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The Opposition Manager - Northern Ireland VS Norway
Opposition Manager: Norway VS Northern Ireland
NORWAY: LARS LAGERBACK
Lars Lagerback took over the Norway reins from Per-Mathias Hogmo in February 2017, a month before his first match – a 2-0 defeat in Northern Ireland.
Lagerback, who managed Sweden for nine years, was appointed during a difficult time for the Norwergians, having failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 tournaments and seen their FIFA ranking plunge to an all-time low of 84th in the world in 2012.
The pragmatic coach was in charge of Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but perhaps his greatest achievement was helping Iceland, with a population of just over 300,000, reach their first major tournament.
At the European Championship finals, Iceland won over the hearts of football fans everywhere by qualifying from their group before producing a huge shock by beating England in the last 16. Iceland’s brave campaign ended at the quarter-final stage against hosts and losing finalists France.
Lagerback's coaching career spans five decades and he has managed at three World Cups in total, including twice with home nation Sweden in 2002 and 2006.