Thomas Sørensen

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Thomas Sørensen
Sørensen, Thomas.jpg
Sørensen in 2007
Personal information
Full name Thomas Løvendahl Sørensen
Date of birth (1976-06-12) 12 June 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Fredericia, Denmark
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Stoke City
Number 29
Youth career
Erritsø
Assens
Odense BK
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1998 Odense BK 0 (0)
1995–1997 Vejle (loan) 6 (0)
1997–1998 Svendborg (loan) 45 (0)
1998–2003 Sunderland 171 (0)
2003–2008 Aston Villa 139 (0)
2008– Stoke City 99 (0)
National team
1993–1995 Denmark U19 3 (0)
1993–1997 Denmark U21 25 (0)
1996 Denmark B 1 (0)
1999–2012[2] Denmark 101 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:26, 11 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:42, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Thomas Løvendahl Sørensen (born 12 June 1976) is a Danish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Stoke City.

Sørensen started his career with his local side Odense BK. After impressing on loan at Vejle Boldklub and Svendborg he was signed by English side Sunderland in 1998. After five years as first choice 'keeper on Wearside he joined Aston Villa for £2 million. He was first choice at Villa until a fall out with Martin O'Neill saw him out of the side and he was released in May 2008. He joined Stoke City in June 2008 on a free transfer. He was first choice goalkeeper at Stoke for three seasons helping the club consolidate in the Premier League. He eventually began to lose his place in the side to the younger Asmir Begović and became his back-up.

Between 2000 and 2012, he was the starting goalkeeper for the Denmark national football team, the successor to the legendary Peter Schmeichel, and he played 101 matches for his country. He was part of Denmark's 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004, and 2010 FIFA World Cup squads.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Fredericia, Sørensen started playing youth football with local clubs in Erritsø and Assens.[3] He then moved to the youth team of local top-flight club Odense Boldklub. He played in training matches against FC St. Pauli and Werder Bremen in February 1993, and signed a trainee contract with the club.[4] He was soon a professional with Odense BK's first team squad in the Danish Superliga championship. Sørensen served as an understudy to club legend goalkeeper Lars Høgh, and did not play any league games for the club.

During the 1995–96 season, he was loaned out to league rivals Vejle BK in December 1995.[5] Initially an understudy to Erik Boye, he made his Superliga debut in March 1996. Sørensen played three thoroughly impressive games in a row, and the press dubbed him the new Peter Schmeichel.[6] He played six league matches in all for Vejle, including a 6–0 defeat to Brøndby IF, before being dropped by coach Ole Fritsen following a 1–0 defeat to Viborg FF, in which Viborg's Ralf Pedersen headed the ball from Sørensen's hands to score the goal.[7] Sørensen broke his arm in the summer 1996,[8] but continued his loan deal with Vejle until the summer 1997, without playing any more games for the club. Odense then loaned him out again, this time to FC Svendborg in the second-tier Danish 1st Division league,[9] where he played the full 1997–98 season.

Sunderland[edit]

In the summer 1998, Sørensen moved abroad to play for English club Sunderland in the Football League First Division, the then second level league of English football. Hardly anyone outside of Denmark had even heard of the tall and athletic keeper,[10] when English manager Peter Reid bought the 22-year old from Odense for about £510,000 in July 1998.[11] Sørensen was bought to replace fan favourite Lionel Pérez who left on a free transfer. This move helped Sunderland to promotion for the top flight English Premiership, when Sørensen and his team grabbed the League Championship title in 1999. Sørensen smashed the club's clean sheet record with 29 clean sheets in the process.[10]

Sørensen established himself as Sunderland's starting goalkeeper in the Premiership, and helped the club finish 7th in both of their two first Premiership seasons. He gained legendary status with Sunderland fans in 2001, when he saved a penalty kick from Alan Shearer in the dying moments of a November 2000 game, to preserve a valuable win over arch rivals and neighbouring club Newcastle United.[12] In the 2002–03 season, Sørensen was injured from October 2002 to January 2003, and only played 21 of 38 games. Sunderland were struggling both on and off the pitch and Sørensen could not save the club from relegation at the end of the season.

Reid had already been sacked, and as a result of the club's mounting financial worries, Sunderland sold Sørensen for £2 million to Aston Villa,[11] who had held off interest from a handful of other clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal. He played nearly 200 games on Wearside for Sunderland and remains a fan favourite.

Aston Villa[edit]

At Aston Villa, Sørensen developed his reputation as a good goalkeeper. Sørensen's ability as a shot stopper allowed him to retain his place as Villa's number one under both managers David O'Leary and Martin O'Neill, ahead of the likes of Stefan Postma and Stuart Taylor. In his first three seasons at Aston Villa, he only missed four games. In a November 2003 game against Newcastle, he once again saved an Alan Shearer penalty kick.[13] He suffered a knee injury during the 2006–07 season,[14] but still played 29 games that term.

During the 2007–08 season he fell out of favour at Villa. Sørensen had suffered an injury during the pre-season, and Villa decided to loan in goalkeeper Scott Carson from Liverpool.[15] Carson went on to become the starting goalkeeper, and Sørensen stated that he wanted to leave the club in December 2007.[16] At the end of the 2007–08 season, Sørensen's contract at Villa expired and he left the club on a free transfer.[17] He failed to make a single appearance for the club in his final season as by then he had slipped down to third place in the pecking order behind both Scott Carson and Stuart Taylor.

Stoke City[edit]

On 28 July 2008, Sørensen started a trial with newly promoted Stoke City, and two days later, he signed a three-year contract with the club.[18] Sørensen became City's first choice goalkeeper for the 2008–09 season replacing Steve Simonsen. During a match in October 2011 against Tottenham Hotspur he was involved in a clash with Spurs's defender Alan Hutton whose challenge struck Sørensen on his head, Sørensen said he was close to losing his eyesight.[19] Hutton later apologised for his challenge.[20] He made a number of important performances as Stoke achieved in a safe position of 12th in their first season in the Premier League.

He continued to be Stoke's first choice 'keeper in 2009–10 and signed a contract extension in November 2009, to keep him at the Britannia Stadium until 2011.[21] During the 2009–10 season he continued his good form in goal. He saved penalties during games against Portsmouth, Arsenal and Wigan Athletic, and played an important part in Stoke's good run in the Premier League, which brought them to 10th place in December.[22] On 12 December Sørensen saved yet another penalty, meaning he had by then saved five out of the last six penalty kicks against him.[23] Sørensen got extra competition for the spot as Stoke's first-choice goalkeeper, following the signing of Asmir Begović from Portsmouth in February 2010.[24] He dislocated his elbow in a game against Chelsea on 25 April.[25] The elbow was put back in place without the need for surgery, but Sørensen missed the last three games of the 2009–10 season.

After starting the first nine matches of the 2010–11 season Sørensen lost his place to Begović.[26] But he played in all the club's FA Cup games, including the FA Cup Final against Manchester City on 14 May 2011 where he put in a good performance despite Stoke City losing 1–0.[27] For the 2011–12 season Sørensen remained as 2nd choice 'keeper to Begović where he plays in the Cup matches as well as in the UEFA Europa League.[28] After some poor performances by Begović, Sørensen was recalled to league matches.[29] In a match against Everton he received mild concussion after a clash with Tim Cahill and had to be stretchered off.[30] However he soon made a quick recovery.[31] He signed a new two and a half-year contract at Stoke in December 2011 keeping him at the club until 2014.[32] After signing his new contract Sørensen stated that he wants to continue playing top flight football after his contract ends.[33]

However in 2012–13 Sørensen was restricted to playing in just cup fixtures due to the form of Begović and this coupled with the signing of Jack Butland prompted Sørensen to consider his future at Stoke City.[34] Following the departure of manager Tony Pulis, Sørensen plans to talk with new manager Mark Hughes about his future at the Britannia Stadium.[35] Sørensen played his first Premier League for over 20 months on 26 December 2013 at Newcastle United after Begović suffered an injury. However despite Sørensen saving a penalty Stoke had two men sent-off and went on to lose 5–1.[36] Sørensen started the next two matches before he himself picked up an injury against Everton enabling third choice Jack Butland to fill in for Begović. Once Begović returned from his injury Butland was loaned out to Leeds United leaving Sørensen to resume his place as back-up for the remainder of the 2013–14 season and was offered a one-year contract extension,[37] which he signed in May 2014.[38]

International career[edit]

Sørensen made his international debut with the Danish under-19 national team in April 1993, and was moved into the Danish under-21 national team in September 1993, making his under-21 debut at 17 years of age. He went on to play 24 games for the Denmark under-21s until October 1997. Following his initial impressive form for Vejle, he was called up for an unofficial national team game in April 1996, and replaced Lars Høgh at half-time.

After his move to Sunderland, Sørensen made his debut for the senior Danish national team in November 1999 in a match against Israel, coming on to replace an injured Peter Schmeichel. He was a reserve keeper for Denmark at Euro 2000, when Peter Schmeichel was at the end of his career. For the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in 2001, he took over the job as goalkeeper and helped Denmark qualify. Sørensen was then instrumental, as Denmark won their first round group ahead of Senegal, Uruguay and defending World Cup champions France to book a second round clash against England. However, in the pouring rain at the Niigata Stadium, Sørensen conceded three goals, one of them a mistake by Sørensen,[11] as he bundled the ball into his own goal from a Rio Ferdinand header in the fifth minute. England went on to win the match 3–0.

Once again representing his country in an international tournament, Sørensen played in all his country's games at Euro 2004, gathering the official man of the match award after both the 0–0 draw with Italy and the 2–0 victory against Bulgaria. Despite his efforts, Denmark was once more eliminated in a 3–0 loss, this time to the Czech Republic in the quarter finals.

During the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Denmark faced Sweden at Råsunda Stadium in Stockholm. Sweden was awarded a penalty in the tenth minute, which Sørensen saved as Denmark went on to win the game 1–0. Sørensen missed three qualification matches through injury, yet Denmark still qualified for the 2010 World Cup with one match to go. Sørensen's elbow injury put his chance of appearing in his second World Cup in doubt,[25] but Denmark coach Morten Olsen included him in the final squad, and on regaining full fitness Sørensen was named the starting goalkeeper for his second World Cup campaign, and played full-time in Denmark's three games at the tournament.

He reached the landmark of 100 international caps in March 2012.[39] On 26 May 2012, in a friendly against Brazil at Hamburg's Imtech Arena. Sørensen had to be substituted for an injury in the 24th minute[40] which led to his withdrawal from Denmark's squad for UEFA Euro 2012.[41][42]

On 7 August 2012, after making 101 appearances for Denmark, he announced his retirement from international football.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Sørensen grew up supporting Odense BK and cites Lars Høgh as his role model. He married Maria Borring in Svendborg, Denmark on 16 June 2001. Thomas and Maria have two children: Marcus and Celine.[44]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 11 May 2014[45]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Odense BK 1994–95 Danish Superliga 0 0 0 0 0 0
1995–96 Danish Superliga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vejle (loan) 1995–96 Danish Superliga 6 0 0 0 6 0
1996–97 Danish Superliga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Svendborg (loan) 1997–98 Danish 1st Division 45 0 0 0 45 0
Total 45 0 0 0 0 0 45 0
Sunderland 1998–99[46] First Division 45 0 2 0 9 0 56 0
1999–2000[47] Premier League 37 0 2 0 0 0 39 0
2000–01[48] Premier League 34 0 4 0 4 0 42 0
2001–02[49] Premier League 34 0 1 0 0 0 35 0
2002–03[50] Premier League 21 0 4 0 0 0 25 0
Total 171 0 13 0 13 0 0 0 197 0
Aston Villa 2003–04[51] Premier League 38 0 1 0 6 0 45 0
2004–05[52] Premier League 36 0 1 0 2 0 39 0
2005–06[53] Premier League 36 0 4 0 3 0 43 0
2006–07[54] Premier League 29 0 0 0 2 0 31 0
2007–08[55] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 139 0 6 0 13 0 0 0 158 0
Stoke City 2008–09[56] Premier League 36 0 0 0 0 0 36 0
2009–10[57] Premier League 33 0 5 0 0 0 38 0
2010–11[58] Premier League 10 0 7 0 0 0 17 0
2011–12[59] Premier League 16 0 1 0 2 0 7 0 26 0
2012–13[60] Premier League 0 0 3 0 1 0 4 0
2013–14[61] Premier League 4 0 0 0 4 0 8 0
2014–15[62] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 99 0 16 0 7 0 7 0 129 0
Career total 460 0 35 0 33 0 7 0 532 0

International[edit]

As of 13 July 2012[63]

International statistics
National team Year Apps Goals
Denmark
1999 1 0
2000 1 0
2001 8 0
2002 11 0
2003 10 0
2004 12 0
2005 10 0
2006 6 0
2007 11 0
2008 6 0
2009 9 0
2010 6 0
2011 8 0
2012 2 0
Total 101 0

Honours[edit]

Sunderland
Stoke City
Individual
  • North East Football Writers' Player of the Year: 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Thomas Lovendahl Sorensen - Century of International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  3. ^ Jan B. Jensen, "Sørensen ud af skyggen", Jyllands-Posten, 18 November 1999.
  4. ^ Allan Pedersen, "Senegal bedre end Brande", Ekstra Bladet, 3 February 1993
  5. ^ Allan Pedersen, "Talent ud af Høghs skygge", Ekstra Bladet, 10 December 1995
  6. ^ Ib Pilegaard, "Thomas bliver den ny Schmeichel", B.T., 14 April 1996.
  7. ^ Søren Olsen, "Håb om ufortjent sejr", Politiken, 5 May 1996, p.24
  8. ^ Lars Hendel, "Brud på brud", B.T., 12 July 1996.
  9. ^ Søren Olsen, "Svendborg-målmandens mareridt", Politiken, 20 August 1997, p.19.
  10. ^ a b EURO 2008 profile, UEFA, 2006
  11. ^ a b c Ronald Atkin, Why Sorensen is keeping to the Schmeichel strut holds, The Independent on Sunday, 16 November 2003
  12. ^ "Quinn brings tears to the Toon". BBC News. 18 November 2000. 
  13. ^ Turnbull, Simon (2 November 2003). "Sorensen foils Shearer again as 10-man Villa stand firm". The Independent (London). 
  14. ^ "Sorensen to undergo knee surgery". BBC Sport. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Villa sign keeper Carson on loan". BBC Sport. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  16. ^ Sorensen resigned to Villa exit, BBC Sport, 18 December 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008
  17. ^ "Villa release Sørensen and Berger". BBC Sport. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  18. ^ "Stoke delight at Sorensen capture". BBC Sport. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Sorensen slams Hutton challenge". BBC Sport. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Hutton issues apology to Sorensen". BBC Sport. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sorensen's Future in Safe Hands". Stoke City FC (Stoke City). 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  22. ^ "Review of Arsenal-Stoke". Goal.com. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  23. ^ "Review of Stoke-Wigan". Goal.com. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  24. ^ "Stoke sign Portsmouth keeper Asmir Begovic". BBC News. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-25. .
  25. ^ a b "Injured Sørensen in World Cup Doubt". BBC Sport. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "Sorensen Eager To Progress". Stoke City F.C. 27 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "FA Cup final loss emotional for Stoke's Thomas Sorensen". BBC Sport. 15 May 2011. 
  28. ^ "Thomas Sorensen backs Stoke to progress in Europa League". BBC Sport. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "'We Answered Questions Today' – Sorensen". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  30. ^ "Potters rekindle familiar standards to register impressive success". The Sentinel. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  31. ^ "Sorensen fit to earn his Spurs". The Sentinel. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  32. ^ "Stoke City's Thomas Sorensen signs new two-and-a-half-year deal". BBC Sport. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  33. ^ "Thomas Sorensen wants to prolong career at top level". BBC Sport. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  34. ^ "Thomas Sorensen to decide on future after Tony Pulis talks". The Sentinel. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  35. ^ "Thomas Sorensen to discuss Stoke City future with Mark Hughes". The Sentinel. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  36. ^ "Thomas Sorensen bemoans a comeback to forget". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  37. ^ "Thomas Sorensen offered new one-year deal". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "Thomas Sorensen agrees new deal at Britannia". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Sørensen's pride at Denmark century". UEFA. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  40. ^ "Fußballfest in der Imtech Arena: Brasilien schlägt Dänemark mit 3:1". HSV. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  41. ^ "Euro 2012: Thomas Sorensen out of Denmark squad with back injury". The Guardian. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  42. ^ "Euro 2012: Denmark's Thomas Sorensen ruled out with injury". BBC. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  43. ^ "Sorensen ends Denmark career". FIFA. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  44. ^ Stoke City Official Matchday Magazine 28 July 2011 v Hajduk Split
  45. ^ "Thomas Sorensen". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  46. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 1998/99". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  47. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  48. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2000/01". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  49. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2001/02". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  50. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2002/03". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  51. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2003/04". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  52. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2004/05". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  53. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2005/06". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  54. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2006/07". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  55. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2007/08". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  56. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2008/09". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  57. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2009/10". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  58. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2010/11". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  59. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  60. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2012/13". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  61. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2013/14". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  62. ^ "Games played by Thomas Soresen in 2014/15". Soccerbase. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  63. ^ "Sørensen, Thomas". National Football Teams. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 

External links[edit]