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Thomas Gravesen
Personal information
Date of birth 11 March 1976 (1976-03-11) (age 33)
Place of birth Vejle, Denmark
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Defensive Midfielder, Midfielder (retired)
Club information
Current club Retired
Youth career
Vejle Boldklub
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Vejle Boldklub 58 (10)
1997–2000 Hamburg 54 (5)
2000–2005 Everton 142 (12)
2004–2006 Real Madrid 35 (1)
2006–2008 Celtic 29 (6)
2007–2008 Everton (loan) 14 (0)
National team
1995 Denmark U-19 3 (0)
1996–1997 Denmark U-21 11 (4)
1998–2006 Denmark 66 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:24, 3 November 2007 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of September 23, 2006

Thomas Gravesen (born 11 March 1976) is a retired Danish professional football player who played as a midfielder. He has played for teams such as Hamburg, Everton, Real Madrid and Celtic.


Club career

Early career

Born in Vejle Gravesen's career started in 1995 with hometown club Fionn O deas Vejle Boldklub (VB) in the Danish Superliga, alongside a handful of youths making it through the VB youth scheme, including good friend Kaspar Dalgas. At VB, Thomas Gravesen played both as a sweeper and defensive midfielder, and after he won silver medals in the 1996-97 Superliga season, Gravesen moved to German team Hamburger SV in 1997.

Gravesen made a total of 94 appearances and six goals in three years with Hamburg.


Following the Euro 2000 tournament, Gravesen went to English club Everton where he quickly became a favourite amongst the fans.

Gravesen played a key role in Everton's rise toward the top of the 2004-05 Premier League table, from his position as an attacking midfielder. With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2005, which would enable him to leave on a free transfer, Everton sold Gravesen to Real Madrid for a fee of £2.5 million on 14 January 2005.[1]

Real Madrid

At Real Madrid, he looked to fill a hole in the defensive midfield, a position somewhat different from his time at Everton.[2] He found immediate playing success at Real Madrid, scoring in one of his first games, a 4-0 win against RCD Espanyol.[3] However, Gravesen would eventually find himself benched. Following public outcry over his tough style of play and the sacking of Real coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and sporting director Arrigo Sacchi, who were in charge of acquiring Gravesen, he looked ready to leave Real Madrid in the winter of 2005, especially since Manchester United from England showed interest.[4] However, new coach López Caro would revive Gravesen's career at Real, picking him regularly, using him in the holding role in the new 4-1-4-1 formation Real adopted. Towards the end of the season, Gravesen once again found himself out of the team, and in May 2006 a number of clubs were reported to be interested in him.[5]

In August 2006, a scuffle erupted at a Real Madrid training session, following a hard tackle by Gravesen on teammate Robinho,[6] Fabio Capello, the recently appointed Real Madrid manager, said about Gravesen: "The way he is, we won't have problems with him. He's just a little bit particular. I don't mess with him, he works well tactically. His behaviour is like this, and I don't like it, everything has to be done like he wants it to be done".[7] Gravesen looked likely to leave Real Madrid before the start of the 2006-07 season, with his agent John Sivebæk confirming that a number of clubs - including Newcastle United in England[8] and Scottish club Celtic[9] - were interested in signing the midfielder.

===Celtic=== B


On 28 August 2006, Gravesen attended Celtic Park in Glasgow for a medical examination and, on 30 August, signed a three year deal (with the option of a fourth) with the club, for a speculated fee of around £2m. There was a period of uncertainty as to whether Gravesen would sign for Celtic, after false rumours arose of a failed medical and of an eleventh-hour bid by Newcastle.[10] On 15 September 2006, Gravesen announced his decision to end his international career for the Danish national team. He had consistently been a part of the Danish team since the appointment of Morten Olsen in 2000, but decided now to focus his efforts solely on his new club Celtic.[11]

He scored his first goal for Celtic against arch rivals Rangers on 23 September 2006. He then went on to score the first hat-trick of his professional career,[12] when Celtic won 3-1 against Paisley side St Mirren on 12 November. After a promising start to his Celtic career, Gravesen was replaced in the Celtic starting line-up by Dutch international midfielder Evander Sno. In April 2007, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan denied rumours that Gravesen would leave the club to play for English club Sunderland,[13] but in May 2007 he declared his disappointment that Gravesen did not work harder to recapture his place in the starting line-up.[14]

Gravesen did not feature in any of the starting line ups for competitive matches played by Celtic at the start of the 2007-08 season, and faced a tough task gaining a position in central midfield, with Paul Hartley, Scott Brown, Massimo Donati and Evander Sno all vying for the two central roles. Many put Gravesen's inability to hold down a starting berth at Parkhead because he was asked to hold the midfield in a more disciplined defensive role, something he was never suited to in his Everton or Real Madrid days.

On the 18 August 2008, Celtic and Thomas Gravesen parted company.[15]It was reported that Gravesen received a payout in the region of £1.2million.

Everton (on loan)

Gravesen re-signed for Everton on a season-long loan from Celtic on 29 August 2007. On his first game back for Everton, as a substitute in the 2-1 win over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, it was his 90th minute corner which was headed into the net by Joleon Lescott for the winner. He made his first European appearance of the season in Everton's 3-1 victory over Larissa at Goodison Park in the UEFA Cup group stage,scored and set up Everton's third goal, scored by Victor Anichebe. After the last game of the 2007-08 season, Everton manager David Moyes confirmed that Gravesen's contract would not be renewed and he would be returning to Celtic.[16]


On 27 January 2009, Thomas Gravesen announced his retirement from professional football after he failed to find a new club after being released from Celtic FC. However, on 12 September 2009, he revealed in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine that he has been approached by a number of clubs about a possible return to football.

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Denmark League Danish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995-96 Vejle Boldklub Superliga 28 2
1996-97 30 8
Germany League DFB-Pokal Premiere Ligapokal Europe Total
1997-98 Hamburger SV Bundesliga 26 2
1998-99 22 3
1999-00 26 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000-01 Everton Premier League 32 2
2001-02 25 2
2002-03 33 1
2003-04 30 2
2004-05 21 4
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2004-05 Real Madrid La Liga 17 1 2 0
2005-06 17 0
Scotland League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Europe Total
2006-07 Celtic Premier League 22 6
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007-08 Everton Premier League 8 0
Scotland League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Europe Total
2008-09 Celtic Premier League 0 0
Total Denmark 58 10
Germany 74 6
England 149 11
Spain 34 1
Scotland 22 6
Career Total 337 34

International career

For the Denmark national football team, Gravesen was capped 66 times and scored five goals, from his debut in August 1998 until he ended his national team career in September 2006. He represented Denmark at the international Euro 2000, 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 tournaments.

Gravesen debuted for the Danish national team in a 0-1 friendly match loss to the Czech Republic on 19 August 1998. Gravesen was selected to play for Denmark at the 2000 European Championship (Euro 2000) by coach Bo Johansson, despite concern from Johansson that he was not "psychologically stable" enough.[18]

While at Everton, new Danish national team coach Morten Olsen fully supported Gravesen and made him one of his pivotal players in the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 campaigns. His display in the 2002 World Cup qualifying game with Iceland, where Gravesen scored two goals in a 6-0 win, was so impressive that American boxer Mike Tyson asked for his shirt[2] and wore it throughout his stay in Denmark. He played all four of Denmark's matches at the 2002 World Cup, though Gravesen and his partner in the Danish midfield duo, Stig Tøfting, justified their pit bull reputations when they ganged up to play a prank on teammate Jesper Grønkjær at a World Cup training session.[19]

He missed the first group match at Euro 2004, as he was suspended due to a sending off in the last qualifying match before the tournament but he played the remaining three games before Denmark were eliminated.

In September 2006, he ended his career with the Danish national team, so he could concentrate on his club career with his club side Celtic.

International goals

Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
Thomas Gravesen: International goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 6th October 2001 Copenhagen, Denmark  Iceland 3-0 6-0 2002 World Cup qualifier
2 6th October 2001 Copenhagen, Denmark  Iceland 4-0 6-0 2002 World Cup qualifier
3 29th March 2003 Bucharest, Romania  Romania 2-2 5-2 Euro 2004 qualifier
4 30th April 2003 Copenhagen, Denmark  Ukraine 1-0 1-0 Friendly match
5 11th June 2003 Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 2-0 2-0 Euro 2004 qualifier



  1. ^ Gravesen completes switch to Real, BBC Sport, January 14, 2005
  2. ^ a b Oliver Kay, Real yearn for steel of Gravesen, The Times article, January 13, 2005
  3. ^ Real Madrid crush Espanyol 4-0 to make it six in a row, Daily Times, February 7 2005
  4. ^ Andy Hunter, United weigh up a January move for Gravesen, The Independent article, December 8 2005
  5. ^ Wednesday's gossip column, BBC Sport, May 31, 2006
  6. ^ Gravesen lashes out at Capello, World Soccer, September 8 2006
  7. ^ (Spanish) El Madrid abre la puerta a Gravesen, Marca, August 2 2006
  8. ^ Alex Livie, Grav likes look of Magpies, Sky Sports, August 13 2006
  9. ^ Simon Fudge, Grav considers Bhoys, Sky Sports, August 16 2006
  10. ^ Celtic complete Gravesen capture, BBC Sport, August 30 2006
  11. ^ (Danish) Lars Berendt, Thomas Gravesen stopper på landsholdet, DBU, September 15 2006
  12. ^ (Danish) Lars Jørgen Andersen, Hat trick af Thomas Gravesen, TV 2 (Denmark), November 12 2006
  13. ^ Strachan dismisses transfer talk, BBC Sport, April 13 2007
  14. ^ (Danish) Mads Clausen, Strachan skuffet over Gravesen, Danmarks Radio, May 22, 2007
  15. ^ "Celtic part company with Thomas Gravesen". Celtic F.C.. 18 August 2008.  
  16. ^ Kell, Tom (2008-05-12). "Gravesen and Wessels leave Toffees". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  
  17. ^ GRAVESEN (Thomas Gravesen) - Celtic and Denmark
  18. ^ Klaus Moe, "Psykisk for ustabil", B.T. article, April 19 2000
  19. ^ (Danish) Lars Møller, Thomas Gravesen i billeder, Danmarks Radio, 2005

Further reading

  • Thomas Gravesen, told to Kurt Lassen, "Min version" (My version), Denmark, 2005, ISBN 87-91693-51-9

External links

Simple English

Thomas Gravesen
Personal information
Full name Thomas Gravesen
Date of birth 11 May 1976 (1976-05-11) (age 34)
Place of birth    Vejle, Denmark
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Hamburger SV
Real Madrid
Everton (loan)
National team
1998-2006 Denmark

Thomas Gravesen (born 11 March 1976) is a former Danish football player. He has played for Denmark national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1994/95VejleFirst Division90
1997/98Hamburger SVBundesliga262
2000/01EvertonPremier League322
2004/05Real MadridLa Liga171
2006/07CelticPremier League226
2007/08EvertonPremier League80
CountryDenmark 7110
Germany 746
England 14911
Spain 341
Scotland 226
Total 35034

International career statistics

Denmark national team


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