Nordby is the second-most capped player ever for Norway with 172 international appearances. Only Hege Riise has more, with 188. She appeared in the first five FIFA Women's World Cups, an achievement that only U.S. player Kristine Lilly shares. Nordby is also the second most-capped international women's goalkeeper of all time.
On 24 January 2008 Nordby announced her retirement from the national team.
A native of Gjøvik, Bente Nordby began her club career with Raufoss/Vind. She later joined SK Sprint-Jeløy of Norway's Toppserien where she played until the end of the 1995 season. Ahead of the 1996 season, the team Sprint-Jeløy was replaced by Athene Moss, where she played until 2000.
Nordby, paired with fellow Norwegian Hege Riise, was the first pick in the 30 October 2000 WUSA Foreign Player Allocation Draft, having been chosen by the Carolina Courage.
Nordby played the first half of the 2001 season for the Courage, but was later traded to the San Diego Spirit. In July 2001, the Spirit released Nordby due to the league's salary cap. In total, she played 14 matches of a 21-match season for the two clubs, earning a 1.73 Goals Against Average for the season.
After returning to Norway, Nordby joined Kolbotn in 2002, where she went on to win the Norwegian league that same year. She continued to play with Kolbotn until the end of the 2004 season. She then signed with Asker FK in December 2005. While playing with Asker, she won the Norwegian Cup in 2005, her first and only year with the club.
In early 2006, Nordby signed a 2-year contract with Djurgården/Älvsjö in Sweden's Damallsvenskan league. In 2007, Nordby won the Damallsvenskan Goalkeeper of the Year Award.
On 27 November 2007, it was announced that Nordby would be signing an 18-month contract with Olympique Lyonnais as cover for their regular goalkeeper, Véronique Pons, who was out with a long-term injury.
In June 2009 the Norwegian national team trainer Bjarne Berntsen announced that Bente Nordby had retired from Olympique Lyonnaise and would not be joining Norway's squad for the 2009 European Cup tournament. After retiring she joined Lillestrøm SK as the team's goalkeeper coach.
Bente Nordby made her debut for the senior Norwegian Women's Football team on 30 August 1991, in New Britain, Conn. posting a 1-0 shutout against the U.S.
In 1991, Nordby was the reserve Norway keeper for the 1991 Women's World Cup held in China, in which Norway won Silver. She was also part of the Norwegian squad that won the 1993 European Championship, as well as the Algarve Cup in 1994.
Nordby became the starting goalkeeper for Norway in 1995, replacing long-time GK Reidun Seth. In the 1995 Women's World Cup, she allowed only one goal in six matches, helping lead Norway to their first-ever Women's World Cup title, with a 2-0 defeat of Germany.
In 1996 she won a Bronze medal at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Nordby was also the starting keeper for Norway as they won the Algarve Cup in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
In the 1999 Women's World Cup, Norway placed fifth overall, having lost to China in the semifinals, 5-0, then to Brazil in the Bronze Medal match.
She won Olympic Gold with the Norwegian National Women's Team on 28 September 2000 at the Sydney Summer Olympics.
Bente Nordby originally announced her retirement from international football in late 2002. However, her retirement was short-lived as she decided to make herself available to the national team once again in the Spring of 2003. She was later named to the roster of the 2003 Women's World Cup. Despite losing 1-0 to the U.S. in the quarterfinals, Nordby won the Player of the Match Award, after stopping a penalty kick taken by Mia Hamm. Norway finished the tournament seventh overall.
Due to their low placement in the World Cup, Norway failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.
In 2005, Nordby was the starting keeper as Norway claimed silver in the European Championships, falling to Germany 3-1 in the finals.
She was named to the FIFA Women's World Stars squad in April 2007, as not just the starting goalkeeper, but as co-captain with U.S. player, Kristine Lilly. The match was an exhibition match to open the draw for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China.
At the 2007 Women's World Cup in China, Norway placed fourth in the tournament, losing to the U.S. in the third-place match. After the tournament, Nordby was named to the FIFA All Star Team.
She has also been nominated for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Award in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Nordby's final match for the Norwegian Women's National Team was on 27 October 2007 in Stavanger, Norway. In that match, Norway defeated Russia 3-0, in a European Championship qualifier. She officially announced her retirement from the national team in January 2008.
Nordby is openly lesbian, coming out in a Se og Hør article in 2005. She currently resides in Lillestrøm with her partner, Dorte Dalum Jensen, a Danish teammate in Olympique Lyonnais.
Her hometown is Raufoss, Norway and she has an older brother and younger sister.Swedish Goalkeeper of the Year (1): 2007