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Espen Baardsen
Personal information
Full name Espen Baardsen
Date of birth December 7, 1977 (1977-12-07) (age 32)
Place of birth    San Rafael, United States
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1995–1996 San Francisco United All Blacks
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Tottenham Hotspur
23 (0)
41 (0)
01 (0)
65 (0)   
National team2
1998–2000 Norway 04 (0)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 26 November 2007.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 26 November 2007.
* Appearances (Goals)

Espen Baardsen (born 7 December 1977 in San Rafael, California, USA) is a former footballer. He played as a goalkeeper. Born in the United States to Norwegian parents, he was selected for the USA under-18 national team before switching his international eligibility to Norway because of his dual nationality.


Club career

In 1995 Baardsen was spotted by English team Tottenham Hotspur while he was playing for the San Francisco United All Blacks of the USISL.[1] Tottenham offered him a contract. He made his debut for the team in the spring of 1997 against Liverpool at Anfield. Despite good performances, including a 0–0 draw away to rivals Arsenal, he was unable to become the team's first-choice keeper. Baardsen won the Worthington Cup with Spurs in 1999.

In 2000 Baardsen was signed by Watford for £1.25 million to get regular first-team football. However, towards the end of the 2000–01 season he lost his place in the team to veteran Alec Chamberlain. Although he returned to the side under new manager Gianluca Vialli in 2001–02, he was again displaced by Chamberlain.

In 2002, he went on a short loan spell to Everton. In his sole game for the club he conceded 4 goals in a 4–3 loss to his former club Tottenham Hotspur. Baardsen retired from the game aged only 25 and went travelling around the world for a year, claiming he had lost interest in the game. He is currently a partner and fund manager for Eclectica Asset Management, a London-based asset management company.He is a frequent guest on the business television network, CNBC.[2]

International career

At international level, Baardsen played more than 20 matches for the Norwegian Under-21 team, and also won four caps for the senior national team. Baardsen won a bronze medal in the European Under-21 Championship held in Romania in 1998 during which he received the 'Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament' award. He made his debut for Norway in a September 1998 European Championship qualifying match against Latvia. Before that match, he was already part of Norway's 1998 World Cup squad as third-choice goalkeeper. This was despite the fact that he has never lived in Norway in his entire life. His last international match was a January 2000 friendly game against Iceland.


  1. ^ Everton Goalkeepers
  2. ^ Chris Bevan, Were you there...?, BBC Sport, 15 February 2007, accessed 18 February 2007

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