Now they’ll have to be on their toes as they face the prospect of their Tottenham team-mate resuming his lethal partnership with Andrei Shevchenko when Ukraine travel to Norway on Wednesday night.
Naturally the three Spurs stars joked about their meeting at the training ground last week but come Wednesday night the jokes will go out of the window — qualifying for the World Cup is serious stuff.
Midfielder Leonhardsen revealed: “We made some fun out of the game and we told Sergei it would be hard for him. We told him he could score his goals for Tottenham but not when we are playing against him.
“He and Shevchenko will be the main threat. Shevchenko is the goalscorer there and Sergei and Shevchenko are very good together. It will be hard for us.”
Ukraine certainly seem to have the upper hand in the group having beaten Armenia on Saturday while Norway thanked a late goal for a draw in Wales.
In-form Leonhardsen added: “The group is very open and this game is very important.
“They had a good result against Armenia after being 2-0 and it is vital for us to win this game at home.
“We certainly had the chances to beat Wales. I had a great chance one-on-one with the keeper and tried to chip him but it didn’t happen!
“We were disappointed. We thought we could win that game but after being 1-0 down we had a good end of the game, worked hard and at least got one point, which is very important.
“Ukraine have a very strong team. It will be a very different game from the Welsh game, they play differently and have very sharp players. It’s an interesting game for us.”
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Oyvind Leonhardsen and Steffen Iversen must have been tempted to tread on Sergei Rebrov’s toes at Spurs Lodge last week.