***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is a little over one moon away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Norway, which has qualified for the World Cup twice.
Taking a hygge approach to the World Cup
Nickname: Løvene (The Lions)
FIFA Ranking: 78 (October 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Netherlands, Turkey, above Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Norwegian hygge is characterised as a feeling of slowness, cosiness, conviviality, contemplation, comfort and contentment with not complicating things and living life simply. While Norwegians themselves value the minimalistic hygge as a key element that guides their wellbeing, the Norway national team also seen it as an appropriate approach to World Cup qualifying, particularly over these past 24 barren years.
With just three World Cup appearances in its history, Norway favours a more tranquil approach to qualifying. A one-and-done elimination at the hands of Italy from the 1938 World Cup, an impressive but ultimately fruitless attempt at USA 94 and then a memorable trip to France 98–where they defeated the defending champions Brazil before a toothless elimination at the hands of Italy in the round of 16 (see below)–are all Norway has to show for their World Cup efforts. But the thing is, Norway’s okay with that. Norway’s got a warm fire going, with plenty of firewood (with the bark facing down), it’s got shelter, a hot cup of tea, it’s got a fishing rod, and it’s got each other, and that’s all it needs.
A life of hygge has maintained Norway’s low-key balance over the years, except for when it comes to Brazil, that is. As un-low-key as it comes, Norway is the only team in the world that has played against Brazil and is undefeated, with two draws and win in friendlies and a defeat of the five-time World Cup champion at the 1998 World Cup. But that’s a little too glamorous, so slow it down, Norway, and let’s get back to just being. Just be, Norway, just be.
While Norway seems content with the hygge lifestyle of warmth, shelter and sustenance, worryingly it does have a rampaging superstar named Erling Haaland who is upsetting the hygge, burning up and down the pitch at a billion km/h, lighting up defences anywhere and everywhere and blasting rockets into top corners, so Norway might have to leave the cosiness of its hut and make a schlep back to the noise, commotion and unnecessary business of the World Cup in the not too distant future.
(The only) One to watch: Subwoolfer – Give that Wolf a Banana
Once upon a time, the big bang occurred, and it was for one reason and one reason only: to eventually give rise to this song. In fact, in the entire history of the universe there have been just three events: 1) the big bang, 2) the formation of Subwoolfer “4.5 billion years ago on the Moon”, the arrival of the Subwoolfer, the “most successful band in their galaxy”, on earth and then ultimately 3) this song.
So when you’re feeling down, know that whatever has happened to has probably happened a thousand times before, you are just a speck of dust in context of everything, and then just stop, breathe, and cherish the fact that you are alive and can therefore can experience the most wondrous creation in the 13.8 billion year history of the universe–this song:
The Highpoint: Round of 16, 1998 World Cup
After a pair of solid draws with Scotland and Morocco and then a mindblowing but controversial win against Brazil that won them a ticket to the round of sixteen, Norway’s 1-0 exit from the World Cup at the hands of Italy was pretty lame. While the Norwegians had already exceeded expectations by advancing past the group stage, its effort against Italy was lame. So lame. But here’s at least some tolerable funk muzak to make it seem less lame:
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
17 Nov 2022
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 🇮🇪 x 🇳🇴 NORWAY
20 Nov 2022
NORWAY 🇳🇴 x 🇫🇮 FINLAND