Simon Kjær

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Simon Kjær
Simon Kjaer.JPG
Kjær in 2009
Personal information
Full name Simon Thorup Kjær[1]
Date of birth (1989-03-26) 26 March 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth Horsens,[2] Denmark
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Lille OSC
Number 14
Youth career
Midtjylland
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Midtjylland 19 (0)
2008–2010 Palermo 62 (5)
2010–2013 VfL Wolfsburg 57 (3)
2011–2012 Roma (loan) 22 (0)
2013– Lille OSC 38 (1)
National team
2006 Denmark U18 1 (0)
2006–2008 Denmark U19 10 (1)
2008 Denmark U20 1 (0)
2008–2011 Denmark U21 2 (0)
2009– Denmark 44 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 August 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2014

Simon Thorup Kjær (pronounced [kʰæːɐ̯]; born 26 March 1989) is a Danish professional football player, who plays as a centre back for Lille in the French Ligue 1, and the Danish national team.

He was named 2007 Danish under-19 talent of the year and 2009 Danish Talent of the Year. Kjær has played over 40 games for Denmark, including at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.

Club career[edit]

FC Midtjylland[edit]

Born in Horsens, Kjær started playing football with small-time club Lund IF near Horsens, before moving to the youth team of Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland in 2004.[3] He was named the best player of a French youth tournament in April 2006,[4] and Midtjylland subsequently rejected offers from Lille OSC for Kjær and Jesper Juelsgård.[5] He made his senior debut for Midtjylland in the Viasat Cup training matches in June 2006,[6] and was promoted to the first team squad in January 2007.[7] He had a successful trial with Real Madrid in August 2007, but their transfer offer was refused by FC Midtjylland.[8] He signed a five-year contract with Midtjylland instead in September 2007.[1]

He made his Superliga debut on 30 September 2007, in the 2–0 victory against AGF, and played four games in the first half of the Danish Superliga 2007-08 season. By October 2007, Kjær had attracted the likes of Premier League clubs Middlesbrough and Chelsea.[9] In February 2008, Kjær signed a five-year contract with Italian club Palermo, effective from the summer 2008,[10][11][12] earning Midtjylland a €4 million transfer fee.[13] He played all 15 games in the second half of the Superliga season, forming a defensive partnership with Magnus Troest.

Palermo[edit]

In July 2008, Kjær joined Palermo of Italian Serie A. Thus was Simon Kjær told that he first came into consideration for a starting place when the Italian language was in place.[14] At the press conference in Palermo, Kjær was told by the club that Barcelona he had always admired a team like FC Barcelona and their way of playing football on. Furthermore asked one of the Italian journalists as to which defensive player would love to compare themselves with which Kjær said Rafael Márquez. Language problems were overcome quickly, as he in Denmark had taken Italian lessons in the run up to summer, when he and his girlfriend had to move to Italy.

He got his Palermo debut on 26 October 2008 as a half-time substitute against Fiorentina in Serie A. His performance won praise despite Palermo's 3–1 home defeat.[15]

He scored his first goal for Palermo in his third appearance on 2 November in a 3–0 win over Chievo.[16] Kjær played with it relatively quickly for a permanent seat on the team. Then, showed great defensive qualities and came quickly in the Italian big clubs spotlight after several good performances. Kjær was also selected for the "Round team in Serie A ".[17] Besides the defensive showed affection also offensive qualities and was Palermo's most scoring defender in Serie A in 2008/2009 season with 3 scores. His Serie A -scores were plotted against Chievo, Lecce and Bologna. He came on the measured breeding in her only the third Serie A match, having had more intrusive attempts. Kjær's second goal described as nothing less than a clean drømmemål, where he was from a sharp angle tipped the ball over Lecce – keeper of the pastern. After several solid performances from love, the international clubs interest no less during the debut season, and he was frequently rumored to several big clubs around Europe. Kjær had a clause in his contract with Palermo, which meant he could buy freedom for 12 million euros, corresponding to approx. 90 million Danish kroner.[18] His excellent performances ensured him more first team football, as he played 27 games and scored three goals in the Serie A 2008–09 season with a total of 2029 minutes of playing time to follow in the best Italian variety.[19]

Throughout pre-season Kjær worked hard with his teammates and was among other things, measured breeding against Denizlispor in Palermo's training camp in Austria. He confirmed his reputation as a first team regular in the following 2009–10 season, and formed a strong defensive partnership with fellow centre-back Cesare Bovo. In September 2009, he signed an improved contract with the Sicilian club.[20] When the season started was love again with the start and got all the minutes in the fighting, and succeeded, among other things, to score again against Bologna, when he made it 1–1 shortly before half-time in a match like Palermo nonetheless lost 1 -3.

He was named 2009 Danish Talent of the Year in November 2009, beating Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner and Ajax's Christian Eriksen after his successful first season in Palermo.[21] Later he was also honored by player association as this year's Danish footballer in 2009.[22] On this occasion, expressing love great satisfaction, and proclaimed that this award meant more to him than the Year award talent, which he had in view of journalists and the general population.[23] The next day he could celebrate the prize with a goal scored against Cagliari that decided the match for his team Palermo's advantage as the match ended 2–1. He scored twice in the first half of the season, and played a total 35 Serie A games during the season.

By the 2009–10 season, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini admitted that he expected Edinson Cavani and Kjær to leave the club this summer after their impressive performance at the World Cup.[24]

VfL Wolfsburg[edit]

Clubs like English side Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Italian side Juventus and Bundesliga champion Wolfsburg reportedly showed interest in signing Kjær.

On 30 June 2010, Wolfsburg confirmed that they have opened talked signing Kjær.[25] Eventually, Wolfsburg eventually have beaten off competition from various European heavyweights to sign Kjær.[26] On 8 July 2010, Wolfsburg officially bought him for undisclosed fee believed to be in excess of £10million.[27] Following his move to Wolfsburg, Kjær said: "The transfer means I have the chance to play for a top club, I think this is the right step for me. We have a strong team that can challenge at the top of the Bundesliga. First, I need to secure a regular place." The deal made led to the most expensive Danish footballer so far.[28] With the shift to the German club was Kjær one of the best paid Danish footballers with an annual salary of around €3 million.[29] The move from Serie A to the Bundesliga and VfL Wolfsburg was not only economically justifiable for the young Danish striker. Both national coach Morten Olsen[30] and Kjær himself said after the shift that this is both sporty and developmentally was a step in the right direction for him.[31]

Kjær made his debut s a wise investment for the German club already in pre-season, where he less than a month after his move to Wolfsburg, the match winner in a friendly match against FC Augsburg in a 1–0 victory to Die Wolfe.[32]

Kjær made his official debut for Wolfsburg in the German Cup, the DFB Cup 2010–11, in the away game in the first round against Preußen Münster, 15 August 2010. Wolfsburg played out further in the tournament with a 1–2 victory. Kjær made his debut for Wolfsburg in a 2–1 loss against Bayern Munich on 20 August 2010.[33]

After a poor start to the season for great rates end Wolfsburg, with varying results and unmet expectations but on 30 October 2010, Kjær scored his first goal for Wolfsburg in a 2–0 win over Stuttgart when he headed in the ball over the line after a corner kick, but even if all media naturally had attributed the blonde Dane goal, it appeared that the judge in his report had noted affection for the target. Several statisticians have noted continued affection for the goal, but officially, the aim now been credited Edin Džeko.[34] Despite much criticism in several media for his performances in the Bundesliga after switching from Serie A, Kjær played in the starting formation in all 17 Bundesliga matches in the autumn 2010 season. After having formed duo with Andrea Barzagli in Wolfsburg central defense throughout the autumn season, Kjær played instead with the German national team player Arne Friedrich at his side, in forårspræmieren against FC Bayern Munich.[35] In his 19 Bundesliga match in a row since switching to Die Wolfe, Kjær scored his first Bundesliga goals for the club. Kjær was match winner in the 0–1 away game against Mainz 05, with a hovedstødsmål in the 83rd minute,[36] which Kjær secured the first Wolfsburg victory in eight matches – after seven drawn games in a row.[37]

Following Steve McClaren's sacking (who brought him to the club) due to further poor results in February 2011, Felix Magath returned to Wolfsburg (the manager guided the club to win their first Bundesliga title). Magath made a comment on criticising the 'poor condition' of the players he inherited (including Kjær) from McClaren.[38] During the English coach had Kjær started 20 out of 21 Bundesliga matches, after having been out with an injury in round 20 against Dortmund.[39] In connection with the dismissal declared affection in public, that he was sorry for firing, and that he had been happy to work with Steve McClaren.[40] In his first season, Kjær made 32 appearances and scored two goals.

In his second season at Wolfsburg, Kjær made three appearances for Wolfsburg. Kjær's time at Wolfsburg has been met by frustration, as the club narrowly avoided the drop last season and he has come under fire for some lacklustre displays.

Loan to Roma[edit]

Kjær during his time at Roma.

In the summer transfer window 2011, Kjær revealed that head coach Magath told him that he'll be allowed to leave this summer and reported that he had fallen out favor with Magath.[41] Italian side Roma revealed the club are on the verge of signing Kjær on a €10 million move from Wolfsburg as a replacement for centre-back Philippe Mexès who left for AC Milan on a free transfer.[42] However, the move to Roma was put back on hold after reports in Italy claimed the defender had been recalled by his club Wolfsburg.[43] Instead on 30 August 2011, Kjær went out on a season-long loan deal to Roma, with the option to purchase at the end of the season.[44]

Kjær made his debut for Roma in a 0–0 draw against Inter Milan on 17 September 2011. On 16 October 2011, Kjær received a red in a 2–1 loss against Lazio. Roma director Walter Sabatini dropped a strong hint that the club may decide against signing Kjær on a permanent basis due to his poor performance at Roma. He has been largely disappointing for Roma after he was to blame after Roma's 4–2 defeat to Cagliari on 1 February 2012.[45] In the end, Roma decided against signing Kjær permanently, stating that he had made too many costly errors.

Return to Wolfsburg[edit]

After his loan-spell at Roma ended, Kjær stated he will not return to Wolfsburg, after coach Magath decided the Dane was not going to be part of his first team plans for the club's 2012–13 season.[46] However, Magath soon after announced he was now willing to bury the hatchet with Kjær and would be keen to bring him into his first team at Wolfsburg.[47]

Lille OSC[edit]

On 5 July 2013 it was announced that Kjær had signed a 4-year deal with Ligue 1 side, Lille.[48]

Kjær impressed during his first season in the French Ligue 1 as leader of the best defense in the major European national leagues in the 2013–14 season conceding only 26 goals in 38 matches including an impressive number of 21 clean sheets. As a result of the solid performances Kjær frequently appeared on various medias team of the week during the entire season, eventually earning a spot on "the Ligue 1 Team of the Season" alongside teammate and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.[49]

He scored his first ever Ligue 1 goal against Lorient with a deflected free kick. [50]

International career[edit]

Kjær attempt to block Wesley Sneijder shot in the UEFA Euro 2012 campaign.

Kjær made his debut for the Denmark national under-19 football team in September 2006, at the age of 17.[51] He played a total 10 games and scored one goal for the under-19s until October 2007, and was named 2007 Danish under-19 talent of the year as the under-19s coach found Kjær had shown himself a talented defender despite his young age.[52] Following his breakthrough with Midtjylland, Kjær was rested from the under-19s in March 2008 to avoid wearing him out.[53]

He was called up for the Denmark national under-21 football team in May 2008 as a replacement for Michael Jakobsen,[54] making his debut in a 0–4 defeat against the Germany under-21s.[55] He was out of the under-21 team during his first time at Palermo, but was recalled in October 2008,[56] spending the game as an unused substitute to Magnus Troest and Mathias Jørgensen.[57] Kjær was called up to the senior Danish national team in February 2009,[58] as national team coach Morten Olsen was impressed by his form for Palermo,[59] and saw him and Per Krøldrup as main competitors to replace the retired defender Martin Laursen.[60] He was an unused substitute for the friendly match against Greece, and returned to the under-21s for a single game in March 2009,[61] playing well enough that under-21 coach Keld Bordinggaard recommended him for a recall to Olsen's squad.[62]

He was once again a part of the senior squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Sweden on 6 June 2009. Per Krøldrup was unavailable due to injury, and Kjær played the full game despite an injury of his own,[63] as Denmark won 1–0. Kjær established himself in the Danish starting line-up, played the following three qualification games, and helped Denmark qualify for the 2010 World Cup. For the September 2009 qualification game against Portugal, Kjær told reporters that Cristiano Ronaldo should be stopped by a series of small fouls and one hard tackle.[64] This prompted a complaint to FIFA by the Portuguese Football Federation requesting Kjær be suspended for unsportsman-like conduct, but the case was dropped following the mediation of the Danish Football Association.[65]

On 28 May 2010, Denmark coach Morten Olsen announced that the player would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[66] He was in the starting eleven in Denmark's first two games against the Netherlands and Cameroon, where he received a yellow card in both games and therefore missed the third and crucial group game against Japan. However in the match against Cameroon he was highly praised for his excellent long-range passing which helped to set up Nicklas Bendtner's first goal.[67]

On 7 September 2010 following Denmark win over Iceland, Stig Tøfting has not been impressed by Kjær and criticized him that he is making too many mistakes. This led Kjær offended and hit back on Tøfting saying "These statements hit me personally! It is the first time that I have come under pressure and I try to take these words as a motivation. I am not happy about his (Tøfting's) opinion. He just says that to stay in the public attention. He should be serious!"[68]

Kjær was a part of the Danish UEFA Euro 2012-team, and was among the starting 11 in each of the three group games against the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany.

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

Season Club League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2007–08 FC Midtjylland 19 0 2 0 - - 21 0
2008–09 Palermo 27 3 0 0 - - 27 3
2009–10 35 2 3 0 - - 38 2
2010–11 Wolfsburg 32 1 2 0 - - 34 1
2011–12 3 0 1 0 - - 4 0
2011–12 A.S. Roma (loan) 22 0 2 0 - - 24 0
2012–13 Wolfsburg 22 2 3 0 - - 25 2
2013–14 Lille 34 0 2 1 - - 36 1
Totals Denmark 19 0 2 0 - - 21 0
Italy 84 5 5 1 - - 89 6
Germany 57 3 6 0 - - 63 3
France 34 0 2 1 - - 36 1
Career total 194 8 15 2 - - 209 10

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 22 March 2013 Olomouc, Czech Republic  Czech Republic 2–0 3–0 2014 World Cup Qualification

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

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  49. ^ Bairner, Robin (8 May 2014). "Ligue 1 Team of the Season: Ibrahimovic enjoys greatest ever campaign". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
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  54. ^ "Agger og Kjær på U/21-landsholdet" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  55. ^ "Nederlag mod stærke tyskere" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
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  57. ^ "Lyset slukket i Beograd" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  58. ^ "Kjaer, Poulsen make Denmark squad for friendly". International Herald Tribune. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  59. ^ "Præstation og potentiale" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  60. ^ "Simon Kjær på landsholdet" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  61. ^ "Zanka og Kjær danner forsvarspar for første gang" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  62. ^ "Bordinggaard anbefalede Kjær | Tipsbladet" (in Danish). Tipsbladet.dk. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  63. ^ "Krøldrup skadet, Kjær tvivlsom" (in Danish). Dbu.dk. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  64. ^ "Kjær: Ronaldo skal lige klaskes ned | Tipsbladet" (in Danish). Tipsbladet.dk. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  65. ^ "Kjær reddet fra Ronaldo-karantæne | Tipsbladet" (in Danish). Tipsbladet.dk. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  66. ^ "Olsen names final Denmark squad". UEFA.com. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  67. ^ "Cameroon 1–2 Denmark match report". guardian.co.uk. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  68. ^ "Kjaer responds to criticism". Sky Sports. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 

External links[edit]