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Premier League Cult Icons: Morten Gamst Pedersen

Boasting a wand of a left foot and unrelenting stamina, Norwegian Morten Gamst Pedersen became an iconic figure at Blackburn Rovers across nine years at the club.

Signing for Blackburn from Norwegian outfit Tromso in 2004, Pedersen quickly became admired as one of the top players in the Premier League outside of the traditionally acknowledged top clubs, as a cultured midfielder capable of regularly providing goals and assists for Rovers.

Dubbed the 'Norwegian David Beckham', Pedersen had highlighted blond hair which, alongside his skills, made him stand out on the pitch.
 

Morten Gamst Pedersen In Profile

Place of BirthVadso, Norway
PositionMidfielder
Premier League club(s)Blackburn Rovers
Premier League appearances259
Premier League goals34
Premier League assists39
International caps83
Other notable clubsTromso, Karanukspor, Rosenborg

Journey into football

Born in the municipality of Vadso in the former county of Finnmark in northern Norway, Pedersen represented both Norild and Polarstjernen at youth level before making his first team breakthrough at Eliteserien side Tromso in 2000.

Pedersen made 177 senior appearances for Tromso between 2000 and 2004 before being recruited by Premier League side Blackburn Rovers for just £1.5m to help fill the void left by Damien Duff, who had moved to Chelsea the year before.
 

Style of play

Both technically gifted and incredibly athletic, the early part of Pedersen's Blackburn career saw him operate mostly on the left flank, regularly proving a thorn in the side of opposition defences with his powerful running and masterful left foot.

The Norwegian international quickly became renowned as a player with a penchant for scoring spectacular goals, both from open play and from set piece situations.

As his Blackburn career progressed, Pedersen also began to be deployed in a more central position, with his passing range and football brain allowing him to dictate the tempo of matches,
 

Best Premier League moment

With a range of wonder goals to pick from, Pedersen's thunderous volley against Fulham in August 2005 was particularly memorable in a season in which Blackburn went on to finish sixth in the Premier League and secure qualification for the UEFA Cup.

Getting on the end of a cross from the right from Shefki Kuqi, Pedersen unleashed a hammer of a volley beyond Tony Warner in the Fulham goal to send Blackburn on the way to a 2-1 win at Ewood Park.
 

Blackburn Legacy

Signed for a modest £1.5m, Pedersen was a player who definitely warmed the hearts of Blackburn supporters over his nine-year stay at Ewood Park.

The Norwegian netted some of Rovers' best ever Premier League goals, with a phenomenal highlight reel of strikes from his time in England's top flight.

Achieving four top half finishes in the Premier League during his spell with Blackburn, Pedersen represented the club in the UEFA Cup on two occasions - during 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Pedersen's popularity amongst Blackburn supporters is crystallised to the extent that the Norwegian would likely feature in most Rovers fans' all-time favourite XIs.

The Scandinavian spent one year with Blackburn in the Championship in 2012/13 following the club's relegation from the Premier League before signing for Turkish club Karabukspor, with the Lancashire side yet to have returned to the top flight since Pedersen's departure.
 

Biggest career achievement

Winner of the second tier of Norwegian football with first club Tromso in 2002, Pedersen's most decorated season as a professional arrived in 2015 when he won the domestic double of the Tippeligaen and Norwegian Football Cup with Rosenborg.

Pedersen's longevity with the Norway national team will perhaps be his proudest achievement, however, with the Blackburn icon eighth on his country's all-time appearances list with 83 caps.
 

Did you know?

Pedersen was naturally right-footed as a child, but his father, himself a professional footballer in Norway, instructed him to use his left foot as much as possible.

His reason for this was that there were fewer left-sided players, and that Pedersen would have more opportunity to forge a professional career if he was comfortable using his left foot.

Pedersen's left foot eventually became his predominant one, and is now regarded as one of the most precise and powerful in Premier League history.
 

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