Thomas Christiansen

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Thomas Christiansen
Personal information
Full name Thomas Christiansen Tarín
Date of birth (1973-03-11) 11 March 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth Copenhagen, Denmark
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1982–1988 Avedøre
1988 Brøndby
1989–1991 Hvidovre
1991 B.93
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Barcelona B 60 (28)
1993–1996 Barcelona 0 (0)
1993 Sporting Gijón (loan) 10 (4)
1993–1994 Osasuna (loan) 14 (1)
1994–1995 Racing Santander (loan) 15 (1)
1996–1997 Oviedo 50 (5)
1997–1999 Villarreal 41 (6)
1999 Terrassa 17 (5)
2000 Panionios 12 (3)
2000 Herfølge 4 (2)
2001–2003 VfL Bochum 76 (38)
2003–2006 Hannover 96 55 (12)
Total 354 (105)
National team
1992–1995 Spain U21 11 (3)
1993 Spain 2 (1)
Teams managed
2013 Al Jazira Club (assistant)
2014– AEK Larnaca
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Christiansen and the second or maternal family name is Tarín.

Thomas Christiansen Tarín (born 11 March 1973) is a Spanish retired footballer and current coach of AEK Larnaca.

A left-footed striker, he played for a number of clubs in Danish, Spanish and German football, being crowned the top goalscorer of the 2002–03 Bundesliga.

Christiansen also briefly represented the Spanish national team, in a 15-year professional career.

Football career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Copenhagen to a Spanish mother, Christiansen was raised in Denmark.[1] He started playing football aged nine in Avedøre IF, and played for Brøndby IF for a single year in 1988, before moving on to Hvidovre IF.

Christiansen trained with the youth team of Spanish giants Real Madrid, but when his mother forbade him to join the club, he moved to another Danish club, Boldklubben af 1893.[1] In May 1991, Christiansen scored six goals in a youth team match against Kjøbenhavns Boldklub, and went back to Spain to train with the youth team of defending La Liga champions FC Barcelona, Real Madrid's archrivals.[2]


Christiansen signed a four-year contract with Barcelona in July 1991, when Johan Cruyff was club manager, with a dream of playing alongside the club's Danish playmaker Michael Laudrup.[3] he played his first match in Spain with FC Barcelona B, the reserve team of the club, where he soon was joined by compatriot midfielder Ronnie Ekelund. During this period, he was frequently called up to train with the first team.

When he joined Barcelona, Christiansen signed a contract clause saying he would be a Spanish citizen, and thereby not count towards the foreigner quota in the league. After becoming naturalized, he was called up for the under-21 national team in December 1992,[4] and scored a goal as Germany was defeated 2–1.

Still playing for Barcelona's B team, Christiansen was called up for the senior Spanish senior team by manager Javier Clemente, in January 1993. He made his debut against Mexico, and impressed in a game which featured few regulars for the national side. He prolonged his Barcelona contract until 1997, and made his official debut for the club when he played the last seven minutes of the UEFA Super Cup final – first leg – against SV Werder Bremen. He played his first full Barcelona match in a Spanish Cup contest against Atlético Madrid, and was once more selected to the national team, appearing as a substitute in Spain's 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Lithuania, and scoring with a smart flick of the heel in an eventual 5–0 home win.

Without having played any league games for Barcelona, Christiansen was put on loan at first-divisioner Sporting de Gijón, in February 1993. He was mostly injured during that stint, but managed four league goals. He returned to Barcelona in July, but another injury in the pre-season meant he would see no further playing time under Cruyff.[5] Other loans followed, first at CA Osasuna in 1994, and then at Racing de Santander in the 1994–95 season. At Santander, he started well, and after his first league match, was recalled to the Spanish national team, only to pull out due to injury.

Mixed success[edit]

Spanish league regulations stated that following three years of loan contracts, Barcelona had to compensate Christiansen financially, if they declined any proposed transfer deal. He was first sold to English club Manchester City in October 1995, but Christiansen wanted to stay in Spain, being instead sold to Real Oviedo in January of the following year for DKK 4.6 million.[6] Following a good start, Christiansen failed to score any goals in his second season there (31 games), and was sold to Segunda División club Villarreal CF in November 1997. He helped the Valencian win promotion in 1998, but the following season was no success, with only a single league goal scored and club relegation.

A proposed deal with a Mexican team never materialized, and Christiansen was without a club in 1999. He went on to play for Spanish lower league club Terrassa FC, also based in Catalonia,[7] finishing that season at Panionios G.S.S. in Greece, before returning to Denmark in August 2000, signing with defending Danish champions Herfølge BK, and showed good form when he scored two goals in a win over eventual runners-up Brøndby.

Breakthrough in Germany[edit]

In January 2001, Christiansen moved to Germany to play for VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga. In his first year at the club, Bochum were relegated to the second division, and the player experienced a déjà vu, as his old club Herfølge were also relegated that season. With 17 goals in the following season,[8] he was the North Rhine-Westphalia's top scorer as the club won promotion; he added 21 in next year's top flight, being crowned joint league top scorer with Giovane Élber.

Following that achievement, Christiansen was recruited by Hannover 96 to replace striker Fredi Bobic in June 2003, wearing number 9. He scored nine goals in his first year at the club, but could not reproduce his form from Bochum. He suffered several injuries, including a knee operation and two shinbone injuries. In the summer 2006, Hannover chose not to prolong his contract, and he left the club, retiring shortly after.

Coaching career[edit]

Christiansen started his coaching career at UAE club Al Jazira as assistant of Luis Milla, from February 2013 until October of the same year. By the end of April he was selected by Xavi Roca, who was at the time team manager at AEK Larnaca, to be the head coach of the Cypriot team.[9]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 24 February 1993 Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain  Lithuania 4–0 5–0 1994 World Cup qualification





Spain U21


  1. ^ a b Uno, Steen (4 July 1991). "Cruyffs nye stjerneskud Thomas fra Hvidovre". BT (in Danish). 
  2. ^ Kristensen, Jens-Carl (30 June 1991). "Pingel bliver den næste". Berlingske Tidende (in Danish). 
  3. ^ "Drømmen er at spille med Laudrup". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 31 July 1991. 
  4. ^ Madsen, Peter Juul (14 December 1992). "Thomas på spansk landshold". BT (in Danish). 
  5. ^ Ahlstrøm, Frits (30 October 1994). "Jeg vil spille for Cruyff". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 
  6. ^ Pihl, Jørgen (7 January 1996). "Oviedo scorer mål- sluger". BT (in Danish). 
  7. ^ "En stjerne i mørket". Aktuelt (in Danish). 30 October 1999. 
  8. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (6 May 2011). "Thomas Christiansen Tarín - Matches and goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Συμβόλαιο συνεργασίας με Thomas Christiansen". 30 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 

External links[edit]