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Johan Mjällby
Personal information
Full name Johan Mjällby
Date of birth 9 February 1971 (1971-02-09) (age 38)
Place of birth    Sweden
Playing position Defender, Defensive Midfielder
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
144 (8)
144 (13)
3 (0)
1 (0)   
National team
1997-2004 Sweden 49 (4)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Johan Mjällby (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjuːan ˈmjɛlby]) (born 9 February 1971) is a Swedish former footballer. He debuted for the national team in 1997, and played 49 matches and scored 4 goals as a defender/midfielder.[1] Mjällby was the team captain during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also took part in the Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.


Early career

Early on in Johan's sporting career he played both football and tennis and had the choice to turn professional in either. He made the decision to make football his number one sport and was signed by AIK in 1984 from IK Bele.

Making a name

Johan spent the next fourteen years in AIK and established himself in the side with solid performances as a no-nonsense tackling midfield player. His performances at club level were noticed and he soon broke through to the Swedish national team. Although he was a squad member in 1992 when AIK won the league, he refused to accept the gold medal, stating that he felt he hadn't contributed enough. Therefore it was a great day when lifelong AIK supporter Mjällby got his silverware in 1998 when he guided to club to a new league victory.

Life at Celtic

His solid performances for club and country caught the eye of Jozef Venglos, coach at Celtic F.C.. In November 1998 Johan Mjällby signed for Celtic F.C. for a fee of around £1,200,000 and was given 35 as his squad number, which he retained throughout his time at Celtic. He made his debut for the Scottish side in the famous 5-1 victory or arch rivals Rangers F.C. in the role of central defence. The rest of season 1998/99 saw Johan play increasingly in the role of central defence, a role in which he grew to prominence.

The 1999/00 season saw Venglos move into the role of a scout with John Barnes coming in as head coach and Kenny Dalglish as Director of Football. Johan again took up his midfield role in Barnes' ilfated 4-2-2-2 formation. He returned to his by now accustomed defensive role under Dalglish following the departure of Barnes in January 2000. It was under Dalglish that Mjällby won his first honour at Celtic in the Scottish League Cup win over Aberdeen F.C. In Euro 2000, he scored the first goal of his country in the opening match against Belgium, taking the ball after an error by Belgian goalkeeper Filip De Wilde. Although reducing Belgium's 2-0 lead from Bart Goor and Emile Mpenza to 2-1, Sweden failed to score an equaliser goal and so loses the game.

Season 2000/01 saw Martin O'Neill replace interim manager Kenny Dalglish. Mjällby found himself a mainstay on the right hand side of O'Neill's 3 man defence alongside Joos Valgaeren, Tom Boyd and/or Ramon Vega. He was to pick up a further three medals as Celtic won the Domestic Treble of the Scottish Premier League, Scottish League Cup, and Scottish Cup.

It was in 2001/02 that Johan experienced his first taste of Champions League football in matches against FC Porto, Juventus and Rosenborg. Another Scottish Premier League title was added to his growing medal haul.

2002/03 saw Celtic, with Johan as prominent figure reach the final of the UEFA Cup. Sadly they lost out to FC Porto 3-2 aet. Celtic also went on to lose the Scottish Premier League and League Cup to Rangers

Season 2003/04 was to be Johan's last at Celtic Park after struggling with injury throughout most of the season he decided to turn down Celtic's offer of a one year deal.

Throughout his six years at Celtic Park he picked up 3 Scottish Premier League Winner's medals, 2 League Cup Winner's medals, 2 Scottish Cup Winner's medals, 2 Scottish Cup Runners Up medals, 1 League Cup Runners Up medal and 1 UEFA Cup Runners Up medal as well as featuring in the Champions League Competition of seasons, 2001/02 and 2002/03. During his time at Celtic, Mjallby captained the team on several occasions.

Life in Spain

Mjällby went on to try his hand in Spain's La Liga with newly promoted side Levante UD. However he was not to enjoy the same level of success as he had in Scotland and was forced to retire as he eventually succumbed to his long standing injuries picked up throughout his Scottish career.

Return to Sweden

Following his retirement Mjällby returned home to Sweden. After almost a year out of the game he made comeback and signed once again for his boyhood favourites AIK. But on 16 May 2006 he was forced to retire from professional football due to his injury.[2]

After retirement

Mjällby is currently working as a prominent football pundit on Swedish TV channel TV3.



Preceded by
Patrik Andersson
Sweden football captain
Succeeded by
Olof Mellberg

Simple English

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