Former national team striker Marcus Pedersen (30) has just over a week left of his sentence for drink-driving. The case has been a wake-up call for the HamKam striker, who still has big ambitions as a football player.
– I do not want to comment on exactly that, but scores will be anyway, Pedersen says to VG when asked what it is like to play football while serving a sentence with an anklet – something
was first mentioned Monday night.
Pedersen answers in a warm and characteristic way, without joking about the verdict itself. He has said he regrets what happened. After 18 months with long-term injury problems, and almost a year after the Strømsgodset agreement was terminated, Pedersen was arrested by the police in April for driving with 2.26 per mille.
He was later sentenced to 24 days in prison, and is now serving his sentence at home with an anklet – with the opportunity to go to work.
Without a desire to talk specifically about the incident itself, the HamKam striker now opens up about the difficult period that led to the drunk driving and the clear goal of returning to the top level. This includes hard training and a 14 kilo slimmer body.
In October two years ago, Pedersen was the top scorer in the Eliteserien with 14 goals for Strømsgodset. It had helped to make the power plug one of Norway’s hottest players in the transfer market – but before a club change became a reality, things went wrong in a match against Sandefjord.
Pedersen suffered a serious shoulder injury that required surgery and ruined the rest of the season. It was the beginning of a long and difficult period in his life.
Pedersen gained weight and came back on the training field too heavy. He believes that was the main reason why he eventually suffered a knee injury that contributed to him and Strømsgodset ending their employment last summer.
– I felt locked in. And when you love life and love food, you put on weight fast. There was a lot that came into play, Pedersen says.
– How did it affect your life to be injured, be many kilos heavier than normal and have this feeling of being far away from top form?
– It hurts to walk like that. What should I say … It’s a little difficult to answer exactly what you’re asking about there. Because I probably did not notice it until a little later – that maybe I should have taken some action sooner. There was no particular reason why it turned out the way it did, but you do not feel good when you are not allowed to have the everyday life you have been used to for over 10 years. I noticed it mentally. It’s not a good thing to feel. It has been a tough time, says the 30-year-old, who has nine international caps for Norway.
Pedersen basically endures a lot. Lots of adversity. But this period marked him.