Rosenborg BK have been crowned Norwegian champions for the 21st time, the unbeaten Trondheim outfit securing the title with four games to spare by beating nearest rivals Molde FK 2-0 away from home courtesy of goals by Steffen Iversen and Trond Olsen.
Before the season, pundits were sure that Rosenborg would be the side to beat despite failing to impress in 2007 and 2008 and they were proved right. The Trondheim side have in many ways returned to the way they dominated Norwegian football in the 1990s, winning the league at a canter by bringing in Erik Hamrén as coach and adding quality players like Rade Prica and Trond Olsen to their squad.
Rosenborg took 13 league titles in a row between 1992 and 2004, and former coach Nils Arne Eggen says the current side has the ability to repeat that feat. "The team went through a phase of rebuilding but now they are back to their best," he said. "I can see this side having much success in the future." Only six of the players that secured the championship in 2006 remain and the new breed, including the talents of Vadim Demidov, Anthony Annan and goalkeeper Rune Jarstein, have flourished in the revamped team.
The two dampeners to the jubilation were the two defeats that blighted this season for the Rosenborg supporters. Molde beat their rivals 5-0 in the quarter-final of the Norwegian Cup while the 1-0 aggregate defeat by Azerbaijani side FK Qarabağ in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League was highly disappointing, although they will have the chance to put that right when they return to European competition next autumn.
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