Harald Johan Berg (born 9 November 1941) was an easy scoring Norwegian from ADO Den Haag. In the Hofstad he was the highest scoring foreigner in one season for more than forty years, until Dmitri Bulykin succeeded him in 2011. Also played for FK Bodø-Glimt and FC Lyn Oslo.
FK Bodo/Glimt and Lyn Oslo
Harald Johan Berg started his career as a footballer in the city of Bodo, where he was born. As the son of a hotelier, Berg had a quiet childhood in which football was paramount. The playmaker quickly grew into a supporting force of FK Bodo/Glimt, with whom he became Northern Norwegian champion in 1963 and 1964. In 1965 Lyn Oslo took over the midfielder and in the capital Berg seized the Norwegian Cup in 1967 and 1968. In 1965 he was crowned the top scorer of the Norwegian Eredivisie.
In The European sense, Lyn Oslo showed himself in the 1968/69 season. The Norwegian football club had to acknowledge its lesser in FC Barcelona, but made it difficult for the Spanish top club. The midfield consisting of Knut Berg, Jan Berg and Harald Berg guided the Norwegians in the return (after a narrow 2-3 defeat in Oslo) to an 0-2 lead at Camp Nou. Karl Johan Johannessen scored twice. It wasn't until the last quarter of an hour that Barcelona avoided a blunder and Gallego tied the score with two hits.
Interest from the Netherlands
In November 1968, Het Vrije Volk reported on Feyenoord's interest in Harald Berg. "We have known Harald for three years, since we negotiated with Ove Kindvall," manager Guus Brox told the newspaper, which is now called the Algemeen Dagblad. However, it did not come to a transfer to Rotterdam. Berg wanted to finish his education at the hotel school, which he was almost done with. A few months later, in February 1969, the news came out that ADO The Hague had won the Battle of Berg. That same month Berg, with a diploma from the Hotel School in his pocket, signed the contract offered by ADO, which took place in the summer of 1969.
However, the transition from Berg to The Hague had quite a few feet in the ground. Member of parliament Toon Nuijens of the Farmers' Party asked Questions of the Chamber to Marga Klompé, Minister of Culture, Recreation and Social Work regarding the Norwegian's work permit. Klompé also informed that ADO was not eligible for a subsidy for the impending transfer. Eventually the transfer went ahead and Harald Berg became the first foreign purchase of ADO The Hague.
A topper in The Hague
The playmaker made his debut for ADO Den Haag on 10 August 1969 and immediately lived up to his status as a goalkeeper: with a goal-scoring hat-trick, Berg ensured that his new champion went on to win 4-1 against FC Twente. By scoring a hat-trick on his debut, Berg produced a pretty unique performance. It was only in 2012 that this trick was repeated by Jürgen Locadia. It was the start of a more amazing period of ADO The Hague. Although no prizes were taken, the club showed good football. With Ton Thie they had an excellent goalkeeper and also Aad Mansveld was a real winner in the Zuiderpark.
In total, Berg would play four seasons playing football for ADO Den Haag. From the first minute Berg was a carrying player in the Hofstad and made an indelible impression on supporters and team-mates. Lex Schoenmaker called him 'a fantastic footballer' and Dick Advocaat considers him 'one of the greatest players of ADO (and FC) The Hague ever'. Berg could easily pass, had a good pass and a devastating shot to his left and right leg.
After four seasons in The Hague, Berg left the Netherlands for FK Bodo/Glimt. He would score a total of 48 hits for ADO. In his debut year for ADO, the 1969/70 siezoen, Berg came to eighteen hits. This made him the highest scoring foreigner for ADO Den Haag in one season. It wasn't until 2011 that the Norwegian got a follow-up with Bulykin, who managed to produce 21 hits.
Return to Norway
Between 1973 and 1981 Berg played for FK Bodo/Glimt. The dartele midfielder did everything but to finish and won the Norwegian Cup in 1975. In 1981, the 43-time International of Norway ended his career at the age of 39.
Top photo – Municipal Archive The Hague
Second photograph – Jacques Klok/ANP Archive
Third photo – Program magazine ADO/Jan-Hermen de BruijnBottom photo – ANP Archive