Bodø / Glimt player Marius Lode believes Norwegians do not need to go abroad to get good football entertainment. Now he comes with an appeal to those who talk down Norwegian football.
BODØ (Nettavisen): Bodø / Glimt has had a record-breaking season in 2020. In 17 games in the Eliteserien, they have won 15 games, and scored an incredible 62 goals. Kjetil Knutsen’s crew leads the series with 13 points down to Molde in second place. Many believe it takes almost a miracle for them not to win their first league gold of all time.
And with such impressive achievements also comes a lot of attention. Bodø / Glimt midfielder Marius Lode thinks the interest the yellow-clad get in Norway is good, even though they compete with Norwegian football fans’ enormous interest in the Premier League.
– It is clear that the Premier League is a huge brand, but I also feel that Norwegian football has come out well from this here and that Norwegian football builds brand all the way. The fact that we as a club have managed to get the interest we have this year, I think will help build the brand for Norway and the football we stand for, he says at the press conference before the Europa League qualifier against Zalgiris Vilnius, which is broadcast live on Nettavisen .
The online newspaper Direktesport shows Bodø / Glimt in the Europa League qualification. Get access here
– Thinking that the grass is greener on the other side
He does not think the great interest Norwegians have for the Premier League destroys the Norwegian interest, but admits that he thinks Norwegians think they have to travel abroad to get entertainment.
– Now it’s a bit like we Norwegians think that the grass is greener on the other side and think that we have to travel away to get entertainment, but we often hear that when people have taken the trip to watch a match in the local area then get they themselves a positive experience. Then we can only do what we can to help create increased interest. The Premier League will be here and the Elite Series will be here, and then it’s just a matter of us being able to offer what is best possible here, says Lode.
LIVE Thursday 18.00: Bodø / Glimt – Zalgiris Vilnius in the Europa League
Teammate Morten Konradsen also thinks the interest in Norwegian football has been good this year, and points out that local football has an important role.
– I think the interest in Glimt and the Elite Series has seemed good, even though there has not been an audience present. I also believe that football in Norway has an important role for local players and the local environment. We can only hope that the Premier League does not take too much of that cake there, he says.
Lode then takes the floor, and comes up with an example that Bodø / Glimt’s success may have led to a change.
– I realized that someone had passed the football field here and said that now they would be Jens Petter Hauge, Philip Zinckernagel and Patrick Berg, and not be Messi and Ronaldo. So it is a step in the right direction, says the midfielder.
The online newspaper Direktesport: Watch Bodø / Glimt’s Europa League qualifier against Zalgiris Vilnius
And to those who criticize Norwegian football, Marius Lode has a clear appeal.
– They get to get to the stadium and watch a football match before they sit at home and say that things are always better somewhere else.
Teammate Konradsen believes that the entertainment Norwegian football offers should be reason enough to choose Norwegian football over foreign football.
– I would say it is very good entertainment. Especially us this year have been very entertaining, the 24-year-old thinks.
Comeback for Konradsen
On Thursday night, Bodø / Glimt will meet Zalgiris Vilnius in the Europa League qualifier at Aspmyra. There, Morten Konradsen will make a comeback from the start after a long injury break. Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen confirmed this at the press conference the day before the match.
– I’m fit for fight, was the midfielder’s comment on the comeback.
Winner Bodø / Glimt Thursday’s qualifier match most likely awaits AC Milan at the mighty San Siro. Knutsen does not think the dream of a match against the Italian superpower has affected the players’ focus on the slightly more affordable match against Zalgiris Vilnius.
– No. The group we have now is incredibly good at focusing. They showed that in the fight against Odd. We know what it takes for us to possibly gain new experience and new experiences in Europe. I will be very surprised if the guys are not ready for battle, he says.
Should Bodø / Glimt manage to get all the way to the Europa League, there is a lot of money in the pot. It can mean a lot to Bodø / Glimt, but is not something Knutsen focuses on.
– There are many things that are important in terms of building a club. Finance is one of them. We had a great year in 2019, which provided good income, both in terms of placement in the series and in sales of players. That foundation is important with a view to further developing the club. It is not my or the players’ focus, we focus on what it takes every single day to get better and develop both individual players and teams, says the Bodø / Glimt coach.