|Full name||Michael Lennart Svensson|
|Date of birth||25 November 1975|
|Place of birth||Värnamo, Sweden|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2010–2011||Halmstads BK (Asst. Manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Michael Lennart Svensson (born 25 November 1975 in Värnamo, Sweden) is a Swedish former professional footballer who played as a centre back. He last played for Halmstads BK in Superettan. He is best known at club level for his playing career with Southampton. He played in the 2003 FA Cup Final against Arsenal, where Southampton lost 1–0 to a Robert Pirès strike.
Svensson started his career in his home country, playing for various Swedish clubs including IFK Värnamo and Halmstads BK. He began to be noticed by bigger clubs when Halmstads BK won the Swedish championship in 2000.
He was transferred to Troyes AC in 2001, helping the club to seventh position in the French First Division in his only season. On 25 June 2002, Svensson was signed by Premier League club Southampton F.C. for £2m.
Svensson arrived at Southampton just after being a member of Sweden's squad at the 2002 World Cup. He immediately struck up a rapport with Claus Lundekvam at the centre of the Saints defence. He is a tough tackling, no nonsense centre-half but likes to play the ball out of defence and get forward to help out in attack. His nickname with both fans and press is "Killer".
Due to a serious knee injury sustained at the end of the 2003–04 season, he missed the entire 2004–05 season. He returned to action in October 2005 but, after only seven games, he broke down again and remained out of action for the remainder of the 2005–06 season. He failed to return to full fitness in time for the start of the 2006–07 championship season due to a kick in the knee during an Aldershot reserves game in the 2006 pre-season. Since then, he has flown to Germany to continue treatment with FC Bayern Munich doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt. On 23 May 2007, it was announced that Svensson would undergo further surgery in an attempt to save his career. The procedure was expected to put him out of action for over a year, throwing a major question mark over his future. His contract with the Saints expired on 30 June 2007, and was not renewed as Southampton face up to the financial realities of a third season in the Championship.
In July 2008, Southampton announced that Svensson "could be on the verge of a remarkable footballing comeback" following a visit to a specialist rehabilitation centre in Italy. Svensson returned to training with a view to being re-signed by Southampton for the 2008–09 season. He completed a pre-season friendly against Winchester City in July 2008 and was in with a chance of making a full recovery from his injury. He captained the Southampton side which drew 2–2 with West Ham United in the Ted Bates Trophy.
On 7 August 2008 he agreed terms with Southampton and was appointed club captain. Two days later, he completed his remarkable comeback, playing 90 minutes in Southampton's first Championship match of the season, a 2–1 defeat to Cardiff City, his first competitive game for the club since a match against Hull City on 22 November 2005. A week later, prior to the home game against Birmingham City, Southampton and Svensson agreed terms signing a 12 months contract. He played three more league games that month, with his final competitive appearance coming in the League Cup against Rotherham United on 23 September 2008.
On 25 June 2009, Svensson announced his retirement from the playing side of the game, exactly seven years to the day after he was first unveiled at St. Mary's as Gordon Strachan's only summer signing of 2002 and thus severed the last remaining link on the playing side with the 2003 FA Cup final, in which he had played the full 90 minutes.
Return to playing
During the 2011 season, as Halmstads BK struggled both at the bottom of the table and economically, Michael Svensson decided that he would try one last comeback, stating that he didn't feel any major problems with his earlier injuries, and that he was already training with the team, however limitedly. He made his comeback against IFK Norrköping on 7 August, as he came on in the 89th minute of the game.
He made his debut in the Swedish national team on 17 August 1999 against Austria. He was a member of the Swedish squad for the 2002 World Cup, where he was not played. He has 25 caps for his country. He was initially named in Sweden's UEFA Euro 2004 squad but had to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Alexander Östlund.
Following his retirement from playing, Svensson announced that he would return home to Sweden and take up a career as manager, stating that he would prefer to start in Division 2 or 3. Following that, his former club Halmstads BK were looking for a new manager and rumours started that he was going to get the position; on 17 December 2009 he was presented as the club's new assistant manager alongside Lars Jacobsson. As of 2016, Svensson is head coach for Halmstad BK:s U-19 team.
- Swedish championship: 2000
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Mainstream Publishing. p. 396. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
- "Saints sign Swedish defender". BBC. 25 June 2002.
- "D Day for Killer". saintsfc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Saints spoil Maine Road party". BBC. 11 May 2003. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- "Killer question". saintsfc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2006.
- "Svensson fitness boost". saintsfc.co.uk. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
- "Hull 1–1 Southampton". BBC. 22 November 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Rotherham 3–1 Southampton". BBC. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Svensson joins backroom staff". Saintsfc.co.uk. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
- "Svensson calls it quits". Saintsfc.co.uk. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
- "Svensson: Jag har varit otroligt avundsjuk" (in Swedish). hallandsposten.se. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Svensson är tillbaka" (in Swedish). hbk.se. 10 August 2011. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Injury rules out Svensson". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 May 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "Michael Svensson flyttar hem" (in Swedish). dn.se. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "Michael Svensson kan gå till HBK" (in Swedish). expressen.se. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "HBK:s nya tränarpar" (in Swedish). hbk.se. 17 December 2009. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- "Truppen". Retrieved 23 March 2016.