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Norwegian legend Hege Riise tabbed as next head coach of Norway

Hege Riise is the next manager for Norway. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Hege Riise has been tabbed as the next head coach of the Norwegian women’s national team, the Norwegian Football Association announced on Wednesday.

“Being able to lead Norway’s A national team is the greatest,” said Riise in a release. “I am proud and happy to be trusted to lead the team. I am really looking forward to taking on the challenge.”

She replaces Martin Sjögren, who stepped down from the position following Norway’s early exit from Euros, during which the team lost 8-0 to eventual champions England.

A former midfielder for Norway, she was named world player of the year in 1995 and won an Olympic gold medal, World Cup and European Championship during her time with Norway. Through 188 international appearances – which still ranks as the most all-time in Norwegian national team history – she notched 58 goals.

She was named the best Norwegian female footballer of all-time in 2003.

Following her playing career, Riise took up coaching. She coached in the Norwegian league with LSK Kvinner, winning six consecutive titles until 2017.

An assistant coach for the USWNT from 2009 until 2012, she helped guide the team to a World Cup final appearance in 2011 and Olympic gold in 2012. Following Phil Neville’s departure in January 2021, Riise served as interim head coach of the Lionesses, who later hired Sarina Wiegman. She led the team during the Tokyo Olympics, leading them to a Group E win and a knockout round appearance.

“We are proud to be able to present a new national team manager who can boast incredible results both as a player and coach, and who knows better than anyone the competition that meets us out there,” said Norwegian FA president Lise Klaveness.

Following her departure from England, Riise took over as the U19 coach for Norway. She will now lead the senior team for the first time, helping to prepare the team for World Cup qualification in September.

“It will be hectic, but we will use the time now to prepare for the first matches,” said Riise. “Everyone understands what those games mean. Our starting point is good with group leadership and I expect that there will be a group eager for revenge after the [European Championship exit]. As I understand it, there is still a good atmosphere in the player group.”

She will be joined by Monica Knudsen and Ingvild Stensland as assistant coaches. Jon Knudsen will step in as the goalkeeper coach.