Norway turn to ex-Iceland boss Lagerbäck to ignite campaign

Norway, fifth in their FIFA World Cup qualifying group, have appointed the experienced Lars Lagerbäck as coach. "This is a challenge that really motivates me," said the 68-year-old.

Lars Lagerbäck (Iceland)
©Getty Images

Lars Lagerbäck, so instrumental in Iceland's remarkable run to the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-finals, has been appointed coach of Norway.

The Football Association of Norway (NFF) confirmed the news at a press conference on Wednesday. The 68-year-old, who made his name with the Swedish national team and has also coached Nigeria, has signed a contract until 2019.

Norway are fifth in Group C of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, nine points adrift of leaders Germany but just four behind Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.

"This is a challenge that really motivates me," he said. "Results so far in the World Cup qualifiers have not been good so we must be frank about where we are. However, I see the potential in this team." Lagerbäck's first assignment will be in Belfast on 26 March.

Lagerbäck took Sweden to five major tournaments, but one of his finest achievements came last summer when, as joint coach alongside Heimir Hallgrímsson, he helped Iceland to the last eight of UEFA EURO 2016, masterminding a memorable 2-1 defeat of England along the way.

EURO 2016 highlights: England 1-2 Iceland
Watch highlights of Iceland's memorable win against England at UEFA EURO 2016