International caps: 97
Erik Thorstvedt started his football career playing for Madla, an amateur team located in Stavanger, playing in the lower divisions in Norway. In 1980 he went to Viking FK, also in Stavanger, but in the top division. From Viking, Erik then moved to have a spell at Eik FK from 82 to 83, before moving back to Stavanger, where he played for Viking again from 84 to 85.
By now, Erik was Norway's no. 1 choice as goalkeeper, after making his U-19 debut in 1980, his U-21 debut in 1982 and his full national team debut also in 1982.
In 1986 Erik Thorstvedt got his first chance as a professional football player at Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany, where he unfortunately did not achieve much success even though his team came 3rd and 4th in the league. In his two years at the German club, Erik only played twelve games.
In 1987, Thorstvedt moved to Sweden, to join IFK Göteborg. Although he wasn't one of the players in that team who picked up a UEFA cup-winner medal, he had a quite successful stint there, and catched the eye of Tottenham's manager at the time, Terry Venables. In December'88, Tottenham Hotspur bought Erik Thorstvedt from IFK Göteborg for £400,000, and Erik immidiately got the nickname "Erik the Viking".
It didn't start out too well for Erik at Tottenham though, the day after Thorstvedt's debut for Tottenham on January 15th 1988, the English media renamed him from "Erik the Viking" to "Soapie". Nigel Clough got on the score-sheet for Nottingham Forest, after his weak shot slipped out of Erik's hands and into the goal.
However, things were looking up, maybe partly because the other goalkeeper at the club, Bobby Mimms, also had a tendency to make a mistake or ten. So Thorstvedt kept the no.1 jersey, and the next season he played all games when not injured. In 1991, Erik Thorstvedt and Tottenham Hotspur won the FA Cup, beating Nottingham Forest 2-1. Erik the Viking became the first Norwegian to win anything in the English League, and got his revenge on Forest, who made his debut a bit of a nightmare.
Later, Erik was challenged for the goalkeeping position by Ian Walker, who started his career in Tottenham as a trainee. Walker was touted to be one of the future England goalkeepers, and because of Erik's increasing trouble with injuries, Ian Walker eventually became first choice in Tottenham's goal. Walker has to this day only 3 international caps, which somehow fades compared to Erik's impressive 97 caps.
Another high-point of Erik Thorstvedt's career was playing in the '94 World Cup for Norway. Even though Norway did not qualify from the group stage, they did win 1-0 against Mexico and played a 0-0 draw with Ireland, but a 0-1 loss to Italy meant that Norway was out. Many still remember Thorstvedt as Norway's best player at the '94 World Cup, and his many incredible saves, especially against Italy, was partly the reason for him getting voted into the top ten of the world's best goalkeepers in 1994.
When Erik decided to quit Spurs aged 34, it was mainly because of injuries, as he was still a very good goalkeeper when able to play. He returned to Norway, to his old club Viking FK, where he had a director position for two years (97-98). Today, Erik Thorstvedt is a goalkeeping coach for the Norwegian national team.
Caps: 97 (W34-D35-L28 - GF119-GA83)
Age First Cap: 20 yr 16 d 13.11.1982 vs Kuwait (0-1)
Age Last Cap: 33 yr 151 d 27.03.1996 vs N. Ireland (2-0)
National Team Career : 13 yr 135 d
Madla (- 1979)
Viking FK (1980 - 1981)
Eik FK (1982 - 1983)
Viking FK (1984 - 1985)
Borussia Mönchengladbach (1986-1987)
IFK Göteborg (1987 - 1988)
Tottenham Hotspur (1988 - 1996) 173 league matches