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February 24, 2022 2 min read


You'd have thought playing at clubs the size of Tottenham and Everton would be the absolute dream for any footballer. Not for former Spurs goalkeeper Espen Baardsen.



The USA-born Norwegian was spotted by Tottenham while playing in America for the San Francisco All Blacks, and the Premier League club snapped him up in 1996. Baardsen made his Spurs debut at Anfield in 1997, and impressed on the times he was given a chance in the first team, including a solid display in a 0-0 draw against Arsenal. 

In 1998, Baardsen was selected as part of Norway's World Cup squad as a third-choice stopper behind captain and Spurs team-mate Frode Grodas and Everton's Thomas Mhyre. The Norway international couldn't make the Tottenham No 1 jersey his own, with Ian Walker being preferred to the prodigious Norwegian.

After 23 Premier League appearances in four years at Spurs, Baardsen left for Watford in 2000, aged 22. Two seasons later he joined Everton, but only played once in the league for the Merseyside club.

Incredibly, at just 25, he decided to hang up his gloves once and for all in 2003. Why? “I got bored of it,” Baardsen told the Guardian in a 2008 interview. “Once you've played in the Premier League and been to the World Cup, you've seen it and done it. It was dictating what I could do and when. I felt unsatisfied intellectually, I wanted to travel the world.”

Yea, but what is he doing now? I hear you ask. Well, it appears Baardsen is quite the bright spark, and has become rather successful in another field. Baardsen has carved out a career in finance, and, now aged 39, currently works as a trader. He's also a frequent business guest on TV network CNBC.

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