Martin Olsson

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Martin Olsson
Martin Olsson Euro 2012 vs France.jpg
Olsson playing for Sweden at UEFA Euro 2012
Personal information
Full name Martin Tony Waikwa Olsson
Date of birth (1988-05-17) 17 May 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth Gävle, Sweden
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) [1]
Playing position Left Back
Club information
Current team
Swansea City
Number 16
Youth career
2005–2006 Högaborgs BK
2006–2007 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2013 Blackburn Rovers 117 (3)
2013–2017 Norwich City 119 (3)
2017– Swansea City 15 (2)
National team
2006–2007 Sweden U19 13 (1)
2007–2010 Sweden U21 23 (1)
2010– Sweden 40 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2016

Martin Tony Waikwa Olsson (born 17 May 1988) is a Swedish professional footballer who plays for Swansea City and the Sweden national team. He signed for Blackburn from Högaborgs BK for a nominal fee in January 2006 after a trial period. In 2013, Premier League side, Norwich City, signed him for an undisclosed fee.[2]

Club career[edit]

Högaborgs BK[edit]

Olsson began his playing career in Sweden by playing for Högaborgs BK, where former national star Henrik Larsson began his career. Olsson was working his way through the youth setup at the club in 2005–06. His talent attracted the attention of football clubs in Europe and in January 2006 the then English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers signed him for their youth academy.

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

He made his Blackburn debut in the UEFA Cup qualifier in the 2007–08 season as a late substitution for Stephen Warnock.[3]

He made his Premier League debut against Derby County in a 2–1 victory on 30 December 2007, coming on as an 84th-minute substitute for Morten Gamst Pedersen at Pride Park, in front of a crowd of 30,048 spectators and the referee was Peter Walton. He was voted Blackburn's Young Player of the Year for the season 2007–08.

In May 2008, Olsson signed a new four-year deal, keeping him at Blackburn until summer 2012.

On 24 September 2008, Olsson scored his first Blackburn goal, scoring the winning goal in a League Cup tie against Everton. The goal turned out to be the only goal of the match. On 20 January 2010, he scored a spectacular overhead kick in a 6–4 League Cup semi-final defeat against Aston Villa in the 63rd minute at Villa Park.[4]

On 23 November 2009, Olsson was sent off for two yellow card offences on Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon. He scored his first Premier League goal on 10 February against Hull City at Ewood Park in a 1–0 victory. Olsson made his 25th league appearance at home to Birmingham City on 24 March 2010 in a 2–1 win. On 28 March 2010, when he made his 40th appearance for Blackburn against Burnley in the East Lancashire derby at Turf Moor in the 1–0 victory, he caused controversy when he looked like he had dived inside Burnley's penalty area, consequently by winning a penalty after taking the ball round Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen. Subsequently, the penalty was scored by David Dunn.[5] On 29 March 2010, Olsson admitted to the dive, Rovers manager, Sam Allardyce defended Olsson by saying he was his man of the match and created havoc and chaos in and around the eighteen yard box all game.[6]

He signed a new five-year contract in the summer of 2010 in which he described as an " easy choice". He further added that "I gained a lot of confidence, through both the management and my team-mates, and I thought I improved game by game. He said, that "It doesn't matter to me whether I am seen as a left-winger or a left-back but I have enjoyed the forward role and the chance to get in among the goals."

2010–11 season[edit]

In June 2010, Olsson signed a new five-year-deal at Blackburn Rovers that would keep him at the club until summer 2015.[7] At the start of the 2010–11 season, Olsson acquired the number three jersey by manager Sam Allardyce, which he had for most of pre-season. He featured in Rovers' opening 2010–11 Premier League game against Everton at Ewood Park on 14 August 2010, playing the full 90 minutes on the left-wing in a 1–0 victory. He scored his first league goal for Blackburn against Liverpool inside 32 minutes on 5 January 2011 in a 3–1 victory at Ewood Park. On 12 February 2011, Olsson made his 50th Premier League appearance for the club when he started at left-back against Newcastle United playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–0 draw. On 30 April 2011, he scored with a left-foot shot on 20 minutes against local rivals Bolton Wanderers at home. On 22 May, Olsson started and played the full 90 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 3–2 win at Molineux which kept both teams up for another season in the Premier League. At the end of the season, he made 32 appearances for Rovers in total and scored two goals in all competitions.

2011–12 season[edit]

Now considered a key player, Olsson started off the season at left back covering for Gaël Givet who himself was covering for various injuries at centre back. Olsson provided an assist in a 4–3 victory over Arsenal. After running from the half way line to the by-line, he pulled back a cross for Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny to score an own goal. After helping Sweden qualify for UEFA Euro 2012, Olsson returned from international duty to put in a Man of the Match performance on the left wing against Queens Park Rangers in a 1–1 draw at Loftus Road. At the end of the season, Olsson made 31 appearances in all competitions for Rovers as they were relegated after finishing in 19th place in the Premier League with just 31 points to their name.

2012–13 season[edit]

After picking up a minor injury in pre-season, Olsson made his comeback as an unused substitute on 28 August, against MK Dons at Stadium mk in a 2–1 defeat as Blackburn were knocked out in the second round of the League Cup.

Norwich City[edit]

On 10 July 2013, Olsson was signed by Premier League side Norwich City for an undisclosed fee.[2] He signed a four-year deal at Carrow Road.[8] He scored his first goal for the club against Bury in the League Cup on 27 August 2013.[9] He was Man of the Match for Norwich's 1–0 victory over Crystal Palace on 30 November 2013.

On the opening day of the 2014–15 season, Olsson was sent off for two bookable offences in a 1–0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was later charged with improper conduct by the FA for allegedly making physical contact with referee Simon Hooper.[10] On 18 August, Olsson's ban was extended by a further three matches after the FA found him guilty of improper conduct, which Norwich announced they would not contend. He was also fined £3,000.[11] He returned from suspension for the match away at Cardiff City where, with Norwich two goals down, he scored the first goal in a comeback that saw Norwich win the game 4–2.[12] From then on, he would be a permanent feature in the Norwich team, appearing in 42 of the 46 league games, as the team finished third in the league to qualify for the Championship play-offs. Olsson played in all three games including the 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the final at Wembley, which saw Norwich return to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Olsson would however make fewer appearances in the 2015–16 Premier League season, only appearing in 24 of the 38 league games, including four appearances as a substitute, with Robbie Brady often being preferred at left-back. He would however score a dramatic winner on 2 April 2016 against Newcastle United. With the game 2–2 going into stoppage time, Olsson scored with a long distance shot to give Norwich a 3–2 win.[13] The win was ultimately in vain however, as Norwich were relegated to the Championship again at the end of the season. For the 2016–17 season, Olsson was given the No.3 shirt[14] and would once more be a regular in the side, appearing in 19 of the first 26 league games. He scored another goal for Norwich, the first in a 3–1 win over Burton Albion,[15] and also receive another red card two minutes into a game against Queens Park Rangers when he handled to prevent a goal. Although QPR missed the resulting penalty, Norwich ultimately lost the match 2–1.[16] His last appearance for Norwich was in a 2–2 draw against Southampton in the FA Cup.[17] On 17 January 2017, it was announced that Olsson had signed for Premier League Swansea City for around £4,000,000.[18]

Swansea City[edit]

On 12 February, 2017, Olsson scored his first goal for Swansea in a match against reigning champions Leicester City F.C.[19] in a 2–0 victory for the Welsh club.

International career[edit]

Olsson (right) playing for Sweden against Ukraine at UEFA Euro 2012.

Olsson has played several matches for Sweden's under 18 and under 21 national squads.[20][21]

He was selected to be part of the senior 23-man squad that would face Bosnia and Herzegovina on 29 May and Belarus on 2 June 2010.[22] Against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Olsson put Sweden back in front from close range in the 68th minute, two minutes after coming on as a substitute, and added his second in the 82nd from Marcus Berg's center.[23][24][25] On 6 September 2011, he made his first start for the national team, playing at left back, and scored Sweden's third goal in the 81st minute of the 5–0 victory over San Marino after a clever reverse pass by Zlatan Ibrahimović in a Group E Euro 2012 qualifying fixture. In May 2012, Olsson was named in the 23-man squad to compete for Sweden at UEFA Euro 2012 held in Poland and the Ukraine and was given the number 5 shirt. On Tuesday 5 June 2012, he started and played the full 90 minutes in his regular left-back berth against Serbia in a 2–0 victory in Sweden's last warm-up game.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Olsson was born in Gävle, Sweden.[26] He has a twin brother, Marcus, who plays for Derby County. They are born to a Swedish father and Kenyan mother.[27] His brother-in-law is Dallas Mavericks basketball player Dirk Nowitzki, who is married to Martin's sister Jessica Olsson.[28]

His agent used to be the former Sweden international player Stefan Schwarz. Controversial agent Rune Hauge has also worked for Martin, after being introduced to him by Blackburn Rovers former teammate Morten Gamst Pedersen.[29]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 15 May 2016[30]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Blackburn Rovers 2007–08[31] Premier League 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 0
2008–09[32] Premier League 9 0 3 0 3 1 0 0 15 1
2009–10[33] Premier League 21 0 1 0 5 1 0 0 27 1
2010–11[34] Premier League 29 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 32 2
2011–12[35] Premier League 27 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 31 0
2012–13[36] Championship 29 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 33 0
Total 117 2 10 0 14 2 1 0 142 4
Norwich City 2013–14[37] Premier League 34 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 37 1
2014–15[38] Championship 45 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 45 1
2015–16[39] Premier League 24 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 26 1
Total 103 2 2 0 3 1 0 0 108 3
Career total 220 4 12 0 17 3 1 0 250 7


  1. ^ Profiles, Player. "Norwich City FC Player Profiles". Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Norwich City". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Blackburn Rovers vs Birmingham City :
  4. ^ "Blackburn 1–0 Everton". BBC. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "BBC Sport - Football - Burnley 0-1 Blackburn". Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Richard Torgerson. "Olsson admits to dive". Sky Sports. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "New Five Year Deal For Olsson". 19 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Olsson seals Premier League return with Norwich following switch from Blackburn". Daily Mail. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Norwich 6 – 3 Bury". BBC. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Norwich City left-back Martin Olsson charged with misconduct". BBC Sport. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "MARTIN OLSSON GIVEN THREE GAME SUSPENSION". Norwich City FC. 18 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cardiff City 2-4 Norwich City". BBC Sport. 13 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Norwich City 3-2 Newcastle United". BBC Sport. 2 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "Norwich City have announced their squad numbers for the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship season". Norwich City FC. 5 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "Norwich City 3-1 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 24 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Norwich City". BBC Sport. 19 November 2016. 
  17. ^ "Norwich City 2-2 Southampton". BBC Sport. 7 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Martin Olsson: Swansea City sign Norwich's Swedish left-back". BBC Sport. 17 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "45+3: GOAL! @martinolsson hammers home his first for the club and our second of the game! It's 2-0!". Swansea City AFC on Twitter. 
  20. ^ ESPNsoccernet: Martin Olsson
  21. ^ "U21: Inför Turkiet - Sverige". Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Ingen Zlatan i Hamréns landslag". DN.SE. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Olssons succé: "Nu kan jag skryta lite..."". Expressen. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Olssons succé: "Nu kan jag skryta lite..."". Expressen. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Sweden 4-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina: Olsson Brace Propels Blagult To Victory". Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  26. ^ Martin Olsson, Sky Sports. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  27. ^ Olsson sets his sights on regular Blackburn Rovers spot
  28. ^ "NBA Star, Dirk Nowitzki, Weds Fiancee Jessica Olsson in Kenyan Traditional Ceremony". Munaluchi Bride. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "17-årig svensk till Blackburn". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Martin Olsson". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  31. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  32. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  34. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  35. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  36. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  37. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  38. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  39. ^ "Games played by Martin Olsson in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 

External links[edit]