3 Bodo/Glimt stars for Celtic to watch as Europa Conference League rivals launch their own ‘Angel Ball’


They may have originated in the frozen Arctic Circle, but Bodo/Glimt are one of the hottest properties in football right now.

And the Norwegians are ready to step up the pressure on Celtic in the Europa Conference League next month, reports Michael Gannon from Spain.

Hoops fans reacted with a sigh of relief or a shrug when they were drawn with the champions from Norway.

But they should rather be wary.

Punters may not have heard much about this side of frigid northern Norway, but the rest of Europe has taken notice.

The club comes from the city of Bodo and Glimt, which translates to Flash – but there is nothing flashy about this team.

They managed to rise through the ranks in Norway and then win the title twice against all odds, and they did it with transplant in mind.

And think differently.

Kjetil Knutsen and his team turned heads in Europe


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Coach Kjetil Knutsen plays down his own role, but he turned the Norwegian club into champions – and sent shockwaves across Europe when his side crushed Jose Mourinho’s Roma 6-1 in the Europa League.

Knutsen – who was on Rangers’ radar before Ibrox chiefs signed Gio van Bronckhorst – said: “At Bodo we have our own DNA, we have our own style and we always play the same way at home. house and outside.

“We play Glimt football.”

But what is Glimt football? There was a glimpse of that in Spain yesterday, as Bodo kicked off his pre-season preparations against Dynamo Kyiv.

The knockabout finished 1-1 but the Norwegians looked the stronger. Both goals came from a corner.

Bodo took the lead when Nigerian Victor Boniface nodded as the Kyiv keeper flapped.

But they didn’t look so smart from a free kick when the Ukrainians equalized before the break.

Glimt looked rather sharp for a team in their first round of pre-season – their campaign only starting in April.

They came back early to prepare for the Celts and there were signs it would be a tough tie for the Hoops.

There is also a similar look on this side. Glimt Football looks a lot like Ange Ball.

Bodo is similar in shape to the Celts. It’s 4-3-3 and the players need to work their socks off.

The front three do a lot of chasing to soften rivals for the midfielder to push and pinch the ball.

Kyiv tried to play from the back and sometimes got harassed in their own penalty area.

A few times defenders panicked and took the ball out for corner kicks.

They are quick and strong, and they have a lot of height in the team as well. They score a ton of goals in their homeland. They scored 103 goals in 30 games when they won their first title and followed that up with another blow when they retained their crown against overwhelming odds.

Bodo was hailed as Leicester City history when they won the Championship, but unlike the English side, they managed to do it again.

Despite selling off some of their heavy hitters. The players change but the style remains.

It’s quite intense and – like Celtic – it can feel chaotic at times.

But everything is meticulously planned.

Bodo plays differently than anyone in Norway. They act differently too.

They are big on stats and use similar metrics to Brentford in the EPL. They have a former Air Force pilot who is their mental coach and he leads training sessions.

They are extremely proud of their roots in northern Norway – and have an unspoken rule that local players must play at least 35% of league minutes.

Bodo raised his eyebrows – and they raised trophies.

Three to watch

Ulrik Saltnes

The captain makes Bodo wince. He is strong, fast and good with the ball. He dictates the pressing and sucks up loose balls as they come his way.

Salt is reborn in Bodo under Knutsen. He was disappointed with the game but started doing sessions with a former pilot and has been flying ever since.

He’s even more of a key man now after several stars left earlier this month.

Elias Hagen

The 22-year-old has become one of the best talents in Glimt’s successful side and the midfielder brings a lot of energy to the team.

It’s Hagen who does a lot of running and he backs up front players by bursting into the box.

He can also choose a pass. The player rarely kicks the ball sideways or backwards, it’s always direct and often down the hall.

It is also essential for chasing players and recovering the ball in high areas of the pitch.

Runar Espejord

The striker has been out of injury for Kiev, but there are a lot on his shoulders after Erik Botheim’s departure to Krasnodar.

The leader may have to win over punters who have risen through the ranks at bitter rivals Tromso.

He also had a spell in Holland with Herenveen and is expected to lead the line when they face Celtic.

The former Norway Under-21 cap is big and fast, and the Celts will need to be on their toes.

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