‘The streets won’t forget’ has become rather tiresome over the last few years. A trope invented to celebrated Premier League cult heroes of yesteryear like Adel Taarabt, Morten Gamst Pedersen and the rest, social media has made it so the streets are constantly reminded.
But while the same old tweets and highlight reels grow tiresome, there is one man single-handedly keeping the streets alive and flowing with nostalgia in the form of dead ball situations.
That man is Pedersen. Morten Gamst. Blackburn icon. Best known for his frosted tips, white sock tape and ability to keep his name in the headlines merely by scoring worldies, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’d settled into retirement after slipping into a journeyman career following the end of his time in Lancashire.
You’d be forgiven because you’d be wrong. Very wrong.
Pedersen is alive and well at the ripe old age of 41, still playing professional football for Ranheim, a second-tier outfit based in central Norway. And in doing so, he’s keeping alive the vessel that is the Barclays.
As the Premier League era known as the Barclays faded away, so too did its cult heroes made for ‘the streets’ – a synonym for terminally online Twitter folk, at this point. Pedersen completed an obligatory stint in Turkey as a result, before quietly heading back to Norway in 2016, where he has been ever since.
So, why do you care that a washed up former Premier League winger is still playing second-tier football in his home country, at 41 years old? Because he’s doing what he does best. Doing what made him so special 10 to 15 years ago, and sparking an interest in the ‘streets won’t forget’ movement once again.
In the first round of the Norwegian Cup, Ranheim found themselves facing off against third division side Verdal IK. In a match that had zero reason to be of interest to the global football audience, Pedersen gave one very good, rather absurd reason for it to be; he opened the scoring from a corner, harking back to his glory days in the Premier League in rather tremendous fashion.
It's impossible for the streets to forget Morten Gamst Pedersen when he's pulling off stunts like this in 2023.
41 years old and he's scoring goals from corners in the Norwegian Cup. Swaz on that, like. King of culture.pic.twitter.com/BS5eL6RvUb
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) May 25, 2023
A forgotten icon. A great. An innovator. The king of culture. Pedersen.
What the goal lacks in white ankle tape and frosted tips, it makes up for with sheer absurdity to shoot from a corner, and the heavy dosage of Barclays it courses through your veins when watching
Some strike, innit? Made the keeper look proper silly. Be fuming. His gaffer will be loving it, though. Stick it on him, Morten. Screams it every week. Finally paid off. All him, that.
Left peg made of gold. Never lose it. Sick of your old man harping on about it, but Morten here has proved him right. Timeless. Giving the streets something to truly cherish.
Is it a Puskas contender? Quite possibly. Faces some stiff competition in the form of another forgotten Barclays man, though. Gael Clichy is out scoring thunderbastards over in Switzerland. Sorry to burst the bubble.
Perhaps the best part about Pedersen’s goal, though, is the fact that he fully intends on scoring. He’s done it before. In fact, he’s made quite a habit of making goalkeepers look stupid from the corner flag in his later years. Not an ounce of surprise about it.
So, when you’re next mulling over your favourite stars of the streets, reminiscing about Taarabt’s step-overs, Hatem Ben Arfa’s solo runs or Rory Delap’s long throw-ins, remember to pay your respects to the ageless, Nordic king that is Pedersen, whose left foot is keeping alive those streets and fuelling football culture by the gallon.