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Ståle Solbakken
Staale Solbakken 1996.jpg
1996: Solbakken at Lillestrøm.
Personal information
Date of birth 27 February 1968 (1968-02-27) (age 41)
Place of birth    Kongsvinger, Norway
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Club information
Current club F.C. Copenhagen (manager)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Grue I.L.
Lillestrøm S.K.
Wimbledon F.C.
F.C. Copenhagen

100 (35)
099 (34)
006 0(1)
081 (13)
014 0(4)   
National team
1994-2000 Norway 058 0(9)
Teams managed
F.C. Copenhagen

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ståle Solbakken (born 27 February 1968) is a Norwegian football coach and a former player, who is the manager of Danish club F.C. Copenhagen. He played 58 matches and scored nine goals for the Norwegian national team during the end of the 1990s, and represented Norway at the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship tournaments.

His contract with Copenhagen is ending on 30 June 2011, and will not be extended.[1] He will become Norwegian national manager either on 1 January 2012 or after the 2012 European Cup in Ukraine and Poland, depending on whether Norway qualify or not.[2]



He started his career in Norway, playing for lower league team Grue I.L., where he stayed for five years. In 1989, he went to Hamarkameratene in the secondary Norwegian 1st Division, with whom he won promotion for the top-flight Tippeligaen championship in 1991. He went on to Tippeligaen rivals Lillestrøm S.K. in 1994, and was subsequently called up for the Norwegian national team.

He had a short stay abroad at English club Wimbledon F.C. in 1997. In his six league games for Wimbledon, Solbakken scored one goal against West Ham[3] and was twice named "man of the match", but he was banned from club training by manager Joe Kinnear shortly thereafter.

He was sold to Danish side Aalborg BK the same year. At Aalborg, he became the undisputed team leader. He guided the club to the 1999 Danish Superliga championship, as well as the final of the 1999 Danish Cup. He was awarded as player of the year in Danish football in 2000. Solbakken let it be known that he wanted a move to a bigger league, but he was eventually sold to Danish league rivals F.C. Copenhagen. His career ended brutally there (see below).

The next year, Solbakken started his career as a coach at the Norwegian club Hamarkameratene in Norwegian secondary Adeccoligaen division. He had great success at Hamarkameratene, as the club won the league and was promoted the top-flight Tippeligaen. The next season, Solbakken managed Hamarkameratene to a fifth place in the Tippeligaen 2004 season. In late 2005, Solbakken was named as new manager of his former club F.C. Copenhagen (FCK). He managed FCK through to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, after beating Ajax Amsterdam in the final qualifying round on 23 August 2006.

In Denmark, he is best known for speaking an incomprehensible language in an extremely high-pitch voice. On 16 February 2009, Solbakken gave an interview to the Danish newspaper, Ekstra-Bladet. This interview was prior to F.C. Copenhagen's UEFA Cup tie against Manchester City F.C.. In the interview, Solbakken tried to stir things up by claiming that Man City were "destroying football" with their unrealistic ambitions. He was referring to Man City's owners from Abu Dhabi who were willing to pay over £100million to sign Kaka. He said "the amounts of money that has been mentioned are incredible. I think that such incredible sums will take part in destroying football." [4]

On 24 may 2009 he led F.C. Copenhagen to their 7th Championship, and was quoted saying "it was the best one to date".

He was initially linked with the vacant manager position for Celtic Glasgow. The negotiations with the German 1. FC Köln were stopped due to the high expectations of the club which expected a guarantee to become German Champion next season.

Heart attack

During training on 13 March 2001 Solbakken had a heart attack. He was attended to rapidly by the club doctor Frank Odgaard who upon noticing something was very wrong tried to find his pulse and noticed his heart had stopped beating. He asked a player to call an ambulance and to tell them it was critical, whilst he continued to administer cardiac massage. Upon the ambulance arrival, he was pronounced clinically dead at the scene.

Amazingly on the way to the hospital he was revived nearly twelve minutes later in the ambulance. He survived the episode and now has a pacemaker fitted. The heart attack was the result of a previously undetected heart defect.




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