Bente Nordby

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Bente Nordby
Personal information
Full nameBente Nordby
Date of birth (1974-07-23) 23 July 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Gjøvik, Norway
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
0000–1995 Sprint-Jeløy
1996–2000 Athene Moss
2001 Carolina Courage 10 (0)
2001 San Diego Spirit 4 (0)
2002–2004 Kolbotn IL (0)
2005 Asker FK 47 (0)
2006–2007 Djurgårdens IF [lower-alpha 1] 31 (0)
2008–2009 Olympique Lyonnais 10 (0)
National team
1991–2007 Norway 172 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 10 December 2007

Bente Nordby (born 23 July 1974) is a former Norwegian football goalkeeper, who last played for Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, France. She played with the Norway women's national football team from 1991 to 2007.

Association football Team field sport played between two teams of eleven players with spherical ball

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.



Nordby is the second-most capped player ever for Norway with 172 international appearances. [1] Only Hege Riise has more, with 188. [2] She appeared in the first five FIFA Women's World Cups, an achievement that only U.S. player Kristine Lilly shares. Nordby is also the second most-capped international women's goalkeeper of all time.

FIFA Womens World Cup Association football competition for womens national teams

The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's international governing body. The competition has been held every four years since 1991, when the inaugural tournament, then called the FIFA Women's World Championship, was held in China. The tournament's current format, national teams vie for 23 slots in a three-year qualification phase. The host nation's team is automatically entered as the 24th slot. The tournament proper, alternatively called the World Cup Finals, is contested at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about one month.

United States womens national soccer team Womens national association football team representing the United States

The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF.

Kristine Lilly soccer player

Kristine Marie Lilly Heavey, née Kristine Marie Lilly, is a retired American soccer player who last played professionally for Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Football (WPS). She was a member of the United States women's national football team for 23 years and is the most capped football player in the history of the sport gaining her 352nd and final cap against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. Lilly scored 130 goals for the United States women's national team, behind Mia Hamm's 158 goals, and Abby Wambach's 184.

On 24 January 2008 Nordby announced her retirement from the national team. [3]

Club career

A native of Gjøvik, Bente Nordby began her club career with Raufoss/Vind. She later joined SK Sprint-Jeløy of Norway's Toppserien where she played until the end of the 1995 season. Ahead of the 1996 season, the team Sprint-Jeløy was replaced by Athene Moss, where she played until 2000.

Gjøvik Municipality in Oppland, Norway

Gjøvik  is a town and a municipality in Oppland county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Gjøvik.

SK Sprint-Jeløy

Sportsklubben Sprint-Jeløy is a Norwegian football club from Jeløya in Moss. The club was founded in 1926 when both Jeløy IF and SK Sprint was formed. The two clubs merged into Sportsklubben Sprint-Jeløy on 11 October 1940.

The Toppserien is the top level of women's association football in Norway. It was founded in 1984.

Nordby, paired with fellow Norwegian Hege Riise, was the first pick in the 30 October 2000 WUSA Foreign Player Allocation Draft, having been chosen by the Carolina Courage. [4]

Hege Riise is a retired female footballer from Norway.

Womens United Soccer Association professional soccer league

The Women's United Soccer Association, often abbreviated to the WUSA, was the world's first women's soccer league in which all the players were paid as professionals. Founded in February 2000, the league began its first season in April 2001 with eight teams in the United States. The league suspended operations on September 15, 2003, shortly after the end of its third season, after making cumulative losses of around US$100 million.

Carolina Courage

Carolina Courage was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Fetzer Field on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 2001, and then at the soccer-specific SAS Stadium in Cary, North Carolina in 2002 and 2003.

Nordby played the first half of the 2001 season for the Courage, but was later traded to the San Diego Spirit. In July 2001, the Spirit released Nordby due to the league's salary cap. In total, she played 14 matches of a 21-match season for the two clubs, earning a 1.73 Goals Against Average for the season. [5]

San Diego Spirit

The San Diego Spirit was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego in San Diego, California. The team began play in 2001. The league announced on September 15, 2003 it was suspending operations.

After returning to Norway, Nordby joined Kolbotn in 2002, where she went on to win the Norway league that same year. She continued to play with Kolbotn until the end of the 2004 season. She then signed with Asker FK in December 2005. While playing with Asker, she won the Norwegian Cup in 2005, her only time with the club.

In early 2006, Nordby signed a 2-year contract with Djurgården/Älvsjö in Sweden's Damallsvenskan league. In 2007, Nordby won the Damallsvenskan Goalkeeper of the Year Award. [6]

On 27 November 2007, it was announced that Nordby would be signing an 18-month contract with Olympique Lyonnais as cover for their regular goalkeeper, Véronique Pons, who was out with a long-term injury.

In June 2009 the Norway national team trainer Bjarne Berntsen announced that Bente Nordby had retired from Olympique Lyonnaise and would not be joining Norway's squad for the 2009 European Cup tournament. After retiring she joined Lillestrøm SK as the team's goalkeeper coach. [7]

International career

Nordby represented only Norway in international competition. She made her debut for the national team on 30 August 1991, in New Britain, Conn. posting a 1-0 shutout against the U.S. [8]

In 1991, Nordby was the national team reserve keeper at the 1991 Women's World Cup in China; Norway won a silver. She was on the squad that won the 1993 European Championship ,and the Algarve Cup in 1994.

Nordby replaced long-time GK Reidun Seth starting goalkeeper in 1995. In the 1995 Women's World Cup, she allowed only one goal in six matches, leading to the first-ever Women's World Cup title for Noray, defeating Germany 2-0.

In 1996 she was on the Bronze medal squad at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Nordby was the starting keeper for Norway as they won the Algarve Cup in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

In the 1999 Women's World Cup, Norway placed fourth overall, having lost to China in the semifinals, 5-0, then to Brazil in the Bronze Medal match.

She was on the Olympic Gold squad at the Sydney Summer Olympics on 28 September 2000.

Nordby retirement from international football in late 2002, then returned when she was named to the roster of the squad for the 2003 Women's World Cup. [9] Despite losing 1-0 to the U.S. in the quarterfinals, Nordby won the Player of the Match Award, after stopping a penalty kick taken by Mia Hamm. Norway finished the tournament seventh overall.

Due to their low placement in the World Cup, Norway failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

In 2005, Nordby was the starting keeper as Norway claimed silver in the European Championships, falling to Germany 3-1 in the finals.

She was named to the FIFA Women's World Stars squad in April 2007, as the starting goalkeeper and co-captain with U.S. player, Kristine Lilly. [10] The match was an exhibition match to open the draw for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China.

At the 2007 Women's World Cup in China, Norway placed fourth in the tournament, losing to the U.S. in the third-place match. After the tournament, Nordby was named to the FIFA All Star Team. [11]

She has also been nominated for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Award in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Nordby's final match for the Norway Women's National Team was on 27 October 2007 in Stavanger, Norway. In that match, Norway defeated Russia 3-0, in a European Championship qualifier. She officially announced her retirement from the national team in January 2008.


Nordby is openly lesbian, coming out in a Se og Hør article in 2005. [12] [13] She currently resides in Lillestrøm with her partner, Dorte Dalum Jensen, a Danish teammate in Olympique Lyonnais. [14]

Her hometown is Raufoss, Norway and she has an older brother and younger sister. [15]




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  1. Bente Nordby profile on the [Football Association of Norway|NFF] website
  2. Hege Riise profile
  3. Sluttspilt for Norge Archived 26 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. 2003 WUSA Media Guide (171)
  5. 2003 WUSA Media Guide (155)
  6. 4. Alla vinnare från Fotbollsgalan
  7. LSK Kvinner
  8. NFF Official Match Report [ permanent dead link ]
  9. Nordby, Steen play 'he said, she said' after opener [ permanent dead link ]
  10. Skippers savour All Star challenge Archived 4 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Marta sweeps the board
  12. Kvamme, Sigve (20 July 2005). "Folk må følge bedre med". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  13. Magali Lehane (16 August 2011). "Bente Nordby" (in French). Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  14. Olsen, Hege (2008). "På tampen i Lyon" (PDF). Blikk (in Norwegian). pp. 14–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  15. 2001 Carolina Courage Media Guide (21)