Therese Sjögran

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Therese Sjögran
Therese Sjögran.jpg
Sjögran in May 2014
Personal information
Full name Kerstin Ingrid Therese Sjögran[1]
Date of birth (1977-04-08) 8 April 1977 (age 40)[2]
Place of birth Södra Sandby, Sweden[3]
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1983–1989 Harlösa IF
1989–1991 Veberöds AIF
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Veberöds AIF
1997–2000 Kristianstad/Wä DFF
2001–2010 Malmö
2011 Sky Blue FC 13 (0)
2011–2015 Malmö 63 (14)
National team
1993 Sweden U16 2[4] (0)
1995–1997 Sweden U20 21[4] (8)
1997–2015 Sweden 214[5] (21)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:00, 25 June 2015 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15:50, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Kerstin Ingrid Therese Sjögran (born 8 April 1977) is a Swedish former footballer who played as a midfielder for Damallsvenskan club FC Rosengård and the Sweden women's national football team. Nicknamed Terre, Sjögran made her first Damallsvenskan appearances for Kristianstad/Wä DFF. She joined Malmö FF Dam in 2001 and remained with the club through its different guises as LdB FC and FC Rosengård. Sjögran spent the 2011 season with American Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) club Sky Blue FC.

Sweden's all-time record appearance holder, Sjögran made her national team debut in October 1997 and is the first player to win 200 caps for the Blågult. She represented her country in the 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 editions of the UEFA Women's Championship, as well as at the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cups. She also played at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Football Tournaments, but missed out in 2012 due to injury. Sjögran twice won the Diamantbollen, the award for Sweden's female player of the year, in 2007 and 2010.

Club career[edit]

Sjögran began playing football with boys at Harlösa IF and moved on to Veberöds AIF at the age of 12. Aged 14, she was already playing for Veberöds' women's team in Division 3. After signing for Division 1 club Wä IF in 1997 Sjögran was part of the team promoted into the Damallsvenskan for the first time that year. She came to the attention of bigger clubs and joined Wä's local rivals Malmö FF Dam in 2001.[6]

Malmö showed good form but were prevented from winning trophies by the dominant Umeå IK team of the era. With Sjögran playing as a left winger, the 2003 Svenska Cupen final finished Umeå 1–0 Malmö, after an extra time goal by Umeå's Hanna Ljungberg.[7] In April 2005, Sjögran rejected advances from several rival clubs to extend her Malmö contract.[8]

Consistent performances from Sjögran at Malmö saw her honoured as Sweden's female Midfielder of the Year in 2007 and 2008.[9] In 2007, she won the Diamantbollen award for the best female footballer in the country.[10]

In March 2009, Sjögran indicated her interest in playing in the English FA WSL, which was supposed to start the following year but was delayed.[11] Later in 2009, she was picked in the American Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) International Draft by Atlanta Beat, but remained loyal to Malmö.

Inspired by 33-year-old Sjögran, Malmö won their first Damallsvenskan championship since 1994 in the 2010 season.[12] It was delighted Sjögran's first league winner's medal after finishing in second place on five previous occasions.[13] Sjögran won the Diamantbollen again in 2010. Her acceptance speech paid tribute to the influence of her step-father.[14] A surprised Sjögran had expected Charlotte Rohlin to win the award.[15]

Sjögran playing for FC Rosengård

In December 2010 Malmö let Sjögran move to America, with WPS club Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra had made Sjögran one of his top transfer targets, describing her as "consistently exceptional".[16] Sjögran played just 13 matches for Sky Blue, as the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup was scheduled during the 2011 season. Starting 12 of the games, she posted six assists as Sky Blue finished fifth of six teams.

The deal had a clause that Sjögran would return to Malmö after the short American season.[17] She helped Malmö retain their Damallsvenskan title in 2011 and represented the club in the 2011–12 UEFA Women's Champions League.

After a serious knee injury in May 2012, veteran Sjögran eventually returned to full fitness but found it difficult to break back into the starting line-up as Malmö were battling rivals Tyresö FF for the league title. Strong performances for the Swedish national team saw her win back her club place. Malmö and Sjögran won their third title in four seasons in 2013.[18] She was happy to secure her third league winner's medal in October 2013, as Malmö beat Umeå IK 2–0 to take an unassailable six point lead over Tyresö at the top of the table.[19]

Sjögran signed a new contract with Malmö, now known as FC Rosengård, in May 2014. She wanted to remain with the club for the rest of her playing career.[20] In June 2014 she was linked with a coaching role at the club.[21]

In April 2015 Rosengård announced that Sjögran had been appointed as the club's sportchef (English: sporting director) and that she intended to retire from playing after the summer's World Cup in Canada.[22] It was reported in July 2015 that Sjögran would play her 426th and final game for the club in their Svenska Cupen semi-final against Umeå.[23] But with Rosengård suffering a dip in form and locked in a title challenge with Eskilstuna United, Sjögran – who had also been coaching the team – was soon pressed into a temporary playing comeback.[24]

Rosengård overcame the absence of coach Markus Tilly for family reasons and the departure of star players Anja Mittag and Ramona Bachmann to secure their third successive league title, with a final day 5–0 win over Linköpings FC.[25]

International career[edit]

Sjögran made her first appearance for the senior Swedish national team on 30 October 1997; a 3–1 friendly defeat by the United States in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was fast-tracked into the national team by coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors although she had not yet played in Sweden's top division.[26] After some injury problems kept her out of club football, Sjögran was not selected for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in the United States.[27] She returned to the squad for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but was mainly an understudy and was restricted to substitute appearances as Sweden crashed out in the first round.

Sjögran was a more established first team player by the time of UEFA Women's Euro 2001. She came on as a substitute in all Sweden's games except the final, which she started. Sweden lost 1–0 to Claudia Müller's golden goal for hosts Germany.[28]

Sjögran playing for Sweden in their UEFA Women's Euro 2013 semi-final against Germany

At the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, Sjögran was substituted at half-time in Sweden's first match, a 3–1 loss to hosts the United States. She came on as a substitute in Sweden's remaining matches and won praise for her performance in the final, which Sweden again lost to Germany on a golden goal. In its tournament review, the Expressen newspaper described Sjögran as a talented enigma who seemed incapable of translating her best performances to the international stage.[29]

Following the retirement of midfield star Malin Moström in late 2006, Sjögran was given a more prominent role by coach Thomas Dennerby. As part of the Sweden team surprisingly eliminated in the first round of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Sjögran was one of few Swedish players to emerge with any credit from the tournament.[30] She also played a leading role as Sweden beat rivals Denmark in a qualification play-off for the following year's Olympics.[31] In China 2008 she participated in the Swedes' 2–0 quarter-final defeat by Germany.

At the 2011 Algarve Cup Sjögran surpassed Victoria Sandell Svensson's national record of 166 caps, after playing in a 2–1 defeat to Japan. She marked the occasion by scoring her 17th international goal, direct from a free kick.[32]

Experienced "elder stateswoman"[33] Sjögran helped Sweden achieve third place at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. She assisted Lisa Dahlqvist's winning goal against North Korea in the group stage, and started Sweden's 3–1 semi-final defeat to eventual winners Japan in Frankfurt. Sjögran played the whole match as Sweden secured third place by beating France 2–1 in Sinsheim.

Third place ensured Sweden's qualification for the 2012 Olympic football tournament in London. In May 2012, Sjögran tore her anterior cruciate ligament and was ruled out of the Olympics. Although she was aged 35, Sjögran did not consider retirement. She aimed to recover in time for UEFA Women's Euro 2013, which Sweden were hosting.[34]

Incoming coach Pia Sundhage selected Sjögran in the Sweden squad for Euro 2013, admitting it was something of a gamble and demanding that Sjögran should expend "the last drop of sweat" to justify her place. Sjögran had not expected to be recalled and had even purchased tickets to attend the tournament as a supporter.[35] At the final tournament Sjögran made substitute appearances in the 3–1 group win over Italy and the 1–0 defeat by Germany in the semi-final. Team-mate Lotta Schelin praised Sjögran's contribution, describing her as "an old gem".[36]

Sjögran (right) with Lotta Schelin on the occasion of Sjögran's 200th cap

In November 2013, the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) sparked a sexism scandal at its annual awards Gala when it presented Anders Svensson with a Volvo car for winning 146 caps. The governing body was widely criticised for failing to honour Sjögran, who had 187 caps.[37]

Coach Sundhage continued to select Sjögran for Sweden's successful 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign.[38] She played alongside Lotta Schelin as a forward against Northern Ireland, deputising for the injured Kosovare Asllani.[39] In October 2014 Sjögran reached her 200th appearance for Sweden, in a 2–1 home friendly defeat by Germany. She became the first Swedish player to achieve the milestone and only the third European after Birgit Prinz and Katrine Pedersen.[40]

At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Sjögran made her 214th and final appearance in Sweden's 4–1 second round defeat by Germany.[41] She left the field with tears in her eyes and kept the match ball as a souvenir for her mother.[42]

Personal life[edit]

Economics graduate Sjögran took legal action when she was refused unemployment benefit on the grounds that her football career stopped her being available for work. She later worked part-time for the insurance company, Trygg-Hansa.[31]


Sjögran playing for Malmö in May 2013
With Sweden in May 2014


Veberöds AIF
LdB FC Malmö/FC Rosengård





  1. ^ "Therese Sjögran". Sports Reference. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "List of Players - 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Profile". Svenska Fotbollförbundet (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Caps and Goals
  5. ^ "Profile". Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Walltin, Stenåke O. (16 February 2008). "Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Svenskdamfotboll. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Lundqvist, Anders (1 November 2003). "Hanna Ljungberg gav Umeå cupsegern" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Therese Sjögran stannar i MFF" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 24 April 2005. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Övriga utmärkelser" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Diamantbollen till Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 12 November 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Larson, Patrik (3 March 2009). "Sjögran tror många vill till England" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Liljedahl, Carl-Johan (2 September 2010). "Sjögran nära sitt stora mål" (in Swedish). Kristianstadsbladet. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Liljegren, Sven Bertil (2 September 2010). "TV: Äntligen guld för Malmöveteranen Sjögran: "Så jävla glad!"" (in Swedish). Fotbollskanalen. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Kristoffersson, Daniel (16 November 2010). "Therese Sjögran vann Diamantbollen" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Therese Sjögran vann Diamantbollen" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "LdB FC Malmö midfielder Therese Sjögran signs with Sky Blue FC". Our Game Magazine. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Kilefors, Henrik (24 March 2011). "Sjögran till USA" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  18. ^ Claris, Johannes (11 October 2013). "EM blev vändningen för Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Skånska Dagbladet. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "LDB Malmö tog SM-guld" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Larsson, Micke (16 May 2014). "Så avslutar Therese Sjögran karriären" (in Swedish). Skånska Dagbladet. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  21. ^ Bråstedt, Mats; Pettersson, Tomas (14 June 2014). "Therese Sjögran kan få ny roll i Rosengård" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Karlsson, Kristopher (28 April 2015). "Therese Sjögran avslutar karriären" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  23. ^ Brattgård, Louv (13 July 2015). "426:e matchen blir Therese Sjögrans sista" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Therese Sjögran tillbaka på planen" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 26 July 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  25. ^ Lundin, Andreas (18 October 2015). "SM-guld till Rosengård efter målfest" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  26. ^ Andrén, Susanna (6 July 2011). "Jag kommer alltid minnas" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "EM-chatt med Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  28. ^ Duret, Sébastien (19 May 2002). "European Women Championship 2001 - Final Tournament Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "15. Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Expressen. 8 October 2003. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  30. ^ Henrik, Skiöld (12 November 2007). "Sjögrans 2007 - tio år efter debuten" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Emilsson, Urban (16 February 2008). "Therese Sjögran ser positivt på 2008 "Nu blir det revansch i OS!"" (in Swedish). Svenskdamfotboll. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  32. ^ Larsson, Micke (9 March 2011). "Sjögran förlorare i rekordmatch" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  33. ^ "Sjogran: We don’t fear USA". FIFA. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  34. ^ Zupanovic, Peter (30 May 2012). "Therese Sjögran missar OS" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Sjögran och Hjohlman i Sundhages EM-trupp" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  36. ^ Dutt, Sujay (17 July 2013). "Schelin praise for 'old gem' Sjögran". UEFA. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  37. ^ "Lady football ace gets car after sexist blunder". The Local. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  38. ^ Wihlborg, Niklas (3 September 2013). "Sjögran får plats i landslaget" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  39. ^ Wihlborg, Niklas (7 May 2014). "Sjögran anfallare mot Nordirland" (in Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  40. ^ Dutt, Sujay (29 October 2014). "Sjögran reaches 200 in Sweden loss to Germany". Stockholm: UEFA. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  41. ^ "VM över för Sverige" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  42. ^ Johansson, Malena (12 July 2015). "Dokument: Therese Sjögran" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 
  43. ^ Australia Cup

External links[edit]