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 Hadsund, Denmark
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
AEK Larnaca (coach)
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 (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 in Hadsund, Denmark[1][2]) is a retired footballer who played as a striker, and the current coach of AEK Larnaca FC.

Left-footed, 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.

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Copenhagen to a Spanish mother, Christiansen was raised in Denmark.[3][4][5] He started playing football aged nine in Avedøre IF, then spent one year at Brøndby IF 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.[3] In May 1991 he scored six goals in a youth team match against Kjøbenhavns Boldklub, and went back to Spain to train with defending La Liga champions FC Barcelona.[6]


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.[7] he started competing as a senior with the reserve side FC Barcelona B, where he soon was joined by compatriot Ronnie Ekelund; during this period, he was frequently called up to train with the main squad.

When he joined Barcelona, Christiansen agreed to a clause in his contract that stated 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,[8] and scored a goal to help defeat Germany 2–1.[9]

Still playing for Barcelona's B-team, Christiansen was called up for the Spanish senior squad by manager Javier Clemente, in January 1993, making his debut against Mexico on the 27th and impressing in a game which featured few regulars for the European nation.[10] He prolonged his link with the Catalans 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.[11][12] He appeared in his first full Barcelona match in a Copa del Rey contest against Atlético Madrid, and was once more selected to the national team, appearing as a substitute in a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Lithuania and scoring with a flick of the heel in an eventual 5–0 home win.[13]

Without having played any league games for Barcelona, Christiansen was put on loan at fellow league club Sporting de Gijón, in February 1993. He was mostly injured during that stint, but managed four league goals, subsequently returning to the Camp Nou where he suffered another injury during pre-season;[14] other loans followed, first at CA Osasuna then at Racing de Santander in the 1994–95 season, starting well enough at the latter to earn another call-up by Spain, 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 wanted to stay in Spain, being instead sold to Real Oviedo in January of the following year for DKK 4.6 million.[15] Following a good start, he failed to score any goals in his second year even though he appeared in 31 matches, and was sold to Segunda División's Villarreal CF in November 1997, helping it promote but managing to find the net only once the following campaign, which ended in relegation.

A proposed deal with a Mexican team never materialized, and Christiansen was without a club in 1999. He went on to play for Terrassa FC in the Spanish lower leagues,[16] 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 showing 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, being relegated to the second division (as with Herfølge) but contributing with 17 goals the following campaign, to be the North Rhine-Westphalia's side top scorer as it won promotion; he added 21 in next year's top flight, being crowned joint league top scorer with Giovane Élber.[17]

Following that achievement, Christiansen was signed by Hannover 96 to replace Fredi Bobic in June 2003. He scored nine times in his first year at the club, but failed to reproduce his previous form mainly due to several injuries, including a knee operation and two shinbone ailments; in the summer of 2006, the club chose not to prolong his contract and he left, retiring shortly after.

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

Coaching career[edit]

Christiansen started his managerial career in the United Arab Emirates, as part of Luis Milla's coahing staff at Al Jazira Club, arriving in February 2013 and leaving in October as the head coach was fired. In late April 2014 he was appointed head coach of Cypriot First Division side AEK Larnaca FC, after having been approached for the job by former Barcelona B teammate Xavi Roca, who acted as director of football.[18]





Spain U21


  1. ^ Football - Thomas Christiansen
  2. ^ - Thomas Christiansen
  3. ^ a b Uno, Steen (4 July 1991). "Cruyffs nye stjerneskud Thomas fra Hvidovre". BT (in Danish). 
  4. ^ "Football: Top to Bochum; Dane from Spain Thomas gives new boys dream start". The Free Library. 26 August 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "AEK Larnaca make sixth signing". Parikiaki. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Kristensen, Jens-Carl (30 June 1991). "Pingel bliver den næste". Berlingske Tidende (in Danish). 
  7. ^ "Drømmen er at spille med Laudrup". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 31 July 1991. 
  8. ^ Madsen, Peter Juul (14 December 1992). "Thomas på spansk landshold". BT (in Danish). 
  9. ^ "Los sub-21 de Goikoetxea ganan a Alemania por 1–2" [Goikoetxea's under-21 defeat Germany 1–2] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 16 December 1992. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Más joven, pero igual de gris" [Younger, but just as grey] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 28 January 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "El Barça encarrila otro euro-título" [Barça all but wins another euro-title] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 11 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Christiansen: “Al fin he cumplido mi gran sueño”" [Christiansen: “Finally my big dream has come true”] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 11 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "La selección repite otro 5–0 en Sevilla" [The national team repeats another 5–0 in Seville] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 25 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Ahlstrøm, Frits (30 October 1994). "Jeg vil spille for Cruyff". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 
  15. ^ Pihl, Jørgen (7 January 1996). "Oviedo scorer mål- sluger". BT (in Danish). 
  16. ^ "En stjerne i mørket". Aktuelt (in Danish). 30 October 1999. 
  17. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (6 May 2011). "Thomas CHRISTIANSEN Tarín – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Συμβόλαιο συνεργασίας με Thomas Christiansen" (in Greek). AEK Larnaca. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 

External links[edit]