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The last samurai
By Endre Bakken, 17 July 2006, 00:33

15 minutes of play at the end of the 1-0 victory against Fredrikstad marked the end of exactly six years in Rosenborg for Frode Johnsen.


FAREWELL: The notorious goalgetter was celebrated by his teammates after his last match.

Photo: Thomas Karlsen

Johnsen might become «big in Japan» (09/07/06)

Johnsen, the still active player with the most goals in the Norwegian league signed for Nagoya Grampus Eight on Sunday, and will travel eastwards to play 18 months of well paid football in Japan.

"I had imagined to end my career here in Trondheim when I extended my contract last year, but I simply could not turn down this offer," Johnsen explained.

The excellent header was bought from Odd to replace John Carew in July 2000, and became one of the most popular players in no time at Lerkendal.

"The years have gone by fast. It has been an adventure the whole time, despite the last two seasons not going so well for us at RBK," the 32 year-old said.

The first fall Johnsen scored five goals in six matches in the Champions League, and who could possibly forget the 6-2 win in Bergen in 2001, when he scored a hat-trick and secured the 10th league title in a row? Still, it is a more recent accomplishment he considers his greatest.

"The last league game in 2004 is probably the greatest. I scored three goals against Lyn, all of them needed to win the league title".

Matches/goals for RBK:

League: 145 / 80
Norwegian cup: 23 / 24
European cups: 56 / 13
Royal League: 10 / 5

Total: 234 / 122
Tonight Johnsen got a standing ovation from the stands, when he entered for Roar Strand. He was only a toes length away from scoring a 2-0 goal in the last minutes, but got no goal in his farewell-game. But they still celebrated after the game was over, he was first both carried around the stadium and then walked a round by himself.

After 80 goals in 145 league games in RBK fate has led him to Nagoya, where he will most probably end his career.

"It is very sad to leave Rosenborg. So was warming up for the last time. At the same time I'm heading for an exciting time in Japan, and I'm looking forward to it," Frode Johnsen concluded.


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