Who are Dortmund's opponents Odd?
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
As Borussia Dortmund head north, UEFA.com's Eivind Aarre introduces their hosts, with Odd – scorers of the world's longest headed goal – targeting a leap into the group stage.
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Borussia Dortmund will make the journey to Skien to take on Odd in the UEFA Europa League this week; UEFA.com discovers why they are the giants of Norwegian football.
UEFA club competition honours
Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• Norwegian Cup: 12 (2000)
• Formed in 1894 in Skien, which is around 100km south west of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, Odd are named after a mythical Norwegian giant, Örvar-Odd, who was known for his exploits with a bow and arrow. He was said to have had three magic arrows, which always hit their target, and then returned to their owner – one of them is represented on the club's badge.
• Founder members of the Norwegian league in 1914, Odd have never been Norwegian champions – though they were twice runners-up in title play-offs in the 1950s. However, they are masters of the Norwegian Cup, with a record 12 wins – including four in a row from 1903-06. However, they also lost eight finals, and 69 years separated their 11th success from their 12th, in 2000.
• In 1917, a second club was formed under the name Odd, in Trondheim – just shy of 500km north of Skien. They retained that name until they applied for a place in the Norwegian league in 1927, at which point the Football Association of Norway (NFF) insisted that they would have to have a rethink since there was already another Odd in existence. They changed their name to Rosenborg, and went on to win the league title a record 22 times. Rosenborg also beat Dortmund 3-0 in Germany after drawing 2-2 at home in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• Odd's last trophy success was in the 2000 Norwegian Cup, when they came from behind to beat Viking 2-1, a Hannu Tihinen own goal and Christian Flindt Bjerg's strike making the difference. However, they have lost two finals since – to Vålerenga in 2002 and to Molde in 2014.
• Odd played as Odd Grenland for a while – with the name aimed at broadening their appeal across the Grenland region in the south east of Telemark county. Their kit, however, has remained the same throughout: white shirts, black shorts, white socks.
• This is Odd's third season in Europe and their most successful yet; they have made it from the first qualifying round to the UEFA Europa League play-offs under coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo. The have lost only once in six UEFA home games at their Odd Stadium (W3 D2 L1), with Feyenoord – 1-0 in 2004 – the only side to leave victorious.
• Odd's favourite footballing sons include striker Frode Johnsen – a regular scorer at home and in Europe for Rosenborg in the 2000s – and midfielder Tommy Svindal Larsen, who played in Germany with Nürnberg. Meanwhile, Canadian striker Olivier Occéan, who represented German sides Kickers Offenbach, Greuther Fürth, Eintracht Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern, is back for a second spell at Odd.
• Odd's 1.72m-tall midfielder Jone Samuelsen set a world record for the longest-recorded headed goal, scored in a home match against Tromsø on 25 November 2011. With the opposition goalkeeper busy trying to score at the other end, the midfielder returned a clearance with some interest from around 58 metres out. "I could say that I was trying to score, but that would not be true," he admitted. "It was a punt. I didn't see that the ball was going into the goal or that the Tromsø goalkeeper was not there."