In 2013, Vålerenga celebrated their centenary year.
On Tuesday 29 July 1913, an existing football team created a new sports association for the Vålerenga area of Oslo. Originally named Spring, the club consisted of football, skiing, athletics and wrestling. One year later the club was renamed to its present title, Vålerengens Idrettsforening (VIF), which roughly translates to Vålerenga Sports Association. The sports club concept continues to this day, with men’s, women’s and youth football, ice hockey, bandy, basketball, handball and even American football all played under the Vålerenga name.
VIF won the Oslo Championships four times before a national league was established in 1937. In the 1948–49 season, Vålerenga finished second, but it wasn’t until 1965 that the club won anything of note. This group of players was known as ‘The Bohemians’ for their exciting style of football, a nickname that is still used by some today. The team won their first national league title winning out over their city rivals Lyn.
The golden age would not come until the 1980s, a decade which saw Vålerenga pick up three national league titles and appear in three cup finals. In 1980, Vålerenga defeated local rivals Lillestrøm 4-1 in front of 23,000 spectators at the Ullevaal Stadion to win their first Norwegian Cup. Despite the success of the decade, it ended with the club in serious financial trouble and they even went close to bankruptcy in 1987.
The club spent the next 15 years bouncing up and down between the top two divisions, narrowly avoiding relegation to the third tier of Norwegian football on the last day of the 1992 season. Vålerenga returned to the top division in 2002 where they have been ever since. In 2004 under coach and former player Kjetil Rekdal, the club challenged Rosenborg for the league title but had to settle for second place on goals scored. The next season was a different story. A 2-2 draw at Odd on the final day of the season gave Vålerenga their first league title for 21 years, and ended Rosenborg’s 13-year reign as league champions.
The team failed to meet the high expectations in the following season, and after a disastrous start to the season Rekdal resigned. New boss Martin Andresen steered the side to a third-placed finish, unthinkable earlier in the season. In 2008, he led the club to a Norwegian Cup victory, but that would his – and the club’s – last trophy.
Kjetil Rekdal returned to the club in the centenary year 2013 but could not repeat his magic from the previous decade. The circumstances were difficult though, as the club once again faced financial struggles with the club’s supporters even resorting to a crowdfunding campaign until Norwegian bank DNB stepped in with a sponsorship deal.
In 2017, the former Strømsgodset and Celtic manager Ronny Deila took over as manager on a four-year contract.