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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 7, 2006

Solskjaer earns Norway recall against Brazil

OSLO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Norway coach Aage Hareide has recalled Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to his squad for the prestige Aug. 16 friendly against Brazil.

Hareide included Solskjaer on Monday despite grumbling from United's manager Alex Ferguson that his player, who has spent most of the past three seasons sidelined with injuries, should forget about playing in internationals.

Solskjaer, 33, last played for Norway against Wales in 2004.

He returns for a fixture that has a special appeal for his country as they hold a unique unbeaten record against the world's top-ranked team.

'Norway is unbeaten against Brazil. That's not bad,' Hareide told Reuters.

Norway, who failed to make this year's World Cup and have slipped to 52nd in the FIFA rankings, have two wins and a draw against the five-time world champions.

Norway stunned Brazil with a 2-1 World Cup defeat in France in 1998 towards the end of a golden decade for Norwegian soccer when they briefly were ranked second behind the Brazilians.

They also beat them 4-2 in 1997 and drew 1-1 in 1988, both in friendlies.

'I am very pleased that we can play Brazil because that will set the atmosphere on a higher level than normally in other friendlies,' said Hareide, who will use the game as preparation for his 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign which starts against Hungary on Sept. 2.

He described his squad as 'mixture of very experienced players and youthful enthusiasm.'

It includes veterans such as Charlton Athletic keeper Thomas Myhre, Rosenborg Trondheim striker Steffen Iversen and Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam and newer faces such as Valerenga's Christian Grindheim and Start's Kristofer Haestad.

Brazil's new coach Dunga has named an experimental squad for his debut which includes eight survivors from the World Cup disappointment and eight uncapped players. Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaka and Ronaldo are all absent.

Norway squad:

Goalkeepers - Thomas Myhre (Charlton Athletic), Haakon Opdal (Brann)

Defenders - Erik Hagen (Zenit St. Petersburg), Brede Hangeland (FC Copenhagen), Jon Inge Hoiland (Malmo), Marius Johnsen (Start), Claus Lundekvam (Southampton), Anders Rambekk (Lillestrom), John Arne Riise (Liverpool), Kjetil Waehler (Valerenga)

Midfielders - Martin Andresen (Brann), Christian Grindheim (Valerenga), Kristofer Haestad (Start), Tommy Svindal Larsen (Odd Grenland), Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers), Fredrik Stromstad (Start)

Strikers - Daniel Braaten (Rosenborg Trondheim), John Carew (Lyon), Steffen Iversen (Rosenborg), Sigurd Rushfeldt (Tromso), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United), Ole Martin Aarst (Tromso)

(Additional reporting by Ole-Petter Skonnord)

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