One of the greatest football personalities in Norwegian history fell asleep quietly on Wednesday night. Rosenborg legend Nils Arne Eggen turned 80 years old.
1 of 7Photo: Bjørn S. Delebekk / VG
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Rosenborg states this their websites Wednesday morning.
It was with sorrow that Rosenborg today received the message that the club’s greatest legend is dead, the club writes.
They further write that the coaching legend fell asleep quietly on Wednesday night.
Trøndelag’s football ideologue has had health challenges in recent years, including amputating both feet. Now he is dead and will be remembered as the best club coach of all time in Norwegian football.
– He was a firework of mood and energy. I have had a long life with Nils Arne since we started as players at Vålerenga, where we drove in his Mini from Blindern to Valle to train, says Egil “Drillo” Olsen to VG.
Protocol: Send your greetings to Eggen here
Recent years have been marked by illness and loss of close family members. In an interview with VG in September last year he talked about the losses, the illness, the memory loss and the lonely days.
Eggen has, among other things, told about the kidney transplant in 2015, amputation of the right foot in 2018 and the left foot in 2019.
– Not everyone gets the chance to learn to walk twice, Eggen said when VG interviewed him in the autumn of 2021.
His wife Karin died of cancer in 2011. In February the following year, Nils Arne Eggen also had to accompany his own son Knut Torbjørn to the grave. The son was both a player (under his father) in Rosenborg and was later sports director. Eggen junior also inherited the coaching qualities and led Fredrikstad to the Eliteserien in 2003. He was the U-national team coach when he died at the age of 51.
Already in his teens, Nils Arne Eggen experienced losing someone from the inner circle. His brother Torbjørn drowned in 1957.
– I’m not afraid to die. But I am more happy to live, he said in the interview with VG last autumn.
Nils Arne Eggen was the mainstay when Rosenborg built his superb position from 1960. First as a player, then as a coach. From 1988 he led the club until 2002, only interrupted by a small “sabbatical year” in 1998.
During this period, Rosenborg won the series 13 times and participated in the Champions League eight times. The highlight came in the spring of 1997, when Rosenborg was in the quarterfinals and thus one of only eight remaining teams in Europe’s most generous club tournament.
On the way there, they beat Milan at the San Siro and advanced from the group stage at the expense of the Italian giant. Three years later, they played Dortmund in Germany and won 3-0 in what Eggen has always described as his strongest Rosenborg vintage. On the 1999 team, types such as Erik Hoftun, Bent Skammelsrud, Ørjan Berg, Roar Strand, John Carew and Jan-Derek Sørensen dominated.
After being knocked out of Lerkendal after the 11th league gold, Eggen became a kind of pensioner.
But in the summer of 2010 he made a comeback and was a substitute coach for the rest of the year when Erik Hamrén was brought home to Sweden as national team manager. It ended with new league gold and a new European Cup ticket, now in the Europa League. As a coach, he won a total of 25 titles in Norway. Moss also won a sensational league gold in 1987. Østfoldingene was newly promoted.
Then he started what was to be an incomparable triumph with Rosenborg.
As a player, Eggen was never as dominant. But he came from the childhood club Orkdal in 1960 and won the cup the same year. Eggen also won three league golds, two for RBK and one for Vålerenga. He won 29 international matches for Norway. Eggen was also national team manager together with Kjell Schou-Andreassen from 1974-1977 and also led the so-called “Olympic national team” in the second half of the 1980s.