Saturday, May 21

Jaw Eggen full skin – then the trainer lit up

ROUNDED TOGETHER: Bent Skammelsrud and Nils Arne Eggen said goodbye to the Lerkendal audience together in 2002. Skammelsrud himself thought he had a few years left of his career, but resigned when Eggen did not want to continue.

Bent Skammelsrud’s (55) first time with the now deceased Nils Arne Eggen was brutal. Through tough love, an invaluable friendship gradually developed.

– When you came here, I will not say you were psyched down, but you heard where the closet should be. For my part, it was an advantage, because I was quite modest and had the most percentages to get there. Bring out some aggression. And he provoked me until I burst, says Skammelsrud.

Nils Arne Eggen left deep traces in Bent Skammelsrud. However, it took another real blow before they found the tone:

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– For the eighteenth time he was on me and complained about some passes that I myself thought were pretty good. But it was because I beat the man, that I had learned all my life. The passes were to be two meters in front. I clicked and scolded him, and then it became quiet on the training field. He came towards me and I remember thinking “now I’m done, where should I play now?”. But then it was the opposite. The smile came out and he was very happy that I had clicked, illustrates the man who later became Eggen’s captain about the coach’s pedagogical abilities.

The former Rosenborg hero had a close relationship with the coach and in 2018 he wrote a tribute in honor of Eggen in VG. The idea was that people so seldom share praise and kind words about each other for they have passed away.

He’s glad he did today. This week, his former boss – and eventually such a good friend – passed away, knowing that many had appreciated his contribution to their lives.

It was a difficult day, and when the journalists called, the feelings and thoughts about what Nils has meant came to the fore. At the same time, I am very grateful to have gotten to know him and had him as a coach. I got to take part in the adventure that was up here. We were decent football players, but that we should be able to beat the very best in Europe – it almost sounds like an adventure, and that was exactly what it was. The worst thing is that we had faith in it. I smile at how brainwashed we were at that time, Skammelsrud tells VG today.

Deep in the central midfield, Skammelsrud gradually became an essential part of Eggen’s winning machine. Together they won 11 straight league championships between 1992 and 2002 – a breach of the then world record for players.

Eggen and Skammelsrud left at the same time in Rosenborg, after the Champions League match against Lyon in 2002.

– It’s deep inside. It was a sad night for me, because I felt like I had a few years on board. It was a pity that Nils quit, because I would not have quit if he did not, says Skammelsrud, who was not wanted by incoming coach Åge Hareide.

– It was a memorable evening, and I am grateful that I got to join Nils, says the 55-year-old.

THANK YOU FOR US: Eggen and Skammelsrud bow to the Lerkendal audience.

At first Skammelsrud thought it would be nice to let go of the hassle from Eggen every day. One day after he quit, that was what he missed most. “It is strange that you should be so fond of someone who yelled at you for two to four hours every day,” he quotes from another old Rosenborg player, Morten Knutsen.

– He was absolutely extreme in developing the players and the team. It is a fact that several of us were not national team players before we came here, but then we became, says Skammelsrud.

– It’s hard not to take off when you win so much?

– There he was most important of all. We were good at taking care of the moments. It reinforces the team spirit that you celebrate with those you have succeeded with. Afterwards comes everyday life, and that is when the job is done. The dessert, as we called it, was the Champions League, he says.

RBK-LEGENDE: Skammelsrud currently works as a seller of massage chairs.

In Europe, Rosenborg created iconic Norwegian sporting moments, with victories over Real Madrid, Milan and Dortmund.

– We came as a raw product of 70 percent, so he managed to thin out all 100 percent of you. All athletes, and at least footballers, have some percentages that do not show up due to various things. He was a master at squeezing out the “good foot”, Skammelsrud believes.

“Godfoten” is the name of Eggen’s football book and philosophy. A way of thinking Skammelsrud hopes will live on at Lerkendal forever.

– Not only the sports, but there are some postulates and learning rules that we were brought up in, which I think it is important to take further. “It is more important to do good to others than to be good yourself”, there are such things that are in, he believes.

See more statistics for the Elite Series on VG Live.

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