Niklas Moisander

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Niklas Moisander
Moisander with AZ in 2011
Personal information
Full name Niklas Moisander
Date of birth (1985-09-29) 29 September 1985 (age 30)[1]
Place of birth Turku, Finland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Werder Bremen
Youth career
1996–2002 TPS
2003–2004 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 TPS 17 (0)
2003–2006 Ajax 0 (0)
2006–2008 Zwolle 71 (5)
2008–2012 AZ 111 (3)
2012–2015 Ajax 77 (5)
2015–2016 Sampdoria 22 (0)
2016– Werder Bremen 0 (0)
National team
2000 Finland U15 3 (1)
2001 Finland U16 12 (0)
2001–2002 Finland U17 16 (0)
2002 Finland U18 2 (0)
2002–2003 Finland U19 3 (0)
2005–2006 Finland U21 8 (1)
2008– Finland 51 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:52, 8 July 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Niklas Moisander (born 29 September 1985) is a Finnish footballer who plays as a centre back for Werder Bremen, and for the Finland national team.[3] Moisander was born in Turku, Finland where he played for the local TPS youth team before moving to Ajax´s junior organisation. He is the twin brother of goalkeeper Henrik Moisander, and is the current captain of the national team of Finland. He was voted the Finnish Footballer of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.

Club career[edit]


Moisander started his football career together with his twin brother Henrik, both joining local Turun Palloseura from their home town of Turku in 2001. A year later he made his debut in the Veikkausliiga, the premier division of Football in Finland under then manager Mika Laurikainen. He was selected in the starting lineup on 15 May 2003 in a regular season's fixture against cross town rivals Inter Turku. He played the full 90 minutes in the 0–2 away win in his first Turku derby match. He went on to make 17 appearances for TPS during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, becoming a regular with his home club at the age of 17.[4]

AFC Ajax[edit]

On 5 June 2003 it was announced that Ajax had signed the twins Henrik and Niklas to a two-year contract binding them to the club until the summer of 2005.[5] At Ajax they would join the team where both Finland Internationals Jari Litmanen and Petri Pasanen were playing at the time. At first instance the twins were to join the under-19 team of Ajax A1, competing in the 2003–04 A-junioren Eredivisie league in their first year with the club.[6] The twins helped their side secure the club's eighth A-Juniors league title, under the tutelage and guidance of then coach Danny Blind. The following season saw Moisander and his brother compete in the Beloften Eredivisie for the team's reserve squad Jong Ajax, where they would help to win the reserve league title in their first year on the team.[7] Signing a contract extension for an additional year by the end of the season, Ajax eventually won the KNVB Cup in conclusion. Unable to break into the first team, however, after their second term with the reserves, the twins were separated. While Henrik was dispatched to Assyriska in Sweden, Niklas remained in the Netherlands, where he signed with FC Zwolle instead.[8]

FC Zwolle[edit]

On 3 May 2006 it was announced that Moisander would transfer to the Eerste Divisie side FC Zwolle, signing a two-year contract with the club from Overijssel.[9] He made his debut on 11 August 2006 in a 2–0 win at home against Fortuna Sittard in the KNVB Cup match, at which point he immediately establishing his position in the starting XI of the team.[10] Midway through his first season his contract was annulled and extended for an additional year, binding him to the club until the Summer of 2009.[11] After his first two seasons, and with one year still remaining on his contract, Zwolle and AZ agreed to terms for a direct transfer of Moisander to the club from Alkmaar for the reported fee of €600.000, returning to the top flight of Dutch football. During his stay in Zwolle he made 75 appearances for the club, scoring 5 times, where he was an instrumental player for his side.[12]


On 11 July 2008 it was announced that AZ had come to terms with FC Zwolle for the direct transfer of Moisander, signing a three-year contract, binding him to the club until the Summer of 2011.[13] He made his Eredivisie debut on 20 September 2008 for AZ in the 1–0 home win against Dutch giants PSV.[14][15] He scored his first goal for AZ on 3 October 2008 in the 6–0 regular season victory over Sparta Rotterdam.[16] He was able to establish himself as the first choice defender under manager Louis van Gaal playing a total of 22 full league matches, having briefly been sidelined in the months of January and February due to a knee injury.[17]

Moisander with AZ.

Moisander quickly came back to help his side win the Eredivisie league title, the second for the club in its history and Moisander's personal first. That season the title race had come down to the final round, and although AZ had lost their last game of the season against Vitesse Arnhem, they were still able to consequently clinch the league due to eminent losses suffered by title contenders Ajax and Twente.[18] The following season Moisander made his continental debut playing in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League group stage campaign.[19] Playing in 5 out of the 6 matches against the likes of Arsenal, Olympiacos and Standard Liège AZ finished in the bottom of the group, under newly appointed manager Ronald Koeman. This was after having won the Dutch Super Cup (Johan Cruijff Schaal) against SC Heerenveen at the start of the season.[20] Midway through the season the team changed management again when Dick Advocaat was hired as a replacement for Ronald Koeman, and the club finishing the season in fifth place and thus qualifying for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round.[21][22]

Ahead of the 2010–11 season, AZ had found another replacement in Gertjan Verbeek as the new manager.[23] Moisander played a major role in helping his side to qualify for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League group stage, having appeared in all four games in the qualifying rounds. He also played in 4 of the 6 group stage encounters against Dynamo Kyiv, BATE Borisov and Sheriff Tiraspol. The team however finished the league in fourth place thus qualifying for the qualifying rounds once more.[24]

Following the departure of Stijn Schaars to Sporting CP ahead of the 2011–12 season, Moisander was then appointed as the new team captain of AZ.[25] Securing the group stage of the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League once more, through a successful qualifying campaign against Baumit Jablonec and Aalesunds, his team would then successfully advance out of the group stage where they faced off with the likes of Austria Wien, Malmö FF and Metalist Kharkiv, finishing in second place of the group. They then advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition by defeating Anderlecht and Udinese in previous rounds, eventually bowing out to Valencia 5–2 on aggregate score. Moisander played in 14 matches during the clubs continental campaign, when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the fourth time in the club's history. Moisander started the 2012–13 Eredivisie season with AZ, making two league appearances, before transferring back to neighboring Ajax Amsterdam.[26]

Return to Ajax[edit]

On 21 August 2012, both clubs agreed to terms of a €3 million transfer fee to acquire the defender, as he returned to AFC Ajax on a three-year contract as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen, who was sold to Tottenham Hotspur.[27][28] He made his Eredivisie debut for Ajax on 25 August 2012 in a match against NAC Breda scoring a goal in his opening bout.[29] He established himself as the first choice centre back under manager Frank de Boer making a total of 29 league appearances in his first season back with the club, while scoring four goals. On 3 October 2012, Moisander scored a header in a UEFA Champions League match, in a 4–1 home defeat against Real Madrid.[30] He then scored the winner in the Champions League game against Manchester City on 24 October 2012 again with a header.[31] Moisander played in all six matches during the clubs' 2012–13 UEFA Champions League campaign, where they finished in third place behind Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid thus quliafying for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 where the team would suffer an early exit by a loss to Steaua București losing 4–2 on penalties in the final match, following a 2–2 deadlock.[32] He was voted Finnish Footballer of the Year by both the Football Association of Finland and the Finnish Sports’ Journalists Association, as Ajax went on to win their 32nd league title in his first year back with the club.[33]

Following an injury to Siem de Jong the following season, and after the departure of vice-captain, fellow centre back Toby Alderweireld to Atlético Madrid, Moisander wore the captain's armband for the first time for Ajax in an away match against FC Groningen on 1 September 2013. He played his 50th official match for Ajax on 22 September in the Topper match against rivals PSV which ended in a 4–0 loss for Ajax. On 4 November, he made an appearance in the Eerste Divisie playing for the newly promoted reserve team Jong Ajax, in the 3–2 away loss against Helmond Sport. Moisander participated in the match for 60' minutes in order to regain his form after having suffered an injury which kept him sidelined for a month.[34]

He was sent off against his former club AZ in a controversial decision. Ajax went on to lose the match 1–0.[35][36]


On 25 March 2015, it was announced that Moisander would move to Sampdoria at the end of the season.[37] As his contract at Ajax was expiring, he moved on a free transfer, signing a three-year contract.[38]

Werder Bremen[edit]

On 9 July 2016, Werder Bremen announced they had completed the signing of Moisander.[39] The transfer fee paid to Sampdoria was reported as €1.7 million.[40][41]

International career[edit]

Moisander with the national team.

Finland youth teams[edit]

Moisander made his debut for the national team of Finland at the youth level, playing for the under-15 squad at age 14 on 29 August 2000 in a friendly match against Sweden-15 in Hallstavik, Sweden. He was capped for the Finnish under-16 squad for the first time at the same age, being two years younger than most of his teammates, and was then capped for the under-17 squad for the first time at 16, being again a year younger than the rest of the team. In total Moisander amassed 3 caps for the under-15 side, while scoring once, 12 caps for the under-16 squad, and 8 caps for Finland U-17.[42] At age 19 he scored a goal for the Finland U-21 in Limassol, Cyprus in a match against Slovakia U-21 on 10 February 2005.[43]

Finland first team[edit]

Moisander made his official debut for the first team on 29 May 2008 when he was called up by head coach Stuart Baxter for a friendly match against Turkey at the age of 22, which was contested in Duisburg, Germany.[44] He scored the winning goal on 10 October 2009 in a World Cup qualifier win over Wales at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.[45] He permanently solidified his position in the team after Baxter brought him in, in the final 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying group stage match against Russia. The match ended in a 0–3 loss for the Finns at home, which inevitably cost them the second place in the group, which was then secured by the Russians, leading to their advancement in the tournament, with Finland failing to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[46][47]

In 2011, under Mixu Paatelainen, Moisander gained the captain's armband from Petri Pasanen, becoming the new skipper for Finland's national football team. While playing a major role in the teams UEFA Euro 2012 ambitions, Finland finished fourth in their group behind the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary, failing to qualify for the final tournament in Poland and Ukraine.[48]

The 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process ended in a third-place group stage finish for Finland behind both Spain and France, which both secured placement in the final tournament, while Finland's efforts were brought to a halt.[49] One of the most memorable matches of the qualification was a 1–1 tie against the reigning world and European champions Spain in March 2013 in Gijón. Moisander played full 90 minutes in the match.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Niklas is the twin brother of Henrik, a professional football player as well who plays as a goalkeeper.[51]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 8 July 2016.[52]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Finland League Finnish Cup Europe Other Total
2002 TPS Ykkönen 8 0 0 0 8 0
2003 9 0 0 0 9 0
Netherlands League KNVB Beker Europe1 Other2 Total
2004–05 Ajax Eredivisie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005–06 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006–07 FC Zwolle Eerste Divisie 34 1 1 0 2 0 37 1
2007–08 37 4 4 0 5 0 46 4
2008–09 AZ Eredivisie 22 1 2 0 0 0 24 1
2009–10 28 1 3 0 5 0 1 0 37 1
2010–11 29 0 3 0 8 0 0 0 40 0
2011–12 30 1 5 1 14 1 0 0 49 3
2012–13 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Ajax 29 4 4 0 8 2 0 0 41 6
2013–14 23 1 4 0 5 0 1 0 33 1
2014–15 25 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 31 0
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe1 Other2 Total
2015–16 Sampdoria Serie A 22 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
Totals Finland 17 0 0 0 17 0
Netherlands 263 13 26 1 45 3 10 0 344 17
Italy 22 0 1 0 23 0
Career totals 302 13 27 1 45 3 10 0 384 17

1 Includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches. 2 Includes the Johan Cruijff Shield and Eredivisie playoffs matches.


Statistics accurate as of matches played on 8 October 2015[53]

Finland national team
Year Apps Goals
2008 2 0
2009 6 1
2010 8 0
2011 9 0
2012 5 0
2013 8 1
2014 9 0
2015 4 0
Total 51 2

International goals[edit]

Score and Result lists Finland's goals first[54]
As of 12 June 2013
# Date Location Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 October 2009 Helsingin olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland  Wales 2–1 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 14 August 2013 Veritas Stadion, Turku, Finland  Slovenia 1–0 2–0 friendly



Ajax A1 (under-19)
  • A-Junioren Eredivisie (1): 2003–04
Jong Ajax (reserves)
AZ Alkmaar



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  2. ^ "4 Niklas Moisander Difensore". U.C.Sampdoria. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Niklas Moisander profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  4. ^ "Moisanderin veljekset Ajaxiin". MTV3. Retrieved 2003-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Ajax contracteert de Finse gebroeders Moisander". Voetbalzone. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Moisanderin veljesten näytöt vakuuttivat Ajaxin". MTV3. Retrieved 2003-06-09. 
  7. ^ "Moisander: 'Ajax is mijn droomclub'". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  8. ^ "The Year in Football: Ajax Amsterdam". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  9. ^ "FC Zwolle contracteert verdediger Moisander". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  10. ^ "KNVB Beker; FC Zwolle - Fortuna Sittard". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  11. ^ "Niklas Moisander siirtyi FC Zwolleen". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2006-05-03. 
  12. ^ "Moisander jatkaa FC Zwollessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  13. ^ "Moisander: van broodjes naar pasta". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  14. ^ "AZ-pakki Niklas Moisanderille makea debyytti Eredivisiessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  15. ^ "AZ 1-0 PSV". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  16. ^ "AZ 6-0 Sparta Rotterdam". Soccerway. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  17. ^ "Niklas Moisanderin siirto AZ Alkmaariin sinetöity". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  18. ^ "Niklas Moisanderista Hollannin jalkapallomestari". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  19. ^ "Niklas Moisander AZ:ssa vuoteen 2014". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  20. ^ "Niklas Moisander ja uusi valmentaja vanhoja tuttuja". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  21. ^ "Inter puolusti tasapelin". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  22. ^ "Uusi pomo vakuutti heti Niklas Moisanderin". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  23. ^ "Moisander aloittanut harjoittelun uuden valmentajan alaisuudessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  24. ^ "Niklas Moisander debytoi AZ:n kipparina". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  25. ^ "Niklas Moisander sai luottamuksen osoituksen Hollannissa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  26. ^ "Moisanderin AZ:n europelit päättyivät | Julkaisija". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  27. ^ "De Telegraaf: Moisanderin unelmasiirto varmistui". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
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  29. ^ "Moisander avasi heti maalitilin Ajaxissa - katso video". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  30. ^ "Moisander osui Ronaldo-showssa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  31. ^ "Moisander valittiin vuoden parhaaksi". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  32. ^ "Lajien parhaat valittu - hurja putki katkesi". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  33. ^ "Moisanderin Ajax varmisti 32. Hollannin mestaruutensa". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
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  36. ^ "Ajax-verdediger Moisander verwacht dat rode kaart geseponeerd wordt" [Ajax defender Moisander expects red card will be dropped]. (in Dutch). 6 February 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  37. ^ "Ajax captain Moisander to join Sampdoria". Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  38. ^ Gladwell, Ben (25 March 2016). "Sampdoria announce signing of Niklas Moisander from Ajax". ESPNFC. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  39. ^ "Bremen sign Finland defender Moisander". Bundesliga. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  40. ^ Sander, Carsten; Knips, Björn (11 July 2016). "Moisander: Stratege mit temporärem Handicap" [Strategist with a temporary handicap]. Kreiszeitung (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  41. ^ Klemm, Hans-Günter (11 July 2016). "Moisander: Ein Chef all Aufbauhelfer". kicker Online (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  42. ^ "Mixu julkaisi joukkueen: Pohjanpalo ja Väyrynen Huuhkajiin". MTV. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  43. ^ "Moisander ja Korpela Vuoden pelaajat". Palloliitto. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  44. ^ "Suomella pari maalipaikkaa, Baxter piti toisen puoliajan esityksestä". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  45. ^ "Finland 2–1 Wales". BBC. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009. 
  46. ^ "Suomen unelma pirstaleiksi - Venäjä voitti 3-0". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  47. ^ "Suomi löi Walesin ja varmisti kolmospaikan". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  48. ^ "Finnish awards for impressive trio". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  49. ^ "World Cup qualifiers: France tackle Finland with eye on winning hearts". ND TV. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  50. ^ "Suomi venyi ikimuistoiseen tasapeliin Espanjassa" (in Finnish). YLE Urheilu. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  51. ^ "Soccer Twins". The Best Eleven. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  52. ^ "Niklas Moisander - Voetbal International profile". Voetbal International. 
  53. ^ Niklas Moisander at
  54. ^ "Niklas Moisander" (in Finnish). Suomen Palloliitto (Football Association of Finland). Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  55. ^ "Niklas Moisander on Vuoden 2009 varusmiesurheilija" (in Finnish). YLE. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  56. ^ Vuoden parhaita palkittiin Captain’s Ball –gaalassa
  57. ^ [1]
  58. ^ Hyypiä ja Moisander palkittiin
  59. ^ Moisander urheilutoimittajien valinta vuoden jalkapalloilijaksi

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Petri Pasanen
Finland captain
Preceded by
Siem de Jong
Ajax captain
Succeeded by
Davy Klaassen