As memorable figures go for Fulham during the early part of the current century, there may not be many who come close to Brede Hangeland.
During a six-and-a-half year spell at Craven Cottage, the towering centre back made 270 appearances in all competitions for Fulham, and was a part of the side that famously took the club to the 2009/10 Europa League final.
Eventually though, Hangeland’s time with the club came to an end following the club’s relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2013/14, when he was released by the club, despite having a year left on his contract at the Cottage.
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Following his departure, Hangeland issued a statement revealing he had been told of his release via email, although Fulham responded by insisting that the defender had been notified of his departure in the correct way.
Never the less, Hangeland would remain in the Premier League, and indeed London, joining Crystal Palace in the summer of 2014.
The Norwegian spent the next two years with Palace, but struggled for game time, making just 25 appearances in all competitions during a two-year spell at Selhurst Park, before being released by the Eagles in the summer of 2016, following a 15th place finish in English football’s top-flight.
In the wake of his exit from Palace, Hangeland confirmed in August 2016 that he had retired from playing at the age of 35.
After confirming the end of his playing career, the centre back spent time working as a pundit back in his native, as part of TV2’s coverage of the Premier League.
However, in December 2020, Hangeland returned to a role within football, as he was appointed to the newly created role of player manager for Norway’s national team, working under former Wolves and Copenhagen Stale Solbakken, working as a link between the playing squad and the rest of the backroom staff.
With two games to go, Norway currently occupy the play-off spot in their World Cup qualifying group, sitting two points behind leaders the Netherlands in the automatic qualification spot, and two points clear of third-placed Turkey.