Norway are the only multiple European women's champions other than Germany, and even if their fortunes have dipped in recent years, they have a knack of performing when it matters.
They proved that in 2005 when they upset Sweden in the semi-finals, and again four years later with another surprise of their neighbours, this time in the last eight; they then gave Germany a real scare. In their pomp, Norway were the first Europeans to win the FIFA Women's World Cup in 1995, and the only UEFA Olympic champions five years later, heights they wish to scale again.
Their qualifying campaign was fraught and even a play-off place was in doubt after defeats in Iceland and Northern Ireland. But in 2012, they hit form to pip Iceland with a 2-1 win in the group decider in Oslo. However, the decision was still taken not to renew coach Eli Landsem's contract, which expires at the end of 2012.
Qualifying round: Group 3 winners, P10 W8 D0 L2 F35 A9 Pts24
Ingrid Hjelmseth (goalkeeper, Stabæk FK), Ingvild Stensland (midfielder, Stabæk FK), Solveig Gulbrandsen (Vålerenga FB)
Coach: Even Pellerud
Date of birth: 15 July 1953
Playing career: Vålerenga Fotball, Kongsvinger IL
Coaching career: Kongsvinger IL, Norway (women), Lillestrøm SK, Ikast fS, Canada (women), Trinidad & Tobago (women), Norway (women)
Pellerud's return to the Norway helm in December 2012 takes him back to the role where he had huge success between 1989 and 1996. Having previously led Kongsvinger, where he ended his playing career, Pellerud took Norway to the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup final, losing to the United States in China, and went on from there. Two years later his Norway team won the 1993 UEFA European Women's Championship, the last time Germany did not take the title. And then in 1995 Norway defeated Germany in the World Cup final in Sweden, followed a year later by a bronze medal at the first women's Olympic tournament.
Pellerud then returned to men's club management in Norway and Denmark before in 1999 becoming Canada women's coach. He remained until 2008, finishing fourth at the 2003 World Cup, and though he announced his retirement, Pellerud then took charge of Trinidad & Tobago, notably leading their side on home soil at the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. That role ended in 2012 when he came home to Norway to succeed Eli Landsem.
Qualifying top scorer
Isabell Herlovsen 9
1997: group stage
1984: did not qualify
1995 FIFA Women's World Cup
2000 Olympic gold
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