Moisander with AZ in 2011
|Full name||Niklas Moisander|
|Date of birth||29 September 1985|
|Place of birth||Turku, Finland|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:40, 19 November 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Niklas Moisander (born 29 September 1985) is a Finnish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for German club Werder Bremen and for the Finland national team. Moisander was born in Turku, 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.
Moisander made his international debut for Finland in May 2008, at age 22. He was voted the Finnish Footballer of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours and achievements
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Moisander started his football career together with his twin brother Henrik, both joining local TPS 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 age 17.
On 5 June 2003, it was announced that Dutch Eredivisie club Ajax had signed the twins Henrik and Niklas to a two-year contract, binding them to the club until the summer of 2005. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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 for a reported €600,000 transfer fee, returning to the top flight of Dutch football. During his stay in Zwolle, he made 75 appearances for the club, scoring five times, where he was an instrumental player for his side.
On 11 July 2008, it was announced that AZ had come to terms with Zwolle for the direct transfer of Moisander, signing a three-year contract to bind him to the club until the summer of 2011. He made his Eredivisie debut on 20 September 2008 for AZ in its 1–0 home win against Dutch giants PSV. He scored his first goal for AZ on 3 October 2008 in the 6–0 regular season victory over Sparta Rotterdam. 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.
Moisander quickly came back to help his side win the Eredivisie 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, it was still able to consequently clinch the league due to eminent losses suffered by title contenders Ajax and Twente. The following season, Moisander made his continental debut, playing in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League group stage campaign. Playing in five out of the six 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 (the Johan Cruyff Shield) against Heerenveen at the start of the season. Midway through the season, the team changed management again when Dick Advocaat was hired as a replacement for Koeman, and the club finishing the season in fifth place and thus qualifying for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round.
Ahead of the 2010–11 season, AZ had found another replacement in Gertjan Verbeek as the new manager. Moisander played a major role in helping his side to qualify for the 2010–11 Europa League group stage, having appeared in all four games in the qualifying rounds. He also played in four of the six 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.
Following the departure of Stijn Schaars to Sporting CP ahead of the 2011–12 season, Moisander was appointed as AZ's new team captain. Securing the group stage of the 2011–12 Europa League once more, through a successful qualifying campaign against Baumit Jablonec and Aalesunds FK, his team would then successfully advance out of the group stage, where it faced off with the likes of Austria Wien, Malmö FF and Metalist Kharkiv, finishing in second place in the group. The club then advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Anderlecht and Udinese in previous rounds, eventually bowing out to Valencia 5–2 on aggregate. Moisander played in 14 matches during the club's continental campaign, when it 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.
Return to Ajax
On 21 August 2012, both clubs agreed to terms of a €3 million transfer fee to acquire Moisander, as he returned to Ajax on a three-year contract as a replacement for the Tottenham Hotspur-bound Jan Vertonghen. Moisander made his Eredivisie debut for Ajax on 25 August 2012 in a match against NAC Breda, where he also scored a goal. 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 adding four goals. On 3 October 2012, he scored a header in a UEFA Champions League match, a 4–1 home defeat against Real Madrid. He then scored the winner in the Champions League game against Manchester City on 24 October, again with a header. Moisander played in all six matches during the clubs' 2012–13 Champions League campaign, where the club finished in third place behind Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, thus qualifying for the 2012–13 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. Moisander 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 its 32nd league title in his first year back with the club.
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 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 its 3–2 away loss to 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.
On 25 March 2015, it was announced that Moisander would move to Italian Serie A club Sampdoria at the end of the 2014–15 season. As his contract at Ajax was expiring, he moved on a free transfer, signing a three-year contract.
On 9 July 2016, German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen announced it had completed the signing of Moisander. The transfer fee paid to Sampdoria was a reported €1.7 million. He made his Bundesliga debut in a 1–4 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 16 September 2016, replacing Fallou Diagne at half-time with Werder Bremen trailing 0–4.
On 8 July 2017, he suffered a torn muscle fibre in his right thigh playing in a friendly match against his former club Ajax Amsterdam. The match was later abandoned because Ajax player Abdelhak Nouri suffered a heart attack.
Finland youth teams
Moisander made his debut for Finland at 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 three caps for the under-15 side, while scoring once, 12 caps for the under-16 squad, and eight caps for Finland U-17. At age 19 he scored a goal for the Finland U-21 in Limassol, Cyprus, in a match against Slovakia on 10 February 2005.
Finland first team
Moisander made his official debut for the senior 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. In fall 2008 and spring 2009, Moisander was named for the Finland squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, but remained as an unused substitute. He scored the winning goal on 10 October 2009 in a World Cup qualifier win over Wales at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. He permanently solidified his position in the team after Baxter brought him in for the final 2010 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 therefore failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
In 2011, under Mixu Paatelainen, Moisander gained the captain's armband from Petri Pasanen, becoming the new skipper for Finland. While playing a major role in the teams UEFA Euro 2012 ambitions, Finland finished fourth in its group behind the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary, failing to qualify for the final tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
The 2014 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. One of the most memorable matches of the qualification was a 1–1 draw against the reigning world and European champions Spain in March 2013 in Gijón; Moisander played full 90 minutes in the match.
|FC Zwolle||2006–07||Eerste Divisie||34||1||1||0||–||2||0||37||1|
- Score and Result lists Finland's goals first
- As of 12 June 2013
|1.||10 October 2009||Helsinki Olympic Stadium, 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|
Honours and achievements
- Ajax A1 (under-19)
- A-Junioren Eredivisie (1): 2003–04
- Jong Ajax (reserves)
- Beloften Eredivisie (1): 2004–05
- Finnish Defence Forces Conscript Athlete of the year: 2009
- Finnish Football Association Player of the Year: 2012, 2013
- Finnish Sports’ Journalists Player of the Year: 2012, 2013
- "4 Niklas Moisander Difensore". sampdoria.it. U.C.Sampdoria. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "4 Niklas Moisander Difensore". sampdoria.it. U.C.Sampdoria. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "Niklas Moisander profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "Moisanderin veljekset Ajaxiin". MTV3. Retrieved 2003-06-05.
- "Ajax contracteert de Finse gebroeders Moisander". Voetbalzone. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- "Moisanderin veljesten näytöt vakuuttivat Ajaxin". MTV3. Retrieved 2003-06-09.
- "Moisander: 'Ajax is mijn droomclub'". AD.nl. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "The Year in Football: Ajax Amsterdam". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "FC Zwolle contracteert verdediger Moisander". peczwolle.nl. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "KNVB Beker; FC Zwolle - Fortuna Sittard". FCUpdate.nl. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "Niklas Moisander siirtyi FC Zwolleen". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2006-05-03.
- "Moisander jatkaa FC Zwollessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- "Moisander: van broodjes naar pasta". AZ.nl. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "AZ-pakki Niklas Moisanderille makea debyytti Eredivisiessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- "AZ 1-0 PSV". Goal.com. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "AZ 6-0 Sparta Rotterdam". Soccerway. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "Niklas Moisanderin siirto AZ Alkmaariin sinetöity". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- "Niklas Moisanderista Hollannin jalkapallomestari". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- "Niklas Moisander AZ:ssa vuoteen 2014". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
- "Niklas Moisander ja uusi valmentaja vanhoja tuttuja". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- "Inter puolusti tasapelin". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "Uusi pomo vakuutti heti Niklas Moisanderin". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- "Moisander aloittanut harjoittelun uuden valmentajan alaisuudessa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "Niklas Moisander debytoi AZ:n kipparina". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "Niklas Moisander sai luottamuksen osoituksen Hollannissa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- "Moisanderin AZ:n europelit päättyivät | Julkaisija". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "De Telegraaf: Moisanderin unelmasiirto varmistui". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Ajax vahvisti Moisanderin siirron - "Niklas on juuri sitä mitä haimme"". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- "Moisander avasi heti maalitilin Ajaxissa - katso video". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "Moisander osui Ronaldo-showssa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- "Moisander valittiin vuoden parhaaksi". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "Lajien parhaat valittu - hurja putki katkesi". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "Moisanderin Ajax varmisti 32. Hollannin mestaruutensa". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Domper Jong Ajax in Helmond". Ajax Showtime. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "De Boer: 'Schandalige rode kaart breekpunt in de wedstrijd'" [De Boer: 'Scandalous red card breakpoint in the game']. NU.nl (in Dutch). 5 February 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- "Ajax-verdediger Moisander verwacht dat rode kaart geseponeerd wordt" [Ajax defender Moisander expects red card will be dropped]. NU.nl (in Dutch). 6 February 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- "Ajax captain Moisander to join Sampdoria". Goal.com. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
- Gladwell, Ben (25 March 2016). "Sampdoria announce signing of Niklas Moisander from Ajax". ESPNFC. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- "Bremen sign Finland defender Moisander". Bundesliga. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Sander, Carsten; Knips, Björn (11 July 2016). "Moisander: Stratege mit temporärem Handicap" [Strategist with a temporary handicap]. Kreiszeitung (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- Klemm, Hans-Günter (11 July 2016). "Moisander: Ein Chef all Aufbauhelfer". kicker Online (in German). Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "Niklas Moisander pääsi viimein kentälle Bundesliigassa" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- Ford, Matt (8 July 2017). "Werder Bremen friendly called off after Ajax's Abdelhak Nouri collapses". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Mixu julkaisi joukkueen: Pohjanpalo ja Väyrynen Huuhkajiin". MTV. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "Moisander ja Korpela Vuoden pelaajat". Palloliitto. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "Suomella pari maalipaikkaa, Baxter piti toisen puoliajan esityksestä". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- "Finland 2–1 Wales". BBC. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "Suomen unelma pirstaleiksi - Venäjä voitti 3-0". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- "Suomi löi Walesin ja varmisti kolmospaikan". YLE Urheilu. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "Finnish awards for impressive trio". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "World Cup qualifiers: France tackle Finland with eye on winning hearts". ND TV. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "Suomi venyi ikimuistoiseen tasapeliin Espanjassa" (in Finnish). YLE Urheilu. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "Soccer Twins". The Best Eleven. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
- "N. Moisander". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
- "Niklas Moisander - Voetbal International profile". Voetbal International.
- "Niklas Moisander". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
- "Niklas Moisander". Suomen Palloliitto (in Finnish). Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- "Niklas Moisander" (in Finnish). Suomen Palloliitto (Football Association of Finland). Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Niklas Moisander on Vuoden 2009 varusmiesurheilija" (in Finnish). YLE. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Vuoden parhaita palkittiin Captain’s Ball –gaalassa
- Hyypiä ja Moisander palkittiin
- Moisander urheilutoimittajien valinta vuoden jalkapalloilijaksi
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Niklas Moisander.|
- Werder Bremen official profile (in German) (in English)
- Niklas Moisander – UEFA competition record
- Niklas Moisander – FIFA competition record
- Niklas Moisander at National-Football-Teams.com
- Niklas Moisander at Soccerbase
- Niklas Moisander at BDFutbol
- Niklas Moisander at fussballdaten.de (in German)
- Niklas Moisander at Soccerway
- Voetbal International profile (in Dutch)
- Profile at FA of Finland's official website (in Finnish)
- Niklas Moisander at ESPN FC