Belfast Telegraph

Why Nicklas Bendtner is unlikely to face Linfield despite Rosenborg drawing Blues in Champions League

Nicklas Bendtner celebrates helping Rosenborg to victory over Stromsgodset in the Norwegian Cup final last year.
Nicklas Bendtner celebrates helping Rosenborg to victory over Stromsgodset in the Norwegian Cup final last year.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

It was the excitement that has been quickly snatched away from Linfield supporters after the Champions League first qualifying round draw.

Former Arsenal striker Niklas Bendtner was supposed to be coming to Windsor Park.

The 31-year-old Rosenborg striker rose to internet meme fame during his nine year stay at Arsenal, which ended in 2014.

Dubbed 'Lord Bendtner' due to his former fiancée being Danish baroness Caroline Fleming, Bendtner went on to play for Wolsburg and Nottingham Forest before joining Rosenborg in 2017.

While everything at his new club got off to a goal-happy start with 19 league goals in the 2017 campaign, things have soured and he's on his way out of Rosenborg this summer, as sporting director and former Liverpool player Stig Inge Bjørnebye confirmed last month.

Last year, Bendtner was sentenced to 50 days in jail in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver. He was caught on CCTV hitting the driver in the face after leaving the cab without paying, but the 30-year-old claimed to be acting in self-defence after a bottle was thrown in his direction.

“Of course I wish it hadn’t happened,” Bendtner said on beginning the sentence in January. “Both for me and for the taxi driver involved who subsequently lost his job.

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“No matter how he (the driver) behaved and what he said, it’s not something I wanted for him. There were undoubtedly many other and better ways that each of us could have resolved our disagreement.

“If I had just paid the amount the taxi meter showed, my girlfriend and I might not have been pursued by a car with an enraged driver behind the wheel. If only I hadn’t made this decision, which I made in a split of a second while everything was boiling over.”

Bendtner said he had dropped an appeal so that he could be prepared for the Norwegian season's start in March.

However, he has been out in the cold since his last game for Rosenborg, a 3-0 defeat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's old side Molde on April 28.

And in a further blow to any hopes he could feature against Linfield, coach Eirik Horneland said earlier this week that Bendtner has 'more or less' played his last game for the club.

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