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Olof Mellberg
Olof Mellberg 2006.jpg
Personal information
Full name Erik Olof Mellberg
Date of birth September 3, 1977 (1977-09-03) (age 32)
Place of birth Gullspång, Sweden
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current club Olympiacos
Number 4
Youth career
1994–1996 Gullspång
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1997 Degerfors 47 (0)
1997–1998 AIK 17 (0)
1998–2001 Racing Santander 98 (1)
2001–2008 Aston Villa 232 (7)
2008–2009 Juventus 27 (2)
2009– Olympiacos 26 (2)
National team
2000–present Sweden 100 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 October 2009.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 March 2010

Erik Olof Mellberg (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈuːˌlɔf ˈmɛlˌbærj]) (born September 3, 1977 in Amnehärad, Gullspång) is a Swedish international footballer. He recently signed for Olympiacos in Greek Superleague. He generally plays as a central defender or right-back. Mellberg is known for his strength and aerial capability.

Contents

Early Years

Erik Olof Mellberg was born in Gullspång, Sweden on September 3, 1977 to parents Berit and Erik. Mellberg's mother Berit was a physical education teacher who passed on her love of sport to her son.[1] As a youth, Mellberg enjoyed playing tennis and dreamed of Wimbledon rather than the World Cup. Mellberg was something of a tennis prodigy[2] but it wasn't until he was 14 that Mellberg began to focus on football.[3] It was in high school that Mellberg decided to forego a career in tennis and concentrate on football. Surprisingly, for a Swedish football international, Mellberg is good friends with the comedian Ronnie Corbett.

Club career

Early career

Mellberg played for local side Gullspång before being picked up by then Swedish Premiership side Degerfors IF. After being relegated he joined capital club AIK, where he made an instant impression and was sold after just 10 months. Spanish side Racing Santander moved to secure the promising Swedish centre half, and although having a difficult time adjusting to Spanish football he soon claimed a starting berth and impressed in his first season. Continuing to play well, Mellberg was said to be on his way to several big Spanish sides, including Barcelona and Valencia.

Aston Villa

Playing for Aston Villa.

However, Aston Villa managed to secure his signature and he became a consistent and vital part of the team.[4] Mellberg was left out of boss David O'Leary's first side for a game against Portsmouth, but was soon made the captain of the club for the rest of his reign. Mellberg was a vital part of the team that finished 6th in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in O'Leary's first season.

Mellberg resigned as captain following the 2006 World Cup—he was replaced by Gareth Barry. In 2007 the new manager of Aston Villa, Martin O'Neill, continued to consider Mellberg as the first choice centre back. On the opening day of the 2006–07 Premiership season Mellberg became the first person to score in a competitive game at Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium. During the 2007–08 season, he played at the right back position following the purchase of Zat Knight, who played alongside Martin Laursen at centre back. Mellberg was sent off against Portsmouth on 15 March 2008 for two bookable offences.

In January 2008 it was announced that Mellberg had signed a pre-contract agreement with Juventus. His final home game for Aston Villa was against Wigan Athletic on 3 May. The game was designated as "Olof Mellberg" day in appreciation of his service to the club. On his final game for Aston Villa away at West Ham United, as a leaving gift, Mellberg gave every single Villa fan at Upton Park either a home or an away shirt with his name and number on the back and the message Thanks 4 Your Support - being the number 4 of Aston Villa.[5] He also said he would frame the kit which he used on his last ever Aston Villa game - the game against West Ham.[5]

Juventus

Mellberg, right, with Rio Ferdinand in a game against Manchester United

In January 2008 it was confirmed that Mellberg had signed a pre-contract agreement with Italian giants Juventus, allowing him a Bosman move to Serie A on a three-year contract for the start of the 2008-09 season. He made his Juventus debut on July 16, 2008 in a friendly match versus Serie B outfit, Piacenza. Juventus surprisingly lost the match 1-0. On 18 January 2009, Mellberg scored his first goal for Juventus against Lazio in the 30th minute.

Olympiacos

On the 23 June 2009, it was confirmed that Mellberg agreed with Olympiacos to sign a three-year contract with the club. Olympiacos paid Juventus 2.5 million euros.[6] Mellberg has become a fan favourite, for his passionate play and professionalism.

International career

Mellberg was a member of the Sweden national football team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2006 FIFA World Cup, as well as the Euro 2000, Euro 2004 and Euro 2008. He has scored 4 goals in 86 caps, as of October 2008.

Mellberg training with Sweden

During an open team practice before the 2002 World Cup, Mellberg broke into a fight with his teammate former Arsenal winger Fredrik Ljungberg after a robust tackle from Mellberg.[7] The two of them were quickly separated by team-mates. Since then, the two of them have been known for not being the best of friends, and in the World Cup 2006, Mellberg and Ljungberg, according to leak from inside the team, had a very fiery argument, after Sweden's draw with Trinidad and Tobago.[8] In 2003, he was selected as the best Swedish player of the year, winning the Guldbollen.[9]

After the World Cup in Germany, Mellberg relinquished his captaincy and Ljungberg, ironically, took his place as Sweden captain.

On September 4, 2006, Mellberg, along with Sweden teammates Zlatan Ibrahimović and Christian Wilhelmsson, was sent home from the national squad for breaking an 11 pm team curfew ahead of a European Championships qualifier against Liechtenstein.[10] On October 7, 2006, Mellberg returned to Sweden's lineup for their European Championships qualifier against Spain, which they won 2-0.[11]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. September 10, 2003 Stadion Śląski, Chorzow  Poland 0-2 0-2 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
2. September 3, 2005 Råsunda, Stockholm  Bulgaria 2-0 3-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. June 6, 2007 Råsunda, Stockholm  Iceland 3-0 5-0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualification
4. October 17, 2007 Råsunda, Stockholm  Northern Ireland 1-0 1-1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualification
5. September 5, 2009 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest  Hungary 0-1 1-2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. October 14, 2009 Råsunda, Stockholm  Albania 1-0 4-1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. October 14, 2009 Råsunda, Stockholm  Albania 3-0 4-1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Personal life

Mellberg has two children with long term partner Carolina Kihl. Daughter Saga was born in December 2002 and son John was born in July 2006.

According to Mellberg's mother, he is considering attending university after his retirement.[12]

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sweden League Svenska Cupen League Cup Europe Total
1996 Degerfors Allsvenskan 22 0 - -
1997 AIK Allsvenskan 22 0 - -
1998 21 0 - -
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1998-99 Racing Santander La Liga 25 0 - -
1999-00 38 0 - -
2000-01 34 1 - -
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2001-02 Aston Villa Premier League 32 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 36 0
2002-03 38 1 1 0 2 0 3 0 44 1
2003-04 33 1 1 0 5 0 - 39 1
2004-05 30 3 1 0 2 0 - 33 3
2005-06 27 0 4 0 2 0 - 33 0
2006-07 38 1 0 0 1 0 - 39 1
2007-08 33 1 1 0 2 0 - 36 1
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2008-09 Juventus Serie A 23 2
Greece League Greek Football Cup Greek League Cup Europe Total
2009–10 Olympiacos Super League 20 2 0 0 5 0 8 0
Total Sweden 65 0 - -
Spain 97 1 - -
England 231 7 9 0 15 0 5 0 260 7
Italy 23 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Total 415 9 15 0 5 0

Honours

AIK

Aston Villa

Individual

References

  1. ^ http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/article175580.ab
  2. ^ Shaw, Phil (2002-06-27). "Faces you may recognise in Japan and South Korea The World Cup will feature 68 players - not including the England and Republic of Ireland squads - who earn their living in Britain.". The Independent. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1681049.html. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  3. ^ http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/article175580.ab
  4. ^ "Mellberg joins Villa". BBC Sport. 2001-07-18. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/aston_villa/1444827.stm. Retrieved 2001-07-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Mellberg happy to spend big on Villa fans". tribalfootball.com. 2008-05-18. http://www.tribalfootball.com/article.php?id=93480. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  6. ^ "Mellberg transferred to Olympiacos. Goodbye Olof". juventus.com. 2009-06-23. http://goal.com/en/news/10/italy/2009/06/23/1342547/official-mellberg-joins-olympiakos-from-juventus. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  7. ^ Carroll, Jack (2002-05-24). "Swedish coach sends Mellberg home". ESPNsoccernet. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/wc/story?id=211463&lang=en. Retrieved 2002-05-24. 
  8. ^ "Swedish duo in dressing-room spat". BBC Sport. 2006-06-12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/sweden/5073242.stm. Retrieved 2006-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Guldbollen". Aftonbladet. http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/fotboll/guldbollen/. Retrieved January 13 2008.  (Swedish)
  10. ^ "Swedish coach sends Mellberg home". BBC Sport. 2006-09-04. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/5314550.stm. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  11. ^ "Swedes blank Spain 2-0 in Euro qualifier". FoxSports. http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6035424. Retrieved February 1 2007. 
  12. ^ http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/fotbollsbladet/landslagsfotboll/vm2006/article380721.ab

External links


Simple English

Olof Mellberg
File:Olof Mellberg
Personal information
Full name Erik Olof Mellberg
Date of birth 3 September 1977 (1977-09-03) (age 33)
Place of birth    Gullspång, Sweden
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1+12 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Olympiacos
Number 4
Senior clubs
Years Club
1996-1997
1998
1998-2001
2001-2008
2008-2009
2009-
Degerfors
AIK Solna
Racing Santander
Aston Villa
Juventus
Olympiacos
National team
2000- Sweden

Olof Mellberg (born 3 September 1977) is a Swedish football player. He plays for Olympiacos and Sweden national team.

Club career statistics

[1]

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
SwedenLeague Svenska Cupen League Cup EuropeTotal
1996DegerforsAllsvenskan220220
1997250250
1998AIK SolnaAllsvenskan170170
SpainLeague Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga EuropeTotal
1998/99Racing SantanderLa Liga250250
1999/00370370
2000/01360360
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2001/02Aston VillaPremier League320101020360
2002/03381102030441
2003/042811050-341
2004/053031020-333
2005/062704020-330
2006/073810010-391
2007/083421020-372
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia League Cup EuropeTotal
2008/09JuventusSerie A27240-70382
GreeceLeague Greek Football Cup Greek League Cup EuropeTotal
2009/10OlympiacosSuper League
CountrySweden 640640
Spain 980980
England 227890150502568
Italy 27240-70382
Greece 0000000000
Total 4161013015012045610

International career statistics

[2]

Sweden national team
YearAppsGoals
2000100
200190
2002110
2003101
2004130
200581
200690
200792
200890
2009113
2010
Total997

References








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