Maria Thorisdottir talks about her love for football and willingness to fight for her place on the pitch

Set to play against Spain tomorrow after 18 months on the sidelines with a rare and complicated foot injury, 23-year-old Maria Thorisdottir is ready to get back to her best and fight for her spot in the Norway squad.

Injury troubles

No stranger to injuries, the defender had called it quits on her football career in 2012 after problems with Jumpers Knee, opting to focus on handball – another sport that runs through her blood – Thorisdottir was forced to re-evaluate after continued problems with her knee,

I retired from football and then I started playing handball but I couldn’t play handball because of my jumpers knee and I missed the football too much, so it was easy to go back to football again.”

When she should have been returning to action after surgery to repair torn ligaments in her ankle, the problems persisted for Thorisdottir who was given an uncertain prognosis with specialist doctors suggesting her career could in fact be over. But the young defender from Stavanger refused to go down without a fight, her inner drive and love for the beautiful game something that couldn’t be ignored,

I actually don’t know, it’s something inside of me, this motivation to come back – football is very special for me, I didn’t know it was so important but now I see it is.

A job to be done

Well on her way back, Thorisdottir was included in Martin Sjögren’s first Norway squad, although not quite ready to feature in Spain at the start of the year, the talented centre-back was happy to be included in his long-term plans and is looking to repay Sjögren’s faith in her, but knows she’s got tough competition at the back,

I was glad to be taken out to La Manga and know that Martin has me in his plans but I have a job to do to, I have to fight for my spot in the squad, I’m not guaranteed to be in the national team so I have to work for this place.

After so long out, Thorisdottir admits she didn’t expect to be back in the fray and gearing up to play so early in the year,

It’s not strange but to be back so quickly, I was not prepared to be back so soon – I hoped that maybe I could join up with the national team in April or June but I’m very glad to be here.

With 75 good minutes under her belt in a friendly for club side Klepp last month, the defender is aware of the task that awaits when she steps onto the pitch at the Estádio Algarve tomorrow,

I was very happy to be back on the pitch, of course but it was just against a group of boys and if you had said to me after the injury that my first “official” game back would be one for the national team, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s a big step but I’m looking forward to playing against Spain tomorrow.

With Bayern Munich’s Nora Holstad out of the squad injured there’s no better time for Thorisdottir to make her return, a vacant centre-back role to be filled and others in the frame to step up and stake their claim on the spot,

For me the focus is just getting to play some matches and do my best but even with Nora injured I just want to do my best because I want to be starting.


With the European Championships looming ever nearer, Thorisdottir has her eyes on a spot in the team that will travel to Holland this summer, but her main goals are simply to return to full-fitness, get back to the top of her game and do well for both club and country,

My goal is to come back 100%, to do well with Klepp and be in the Norway squad that goes to the Netherlands.

With plenty happening in the Toppserien in the off-season, the Norwegian league looks to be one to watch this year with several teams all well-placed to fight for the title, Thorisdottir’s Klepp one that might just cause some upsets along the way,

I’m very excited because we have some new players coming in and some young players that played last year and got some experience so we have a good team. Hege Hansen is back and I’m back too but I think Klepp can have a good season this year.