Michael Schjønberg

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Michael Schjønberg
Personal information
Full name Michael Schjønberg Christensen
Date of birth (1967-01-19) 19 January 1967 (age 47)
Place of birth Esbjerg, Denmark
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Playing position wingback
Club information
Current team
Vålerenga (assistant)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1990 Esbjerg fB 89 (14)
1990–1994 Hannover 96 123 (12)
1994–1996 Odense BK 64 (14)
1996–2001 1. FC Kaiserslautern 117 (13)
Total 393 (53)
National team
1995–2000 Denmark 44 (3)
Teams managed
2003–2004 1. FC Kaiserslautern (youth)
2004–2005 Herfølge BK
2005–2006 Hannover 96 (assistant)
2006 Hannover 96 (caretaker)
2006–2007 Hannover 96 II
2007 1. FC Kaiserslautern (Director of Sport)
2008–2011 FC Vestsjælland (Director of Sport)
2009–2011 FC Vestsjælland
2013– Vålerenga (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Schjønberg Christensen (born 19 January 1967) is a Danish Association football manager, club official, and former player, who is the current assistant manager of Vålerenga Fotball.

During his active career, he played more than 100 games for both German clubs Hannover 96 and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, winning the 1992 DFB Cup with Hannover and the 1997–98 German Bundesliga championship with Kaiserslautern. He also represented Danish clubs Esbjerg fB and Odense BK. He played 44 games and scored three goals for the Denmark national football team, and was a participant at the international 1995 King Fahd Cup, Euro 1996, 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Euro 2000 tournaments.

After suffering a career-ending injury in 2001, he became a football coach in 2003. He first became manager of Danish club Herfølge BK in 2004, alongside Allan Nielsen. He has held a number of coaching and club official positions in his former German clubs, and was caretaker manager of Hannover 96 in 2006.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Esbjerg, Schjønberg started his career as an attacking midfielder for hometown club Esbjerg fB, playing in 103 first team matches in total. He and Esbjerg teammate Jesper Kristensen went to a training session with Esbjerg native Allan Nielsen at Nielsen's German club Bayern Munich in the winter of 1989.

Hannover 96[edit]

When Bayern's amateur team coach Hans-Dieter Schmidt later became manager of German club Hannover 96, he remembered Schjønberg and offered him a contract.[2] In 1990, Schjønberg moved abroad to play for the 2. Bundesliga side.

At Hannover 96, he was converted to a defensive player, and eventually settled in as left wingback.[2] He won his first trophy as a senior player, when the club surprisingly beat top flight Borussia Mönchengladbach, to win the 1992 DFB Cup. The game ended in a penalty shoot-out, where Schjønberg scored the deciding kick to secure the triumph for Hannover 96.[3] Unhappy with the new contractual offer from Hannover 96, Schjønberg looked ready to move back to Denmark to play for Odense BK in Summer 1992. After the DFB Cup win, he received an improved contract, and became team captain. However, he had a hard time getting into the Danish national team. After 123 league games and 12 goals for Hannover 96, he looked around for a new club in the summer of 1994.

Odense BK[edit]

Schjønberg moved to Odense BK in 1994, in a transfer deal worth DKK 700,000. The transfer came, as Schjønberg felt more likely to secure a place in the Danish national team when playing for a Danish club.[4] He was called up for the national team in January 1995. With Odense, he reached the quarter-final of the 1994–95 UEFA Cup. It was Odense's greatest European result, as the club eliminated Spanish giants Real Madrid before being narrowly defeated by Italian side AC Parma in the quarter-finals.

Kaiserslautern[edit]

After Euro 1996, he moved back to Germany, to play for 2.Bundesliga team 1. FC Kaiserslautern in a transfer deal worth DEM 1.35 million.[5] In his first year at the club, 1. FC Kaiserslautern won promotion to the Bundesliga. His success continued, as the club remarkably went on to win the title upon their return to the top flight.

Schjønberg was an important part of this achievement. He scored the club's very first goal of the 1997–98 season, in the opening game against defending champions Bayern Munich. Ten minutes before the final whistle, Schjønberg headed the ball in after a cross from Swiss midfielder Ciriaco Sforza and secured a 1–0 win. This victory was the beginning of the 1. FC Kaiserslautern fairy tale, and Schjønberg went on to play 32 of 34 league games and score four goals, as the club became the first ever 2. Bundesliga promotees to immediately win the Bundesliga title. Returning to Kaiserslautern after the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Schjønberg was heavily injured early in the 1998–99 season. In September 1998, Schjønberg collided with VfL Bochum goalkeeper Thomas Ernst, and broke his shinbone. He underwent a seven-month period of rehabilitation and returned in April 1999.

Schjønberg made a memorable appearance in the penultimate match of the 1999–00 season. In the game against SC Freiburg, first-choice goalkeeper Georg Koch was injured and the substitute goalkeeper Uwe Gospodarek replaced him. By the half-time break, Gosporadek had suffered an injury of his own, and with no more goalkeepers selected for the match squad, Schjønberg took over the keeper's gloves. In the 59th minute, Levan Kobiashvili scored against Schjønberg to give SC Freiburg a 2–1 lead, but Schjønberg otherwise kept the goal intact. He crowned his achievement with a saved penalty kick, when he held the shot from Alexander Iashvili in the 84th minute.[6]

In 1. FC Kaiserslautern's 2000–01 season, he suffered another injury in just the second game, against VfL Wolfsburg. He returned in December that year, and eventually regained his place back in the starting line-up. Such injuries caught up with him though, and due to old injuries and acute knee problems, he had to promptly terminate his football career after the 2000–01 season. He played 117 league games and scored 13 goals in his time for 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

International career[edit]

He made his debut for the Danish national team in the 1995 King Fahd Cup in January 1995. He played all three of Denmark's matches at the tournament, which they eventually won. He was also selected for the 1996 European Championship, where he played in Denmark's last two group games before elimination.

After this memorable domestic season, Schjønberg was selected to play for Denmark at the 1998 World Cup in France, where he played four of Denmark's five matches before elimination. He began the tournament as Denmark's starting left wingback, but eventually lost the place to Jan Heintze as the tournament progressed. He was called up to represent Denmark at Euro 2000, and started in Denmark's three matches before elimination. The last group match against the Czech Republic on 21 June 2000, would be Schjønberg's last game for the national team.

Managerial career[edit]

After ending his active football career, Michael Schjønberg changed into the coaching business when he became youth coach at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in July 2003. He moved to Denmark in July 2004, to coach Danish Superliga club Herfølge BK, alongside his good friend Allan Nielsen. Herfølge BK were relegated to the Danish 1st Division, but Schjønberg kept his job. In November 2005, Schjønberg became assistant coach of Hannover 96 to manager Peter Neururer. When Neururer was fired in September 2006, Schjønberg deputised as head coach for a single DFB Cup match, where Hannover 96 eliminated Dynamo Dresden. When Hannover 96 hired Dieter Hecking as new head coach, he brought Dirk Bremser with him as assistant coach, and Schjønberg became the coach of the amateur ranks of the club.

From 4. April 2007 till 07. November 2007 he was Sports director of 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

In the summer of 2008 he was appointed new sporting director of Danish club FC Vestsjælland and was named as the Head Coach of the club on 1 April 2009, Schjønberg replaced Jeppe Tengbjerg. He was sacked on 29 June 2011 due to a poor finish to the 2010–11 season.

In January 2013 he was appointed as first-team coach with the Norwegian side Vålerenga Fotball.[7] Vålerengas manager, Kjetil Rekdal knew Schjønberg from his time at Kaiserslautern previously where he had worked under him.[8]

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.worldfootball.net/spieler_profil/michael-schjoenberg/
  2. ^ a b "Anonym dansker med tysk succes", Politiken, 10 February 1992
  3. ^ "Dansker blev matchvinder i den tyske pokalfinale", Berlingske Tidende, 25 May 1992
  4. ^ Bjarne Nielsen, "700.000 kr for Schjønberg", Ekstra Bladet, 28 April 1994
  5. ^ Torben Larsen, "Schjønberg til Kaiserslautern", B.T., 3 September 1996
  6. ^ (German) Spielstatistik SC Freiburg – 1. FC K'lautern 2:1 (1:1) at FussballDaten
  7. ^ Johannesen, Sturla (15 January 2013). "Rekdal henter tidligere Kaiserslautern-sjef som trener". tv2.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Vik, Marius (15 January 2013). "Rekdal henter dansk sjefstrener". vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 January 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Johnny Petersen
Herfølge BK manager
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Jesper Hansen