club played in local lower leagues, save for a short visit in the top division in the 1957–58 season. In 1970, Molde was promoted to the second tier and played there for three seasons until its promotion to the top flight with a 5–1 away win against Sogndal on 16 September 1973.
In 1974, Molde returned to the premier division following the debut of several talented players in the first team, which coincided with the return of top level players like Fuglset, Brakstad and Hestad. Molde shocked the established clubs in their first season of the 1. divisjon, leading the league in 9 of 22 matchdays. Ahead of the final match of the season, Molde would win the league if they defeated Sarpsborg and Viking lost against Strømsgodset. However, both Molde and Viking won their last match, meaning Molde won the silver medal after finishing one point behind champions Viking.
Since then, Molde has generally stayed in the top division and has become one of Norway's leading clubs. The club has produced a respectable number of national team players, and players who have gone professional in foreign leagues.
Ups and downs (1978–93)
Between 1978 and 1984, Molde did not play on the same level in two consecutive years. Molde was relegated from the 1. divisjon in every even-numbered year, and promoted to back to the first tier in every odd-numbered year, making it three consecutive promotions and relegations. In fact, Molde and Brann did not play at the same level these years, as Brann were promoted when Molde was relegated and the other way around.
The 1987 season was the closest Molde came to winning the league championship before winning it in 2011, when a draw at home against Moss in the final round would have ensured the title. Despite numerous goal scoring opportunities, Moss won the match 2–0 at Molde stadium, thus winning the league championship, while Molde won their second silver medal. The attendance of 14,615 set the record at the old Molde stadion.
Molde played their second cup final in 1989. The first match against Viking ended in a 2–2 draw, and the subsequent replay was won 2–1 by Viking.
When Molde again was relegated from the Norwegian top flight in 1993, the club was in major economic difficulties following a number of projects, the most notably of which was an extension of the main stand at Molde stadion. Local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten started to invest in the club, and since 1993 they have invested approximately 500 million kr on old debts, new players and the new stadium.
The silver generation (1994–2000)
Åge Hareide was the main coach of Molde in 1994, when they finished second in their 1. divisjon group and was thus re-promoted to Tippeligaen. Molde also met their main rivals Rosenborg in the semi-final of the 1994 Norwegian Cup, and with 4–3 win on aggregate, Molde qualified for their third cup final. After having lost to Molde, Rosenborg head coach Nils Arne Eggen called Molde's playing style for "arse-football" ("rævvafotball"). Molde won their first title by defeating Lyn 3–2 at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.
During the 1995 season, Molde became known for their three strikers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Arild Stavrum and Ole Bjørn Sundgot. In their first league match, Molde won 6–0 against Brann in Bergen, with Solskjær scoring two goals and Stavrum and Sundgot also contributing in one of Brann's heaviest-ever losses at home. With six-straight wins, Molde stayed in the top two positions of the league throughout the season, but eventually finished second, 15 points behind Rosenborg.
Solskjær scored 31 goals in 42 matches for Molde and was sold to Manchester United on 29 July 1996 as Molde finished in eighth position that season. In 1997, Molde finished fourth in the league, and Erik Brakstad replaced Åge Hareide as head coach ahead of the 1998 season.
In 1998, Molde played their first 21 matches without losing, a Norwegian record until 2009, when Rosenborg went 26 matches undefeated. In the 22nd round, Molde lost against Vålerenga while Rosenborg defeated Kongsvinger to surpass Molde at the top of the table. Rosenborg player Mini Jakobsen subsequently said, "It was fun as long as you managed to keep up. Thank you for helping to create tension in the Premier League!" On 26 September 1998, Rosenborg won 2–0 against Molde in the 23rd round and won the championship, with Molde settling for second place.
In 1999, Molde had a successful season, finishing second in the league and reaching the semi-final of the 1999 Norwegian Cup, where they were eliminated by Brann. Molde also participated in the UEFA Champions League, where Molde was drawn against CSKA Moscow in the second qualifying round. In the first match in Moscow, Molde lost 2–0, while in the second leg, 19-year-old Magne Hoseth had his big break-through with two goals when CSKA was defeated 4–0 to send Molde to the third qualifying round, where they met Mallorca. The first leg against Mallorca ended 0–0 at home. Away at Mallorca were Molde one goal behind for a long time, but Andreas Lund became the big hero when he equalized on a penaltyin the 84th minute. With a 1–1 aggregate score, Molde qualified for the group stage on away goals, and Molde became the team from the smallest city to have qualified for the group stage of Champions League until Unirea Urziceni repeated the feat in 2009–10. In the group stage, Molde were drawn against Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos, and with one win and five losses, Molde finished last in their group. On the occasion of Molde's 100-year anniversary in 2011, the readers of the local newspaper Romsdals Budstikke voted 1999 as the best year in the history of the club.
From "Gunder method" to relegation (2001–2006)
On 6 November 2000, after the sacking of Erik Brakstad, Gunder Bengtsson was announced head coach for two years. After one season, Bengtsson and his assistant Kalle Björklund were signed for three more years. In 2002, Gunder Bengtsson led Molde to second place in the league, but like when he won the league with Vålerenga in 1983 and 1984, there was not much enthusiasm around the club's sixth silver medal because of the defensive tactics and lack of local players in the squad.
In the first six matches of the 2003 season, Molde collected five points. On 22 May 2003, Bengtsson was fired and replaced by Odd Berg. In the third round of 2003 Norwegian Cup, Molde were eliminated by second-tier club Skeid. Despite the change in the coaching staff, Molde was struggling in the relegation zone throughout the season, but after a 3–2 win away against Sogndal in the last match of the season, Molde avoided the relegation playoffs. In 2004, the team led by Reidar Vågnes, former assistant coach under Erik Brakstad, but Molde only managed 11th place, four points clear of relegation.
In 2005, Bo Johansson became head coach of Molde, and on 15 June 2005, Molde won 3–2 against Nybergsund to qualify for the fourth round of the Norwegian Cup, having lost in the third round for three consecutive years. Molde finished 12th in the league and had to play in the relegation playoff against Moss, which Molde won 5–2 on aggregate. Molde won their second Norwegian Cup title on 6 November 2005 when they won 4–2 after extra time against Lillestrøm in the final. Bo Johansson left Molde after only one season with the club, and on Christmas Eve, Arild Stavrum was announced as the new head coach.
Following the Norwegian Cup champions, Molde played in the 2006–07 UEFA Cup. On 25 August 2006, they were drawn to face Scottish giants Rangers in the first round. They were eliminated 2–0 on aggregate after holding Rangers to a 0–0 draw at the Aker Stadion. The same year, Molde was relegated, having been in the relegation zone for the last four seasons. The relegation became final after losing 8–0 against Stabæk at Nadderud in the second-last match of the season. Arild Stavrum was fired at the end of the season.
A new era (2007–present)
In December 2006, Kjell Jonevret became head coach after Stavrum was fired, though Ove Christensen was the club's first choice. With Jonevret as coach, Molde won the 2007 1. divisjon and was again promoted back to the Tippeligaen.
After the promotion, Molde recorded a 5–1 win against Vålerenga on the last day of Moldejazz 2008, as well as eliminating Brann from the cup with an impressive 8–0 win at home four days later. Regardless of these strong results, Molde finished ninth in their comeback season in the top flight.
Molde was again the second-best team in Norway in 2009 after champions Rosenborg, who that season overtook Molde's 1998 unbeaten streak record. Conversely, Molde ruined Rosenborg's march for the double with a 5–0 win at Aker Stadion in the quarter-final of 2009 Norwegian Cup. In the final, Molde met their local rivals Aalesunds FK, but Aalesund won the Norwegian Championship on penalty shoot-out.
After only 20 points during the first 22 matches in the 2010 Tippeligaen, Kjell Jonevret was sacked and replaced by Uwe Rösler. Under Rösler, Molde collected 20 points in the last eight matches and avoided relegation. Despite the poor performance by the team, Baye Djiby Fall, who spent the season on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow, became the first Molde player since Jan Fuglset in 1976 to be the top goalscorer in Eliteserien.
Prior to the club's 100-year anniversary in 2011, former Molde and Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjær returned to Molde to manage the club. In the opening match of 2011 Tippeligaen, his first competitive match, Molde lost 3–0 away against newly promoted Sarpsborg 08. On 19 June 2011, Molde celebrated their anniversary with a 2–0 win against Sogndal and positioned themselves at the top of the league table. Molde was leading the league until they eventually won their first championship on 30 October 2011, when Rosenborg, the only team that could mathematically have still beaten them to first place with two matches remaining, lost 6–3 at home to Brann.
Molde successfully defended their title in 2012 by beating Hønefoss 1–0 on 11 November, with one match remaining in the season.
Although Molde could only finish sixth behind champions Strømgodset in the 2013 Tippeligaen, they defeated Rosenborg 4–2 in the 2013 Norwegian Cup final on 24 November to win the Norwegian Cup for the third time in their history.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær left the club to sign for Premier League side Cardiff City on 2 January 2014. Under new manager Tor Ole Skullerud, Molde won their first domestic league and cup double in 2014, however Skullerud was fired in August 2015 due to a run of mediocre results and Solskjær (whose run at Cardiff lasted just nine months) was brought back to the team. On 19 December 2018 Solskjær left the club to join Manchester United as caretaker manager, with club director Øystein Neerland stating that Solskjær left on a loan deal for the remainder of the season. However, Solskjær was signed permanently by Manchester United in March 2019 and Molde's caretaker manager Erling Moe got the manager job on a permanent basis on 29 April. Moe led Molde to their fourth league title in his first full season in charge.
Molde's current stadium is the Aker Stadion, formerly known as Molde Stadion, located at Reknes, by the seashore of central Molde. The 212 million kr cost was mostly paid for by investor Kjell Inge Røkke, after whom the ground has been nicknamed "Røkkeløkka". The official name of the new stadium was Molde Stadion until 3 May 2006, when the stadium name changed to Aker Stadion following a sponsorship deal with Røkke's company Aker. The stadium was inaugurated on 18 April 1998, when the stadium was officially opened by Prime Minister and Molde fan Kjell Magne Bondevik. In the opening match, Molde defeated Lillestrøm 4–0 in their first home match of the season, attracting 13,010 spectators. Tommy Berntsen scored the first goal on Aker Stadion with an own goal, while Daniel Berg Hestad was the first Molde player to score a goal at the new stadium. The all-time attendance record was set on 26 September when Molde hosted Rosenborg in front of 13,308 people. When Molde qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League group stage, the stadium was converted to an all-seater, with seats being installed on the lower sections of the short end stands. This reduced the attendance capacity permanently because the club chose not to remove the seats afterwards. Today the capacity of Aker Stadion is 11,249.
Before moving to Aker Stadion in the beginning of the 1998 season, Molde had been playing their home matches at Molde Idrettspark (at the time called Molde stadion), a municipal-owned multi-use venue, since 1955. Molde Idrettspark was inaugurated on 28 August 1955, when Kristiansund was defeated 1–0. About 2,500 spectators attended the inaugural match. The first top-tier league match was played here on 28 July 1957, when Molde managed a 1–1 draw against Sandefjord in the first round of 1957–58 Norwegian Main League. When Molde earned a promotion to the 1974 1. divisjon, the main stand was expanded. The unsurpassed record attendance at Molde Idrettspark is 14,615 in a match against Moss in 1987. Today, Molde Idrettspark is used by Træff and Molde 2.
Molde's supporter club is Tornekrattet (English: "The thicket of thorns"). The name Tornekrattet is a reference to the city's nickname "Rosenes by" (English: "The Town of Roses") and was founded after the 1994 Norwegian Football Cup Final victory.
The rivalry with Rosenborg arises from the numerous times the two teams have battled for the Eliteserien title. With 29 titles between them, this fixture has become known as one of the finest Eliteserien match-ups.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For season transfers, see 2019 Molde FK season.
Players on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
All current players are in bold
Most matches played
Most goals scored
Player of the season
|2011||Espen Bugge Pettersen||Goalkeeper||RB-kruset|
|2012||Magnus Wolff Eikrem||Midfielder||RB-kruset|
|2013||Martin Linnes||Defender||Decided by Molde players and staff|
|2016||Ruben Gabrielsen||Defender||Vote on club website|
|2017||Björn Sigurðarson||Forward||Decided by Molde players and staff|
|2019||Magnus Wolff Eikrem||Midfielder||RB-kruset|
|Chairman||Odd Ivar Moen|
|Managing director||Øystein Neerland|
|Finance Manager||Ole Jakob Strandhagen|
|Marketing director||Oddvar Talset|
|Media officer and Match day director||Per Lianes|
|First team coach|
|First team goalkeeping coach|
Medical and sport science staff
- First tier
- Second tier
- 1. divisjon
- Winners (3): 1937–38, 1938–39, 1948–49
- Landsdelsserien (Møre)
- 2. divisjon/1. divisjon
- Third tier
- 3. divisjon (Møre)
- Winners (2): 1969, 1970
- League and Cup: 2014
|Most matches||Daniel Berg Hestad 666 (900 in total)|
|Most goals||Jan Fuglset 164|
|Most goals scored in a league game||6, Jan Fuglset v Strømsgodset in 1976|
|Longest unbeaten run||24 games in 2014|
|Greatest victory in Eliteserien||8–0 v Moss in 1996|
|Heaviest loss in Eliteserien||0–8 v Stabæk in 2006|
The following is a list of the all-time statistics from Molde's games in the three UEFA tournaments the club has participated in, as well as the overall total. The list contains the tournament, the number of games played (P), won (W), drawn (D) and lost (L). The number of goals scored (GF), goals against (GA), goal difference (GD) and the percentage of matches won (Win%). The statistics include qualification matches and is up to date as of the match against Partizan on 29 August 2019.
- As of 29 August 2019
|Europa League / UEFA Cup||66||24||16||26||89||88||+1||36.36|
|Cup Winners' Cup||4||1||1||2||5||8||−3||25.00|
List of Molde managers
History of league positions (since 1963)
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
- 1. divisjon was the name of the top tier of Norwegian league football from 1963 until 1990. The top tier changed its name to the sponsor-affiliated name Tippeligaen ahead of the 1990 season. The second tier formerly known as 2. divisjon inherited the name 1. divisjon ahead of the 1991 season. The third tier, formerly known as 3. divisjon was named 2. divisjon ahead of the 1991 season and the names of all the lower divisions were adjusted accordingly. Effecting 2017, the top tier is named Eliteserien.
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