Zimling playing for Denmark at the UEFA Euro 2012
|Full name||Niki Dige Zimling|
|Date of birth||19 April 1985|
|Place of birth||Tårnby, Denmark|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive Midfielder|
|2010–2011||→ N.E.C. (loan)||26||(4)|
|2007–2008||Denmark League XI||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 April 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Niki Dige Zimling (born 19 April 1985) is a Danish professional footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Mainz 05 in the Fußball-Bundesliga. He was named 2006 Danish under-21 Talent of the Year, and has played 17 games for the Danish national team.
As a youngster he played for AB 70, Tårnby Boldklub, Fremad Amager and Kjøbenhavns Boldklub, before he moved to the youth team of Brøndby IF. He was included in Brøndby's senior squad in January 2003, and made his senior debut for Brøndby in April 2003, in a Danish Cup game against Aalborg BK. In the next two years he played a total of 25 matches for the club and scored a single goal. During in which, he made three appearance in the Champions League.
He moved on to Superliga rivals Esbjerg fB in summer 2005, and quickly established himself in Esbjerg's starting line-up. In his first season, Zimling was involved in the club's squad in the Danish Cup Final, which Esbjerg lost 1-0 against Randers. His second season was a big breakthrough for him as he scored ten goals in thirty-appearance and was a second top-scorer for the club, just behind Jesper Bech. Throughout his career at Esbjerg, he was linked with Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais and Bayer Leverkusen.
When his contract expired in December 2008, he moved to Serie A team Udinese Calcio on a free transfer. The deal was announced in July 2008. After two months at Udinese, Zimling finally made his debut for the club, in a 2-0 loss against Genoa on 22 March 2009. On the final game of the season, he went on as a substitute on the 82nd minutes and provided assist for Odion Ighalo, who went on just three minutes later just after Zimling went on as a substitute, in a 6-2 win over Cagliari. In July 2009, Zimling went back to Denmark to finalize a possible transfer, but the deal never materialized and he stayed at Udine. However, his time at Udinese was 'forgettable' after his first team opportunities was limited, due to emergence of midfield talent like Gökhan Inler, Gaetano D'Agostino, Christian Obodo and Fernando Tissone. In his full season at Udinese, Zimling would made one appearance in the league, in a 2-2 draw against Parma on the opening game of the season and never made appearance since.
In June 2010, Dutch club NEC announced that they had signed him on loan for the rest of the season. He made his debut, on the opening game of the season, in a 1-0 win over VVV-Venlo and provide assist, on his next appearance on 15 August 2010, by winning a penalty, allowing Björn Vleminckx to convert in a 5-3 win over Willem II. At NEC, Zimling established himself in the first team. Having not scored his first goal outside Denmark, Zimling finally scored his first goal - and scored again - in a 2-0 win over Excelsior on 13 February 2011 and scored again, the following week, in a 1-1 draw against Twente. Two weeks later, Zimling received a straight red card for a serious foul on an opposition player, which NEC lose heavily 5-1 against ADO Den Haag and would miss four games. Two weeks later, he scored again in a 3-1 loss against Groningen. At NEC, Zimling scored four in twenty-six appearance.
On 27 May 2011, Zimling signed a four-year contract with Belgian football club Club Brugge, for a fee estimated to be around €500,000. On his move, Zimling says Club Brugge are a big club. Zimling made his competitive debut for the clubOn the opening game of the season, Zimling made his debut, in a 5-0 win over Westerlo. At Club Brugge, Zimling since established himself in the first team, making impressive performance. He scored his first goal, in the second round of Belgian, in a 4-4 draw against Gent, which gone through penalty shootout and Zimling converted the second penalty but lost 4-2 on penalties. Later in the season at the league play-offs, Zimling scored his first league goal for the club, on 1 May 2012, in a 2-0 win over Standard Liège. In his first season, Zimling not only made an impressive performance in the league, but also in the Europa League competition.
The following season, Zimling playing time was soon reduced after he damaged his calf muscle, which he will be out for a month. After a month out, Zimling made his return by scoring his first goal for the club in a 7-1 win over Beerschot on 9 December 2012. In his final month at the club, Zimling would make three more appearances.
After two-years at Belgium, Zimling joined Bundesliga side Mainz 05 on a four-year contract, which will keep him until 2017 and the deal believed to be worth around £1.75million. A few days later, on 2 February 2013, He made his debut for the club, in a 3-0 loss against German giant Bayern Munich. Also, a few week later, on 23 February 2013, Zimling scored his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Wolfsburg.
He has represented Denmark 48 times for various national youth teams. He was selected for the Danish under-21 national team for the UEFA U-21 Championship 2006, and was named 2006 Danish under-21 Talent of the Year.
On 20 November 2006, he was called up for the Denmark League XI national football team, for the trip to the United States, El Salvador and Honduras in January 2007, by national team manager Morten Olsen. He was also a part of the League XI team for their January 2008 tour. In February 2008, he made his senior Danish national team debut in a friendly game against Slovenia.
On 11 November 2010, after two and a half years waiting, he returned to the Danish national football team in a friendly against Czech Republic, earning his 2nd match. He was called up again when Denmark had to face Iceland, and played from the beginning because Christian Poulsen was in lack of match fitness. He played the rest of the qualification alongside his childhood friend William Kvist on the Danish midfield, as Denmark qualified for the UEFA Euro 2012.
- Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
|1.||22 March 2013||Olomouc, Czech Republic||Czech Republic||3–0||3–0||2014 World Cup Qualification|
- "Zimling seals EfB switch". UEFA.com. 22 August 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Rennes target Danish star". Sky Sports. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Zimling in Leverkusen link". Sky Sports. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Udinese bring in Zimling". Sky Sports. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Zimling si trasferisce in Danimarca per formalizzare il trasferimento in un club danese" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.[dead link]
- "N.E.C. haalt Will en huurt Zimling". NEC official site (in Dutch). 4 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Officielt: Zimling klar for Brugge" (in Danish). bold.dk. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Zimling: "You notice that Bruges is a big club '" [Zimling: 'Je merkt wel dat Brugge een grote club is'] (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "In short - Koster gets Raúl Bravo, Nalbantoglu to Oss" [Kortom - Koster krijgt Raúl Bravo, Nalbantoglu naar Oss] (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Crush accurate for Bone, Lyon ends in Marseille" [Plet trefzeker voor Been, Lyon loopt uit op Marseille] (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Transfer news: Niki Zimling joins Mainz from Club Brugge". Sky Sports. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Niki Zimling fik Arla Talentpris" (in Danish). dbu.dk. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Niki Zimling" (in Danish). dbu.dk. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Niki Zimling got Arla Talent Award" [Niki Zimling fik Arla Talentpris] (in Danish). Danish Football Association. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Brøndby IF profile (Danish)
- Danish Football Association (Dansk Boldspil-Union) player profile (Danish)
- Official Superliga stats (Danish)
- Career stats at La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italian)