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Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 19:01 GMT
A Tore of strength
Tore Andre Flo is a hero in his native Norway
Tore Andre Flo is a hero in his native Norway
BBC Sport Online's Alasdair Lamont examines the rise to international prominence of Scotland's most expensive footballer, Rangers' 12m buy Tore Andre Flo.

The sale of Tore Andre Flo to Rangers for 12m represents perhaps the best piece of business Chelsea have ever done.

Incredibly, the 27-year-old was signed for just 300,000 from SK Brann Bergen in the summer of 1997 after impressing in a Cup Winners' Cup match against Liverpool.

A hero in his native Norway - he was dubbed Flonaldo after scoring twice against Brazil in an international friendly in 1997 - Flo has made almost 50 appearances for the national team.

In just over three years at Stamford Bridge, Flo was one of the many victims of the squad rotation system used by manager Gianluca Vialli despite a sound goalscoring record, particularly in Europe.

He scored three times against Barcelona as Chelsea came within a whisker of a Champions League semi-final spot last season.

  Flo Factfile
1995: Full international debut against England
1997: Signs for Chelsea from SK Brann Bergen for 300,000 and makes his debut against Coventry. Scores two goals against Brazil in a friendly
1998: Named in the Norway squad for the World Cup finals and scores against Brazil again
1999: Scores 19 goals in the Premiership
2000: Part of Norway's Euro 2000 squad
September - Despite the arrival of Claudio Ranieri as manager, still unable to secure a first-team place
November 22 - Rangers announce Flo will sign for the club for 12m

His 6ft 4in frame belies his style of play - he is more comfortable with the ball at his feet than in the air.

He finished the 1999-2000 season with 19 goals, narrowly missing out on the 20-goal mark - a target last reached by a Chelsea player when Kerry Dixon did so in 1990.

That was not enough to secure him a place in the starting line-up for the FA Cup Final - on-loan striker George Weah preferred to the Norwegian.

He did pick up a winner's medal, though, after playing the last three minutes as Chelsea beat Aston Villa 1-0.

The unflappable Scandinavian is unlikely to be overawed should he be thrown into the Rangers team to face Celtic in Sunday's crucial Old Firm match.

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See also:

22 Nov 00 |  Football
Flo seals Rangers deal
22 Nov 00 |  Sports Talk
Is Ferdinand worth 18m?
20 Nov 00 |  Football
Rangers could yet get Flo
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