Since then, Molde has generally stayed in the top division and has become one of the nations leading clubs. The club has produced a respectable number of national team players, and players who have gone professional in foreign leagues.

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Molde Fotballklubb is a football club from Molde [ˈmɔlˈdɛ], Norway, that currently plays in the Tippeligaen, the Norwegian top division. Founded on 19 June 1911, Molde was originally known as International. Molde are three-time league champions (2011, 2012, 2014) and four-time Norwegian Cup winners (1994, 2005, 2013, 2014), and have finished 2nd in the league a further seven times. Molde is one of only two Norwegian clubs to have participated in the UEFA Champions League.

After only 20 points during the first 22 matches in the 2010 Tippeligaen, Kjell Jonevret was fired and replaced by Uwe Rösler.[42] With Rösler as the head coach, Molde collected 20 points in the last 8 matches and avoided relegation.[43] Despite the poor performance by the team, Baye Djiby Fall who spent the season on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow, became the first Molde-player since Jan Fuglset in 1976 to be the top goalscorer in Tippeligaen.[44]

Molde played their second cup final in 1989. The first match against Viking ended in a 2–2 draw, and the subsequent replay was won 2–1 by Viking.[12]

The following is a list of the ten Molde players with the most appearances in the top league.[64]

Sensation lors des 16es de finale aller de la C3 : Manchester United a été battu à Midtjylland (1-2). Dans les autres matches, Dortmund a notamment pris une belle option contre le FC Porto (2-0), tandis que Naples a perdu à Villarreal (0-1).

During the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, Molde was the second best team in Norway (behind 13-times in a row champions Rosenborg), with league silver medals in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2002 and cup championship in 1994 and 2005, and the participation in the Champions League in the 1999–2000 season, when Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiacos visited Molde.

After the promotion to Tippeligaen, Molde recorded a 5–1 win against Vålerenga on the last day of Moldejazz 2008,[39][40] as well as eliminating Brann from the cup with an impressive 8–0 win at home four days later.[41] Regardless of these strong results, Molde finished ninth in their comeback-season in the top flight.

Its home matches are played at Aker Stadion, which has a maximum capacity of 11,800. The stadium was inaugurated in 1998, and was a gift from the local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten. The club was formerly based at Molde stadion, which hosted the club's record attendance of 14,615. Molde's supporter club is called Tornekrattet ("Thorn bush", a reference to the city's nickname "The Town of Roses") and were started after the 1994 Cup Final victory.[1]

Until the beginning of the 1970s, the club mainly played in local lower division leagues, except for a short visit in the Hovedserien in the 1957–58 season. In 1974 Molde was back in the top division and finished second in the league, and have since then become one of Norway's leading clubs and generally stayed in the top division. Molde also finished second in the league in 1987, when the club lost the championship to Moss in the decisive match of the season.

Molde successfully defended their title in 2012 by beating Hønefoss 1–0, on 11 November, with one game remaining.

Molde also briefly appeared among the championship contestants in 1958, but the league was differently organized at the top levels until 1963.[63]

During the 1995 season, Molde got known for their three strikers Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Arild Stavrum and Ole Bjørn Sundgot. In their first league-match, Molde won 6–0 against Brann in Bergen, with Solskjær scoring two goals, while Stavrum and Sundgot also contributed to one of Brann's biggest losses at home.[19] With six straight wins, Molde stayed in the top two positions of the league throughout the season, but eventually finished second 15 points behind Rosenborg.[20]

In December 2006, Kjell Jonevret became head coach after Stavrum got fired, even though Ove Christensen was their first choice.[38] With Jonevret as coach, Molde won the 2007 First Division and was again promoted to Tippeligaen.

The 1987 season was the closest Molde came to winning the league championship before winning it in 2011, when a draw at home against Moss would have ensured the title. Despite numerous opportunities, Moss won the game 2–0 at Molde stadium, thus winning the league championship, while Molde won their second silver-medals.[11] The attendance of 14,615 set the record at the old Molde stadion.

Although Molde could only finish Sixth behind champions Stromgodset in the 2013 Tippeligaen, they beat Rosenborg 4-2 on November 24 to take the Norwegian Football Cup for the third time in their history (the others were in 1994 and 2005).

Solskjær scored thirty-one goals in forty-two matches for Molde and was sold to Manchester United on 29 July 1996, and Molde finished 8th that season. In 1997, Molde finished 4th in the league, and Erik Brakstad replaced Åge Hareide as coach ahead of the 1998 season.[21] Hareide has since then been in charge of Helsingborg, Brøndby, Rosenborg, Norway, Örgryte, and Viking.

When Molde again was relegated from Norwegian Premier League in 1993, the club was in major economic difficulties following a number of projects, the most notably of which was an extension of the main stand at Molde stadion.[13] The local businessmen Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten started to invest in the club, and have since 1993 invested approximately NOK 500 million on old debts, new players and the new stadium.[14][15][16]

The following is a list of the eleven Molde players who have scored the most top league goals.[65]

In 1982, Molde played in their first cup final, despite being relegated from the 1982 Norwegian First Division. They lost the final at Ullevaal Stadion 3–2 against Brann.[10]

Ole Gunnar Solskjær signed for the Premier League side Cardiff City on January 2, 2014. Under new manager Tor Ole Skullerud Molde won their first domestic league and cup double in 2014, however Skullerud was fired in August 2015 due to a run of mediocre results and Solskjær (whose run at Cardiff lasted just nine months) was brought back to the team.

Between 1978 and 1984, Molde did not play on the same level in two consecutive years. Molde was relegated from the First Division in every even-numbered year, and promoted to the First Division in every odd-numbered year, making it three consecutive promotions and relegations. In fact, Molde and Brann did not play at the same level these years, as Brann were promoted when Molde was relegated and the other way around.[9]

Molde was again the second best team in Norway in 2009 after Rosenborg, who overtook Molde unbeaten record from 1998.[22] Conversely, Molde ruined Rosenborg's march for the double with a 5–0 win at Aker Stadion in the quarter-final of 2009 Norwegian Cup. In the final, Molde met their local rivals Aalesund, but Aalesund won the cup on penalty shoot-out.

Molde

The club was the first professional club of former Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and in November 2010 he returned to manage the club. In his first season as manager, which also was the club's centenary season, Molde won the league championship for the first time. The next season Solskjær and Molde retained the championship. Today the club has approximately 900 members and around 55 teams in three departments.[2]

On 6 November 2000, after the sacking of Erik Brakstad, Gunder Bengtsson was announced head coach for two years.[26] After one season, Bengtsson and his assistant Kalle Björklund was signed for three more years.[27] In 2002, Gunder Bengtsson led Molde to second place in the league, but like when he won the league with Vålerenga in 1983 and 1984, there weren't much enthusiasm around the club's sixth silver medals, because of the defensive tactics and lack of local players.[28]