Norway is also notable as the only national team that has never lost a match against Brazil. In four matches played, Norway has a record of two wins and two draws against Brazil, with one of those victories coming in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Norway's performances in international football have usually been weaker than those of their Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Denmark, but they did have a golden age in the late 1930s. An Olympic team achieved third place in the 1936 Olympics, after beating the hosts Germany earlier in the tournament. Norway also qualified for the 1938 World Cup, where they lost 2–1 after extra time against eventual champions Italy. This turned out to be Norway's last World Cup finals appearance in 56 years.
In the post-war years, up to and including the 1980s, Norway was usually considered as one of the weaker nations in Europe. They never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship in this period, and usually finished near the bottom of their qualifying group. Nevertheless, Norway had a reputation for producing the occasional shock result, such as the 3–0 win against reigning European champions Yugoslavia in 1965, the 1–0 away win against France in 1968, and the 2–1 victory against England in 1981 that prompted radio commentator Bjørge Lillelien's famous "Your boys took a hell of a beating" rant.
Norway had their most successful period from 1990 to 1998 under the legendary coach Egil "Drillo" Olsen. At its height in the mid-90s the team was even ranked second on the FIFA World Rankings. Olsen started his training career with Norway with a 6–1 home victory against Cameroon on 31 October 1990 and ended it on 27 June 1998 after a 0–1 defeat against Italy in the second stage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The former under-21 coach Nils Johan Semb replaced Olsen after the planned retirement of the latter. Under Semb's guidance, Norway qualified for the 2000 European Championship, which remains their last finals appearance to date. Semb resigned at the end of an unsuccessful qualifying campaign in 2003, and was replaced by Åge Hareide. Under Hareide, Norway came close to reaching both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008, but ultimately fell short on both occasions. Then, in 2008, it all fell apart, as Norway failed to win a single game the entire calendar year. Hareide resigned at the end of 2008. His replacement, initially on a temporary basis, was the returning Egil Olsen, who began his second spell in charge with an away win against Germany, and subsequently signed a three-year contract.
Norway's best single result is arguably the 2–1 win against Brazil on 23 June 1998 in the World Cup group stage (a game, before which Brazil were already the group winner). Norway is in fact the only team in the world that has played against Brazil and never lost. In its four matches all-time against Brazil, Norway have won twice, and drawn on the other two occasions.
Norway used the national flag on a white circle as their badge from the 1920s onwards. In May 2008 the NFF unveiled a new crest, a Viking style Dragon wrapped around the NFF logo. After complaints were received the crest was dropped.
The following is a list of all managers of the national team. Prior to 1953, the team was selected by a selection committee, which also continued to select the team until 1969. The table lists the manager, his nationality, the period he was manager, games played (P), games won (W), games drawn (D), games lost (L), goals for (F) and goals against (A). It also lists any finals reached and how far the team progressed. The list is up to date as of 15 October 2013.