Thomas Gravesen

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Thomas Gravesen
Personal information
Date of birth (1976-03-11) 11 March 1976 (age 40)
Place of birth Vejle, Denmark
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Vejle Boldklub
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Vejle Boldklub 58 (10)
1997–2000 Hamburger SV 51 (4)
2000–2005 Everton 141 (11)
2005–2006 Real Madrid 34 (1)
2006–2008 Celtic 22 (6)
2007–2008 Everton (loan) 8 (0)
Total 314 (32)
National team
1995 Denmark U19 3 (0)
1996–1997 Denmark U21 11 (4)
1998–2006 Denmark 66 (5)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Thomas Gravesen (born 11 March 1976) is a Danish former professional footballer who played as a midfielder.

Gravesen played as a professional in Denmark, Germany, England, Spain and Scotland for Vejle Boldklub, Hamburger SV, Everton, Real Madrid and Celtic.

For the Denmark national team, Gravesen was capped 66 times and scored five goals, from his debut in August 1998 until he ended his national team career in September 2006. He represented Denmark at the international Euro 2000, 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 tournaments.

He is the older brother of footballer Peter Gravesen.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Vejle, Gravesen began his career in 1995 with hometown club Vejle Boldklub (VB) in the Danish Superliga, alongside a handful of youths making it through the VB youth scheme, including good friend Kaspar Dalgas. At VB he played as sweeper and defensive midfielder, and after he won silver medals in the 1996–97 Superliga season he moved to German team Hamburger SV in 1997.

Gravesen made a total of 94 appearances and six goals in three years with HSV.


Following the Euro 2000 tournament, Gravesen went to English club Everton and quickly became a favourite amongst the fans.

Gravesen played a key role in Everton's rise toward the top of the 2004–05 Premier League table. With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2005, which would enable him to leave on a free transfer, Everton sold Gravesen to Real Madrid in January 2005 for a surprisingly low fee of £2.5 million.[1]

Real Madrid[edit]

Gravesen was signed to fill a hole in Madrid's defensive midfield, a position somewhat different from his time at Everton.[2] He found immediate playing success at Real Madrid, scoring in one of his first games, a 4–0 win against Espanyol.[3] However, Gravesen would eventually find himself benched. Following public outcry over his tough style of play and the sacking of Real coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and sporting director Arrigo Sacchi, who were in charge of acquiring Gravesen, he looked ready to leave Real Madrid in the winter transfer window of 2006. However, new coach López Caro would revive Gravesen's career at Real, picking him regularly, using him in the holding role in the new 4–1–4–1 formation Real adopted. Towards the end of the season, Gravesen once again found himself out of the team, and in May 2006 a number of clubs were reported to be interested in him.[4]

In August 2006, a scuffle erupted at a Real Madrid training session following a hard tackle by Gravesen on teammate Robinho.[5] Fabio Capello, the former Real Madrid manager, said about Gravesen: "The way he is, we won't have problems with him. He's just a little bit particular. I don't mess with him, he works well tactically. His behaviour is like this, and I don't like it, everything has to be done like he wants it to be done".[6] Gravesen looked likely to leave Real Madrid before the start of the 2006–07 season, with his agent John Sivebæk confirming that a number of clubs – including Newcastle United in England[7] and Scottish club Celtic[8] – were interested in signing the midfielder.


On 28 August 2006, Gravesen attended Celtic Park in Glasgow for a medical examination and, on 30 August, signed a three-year deal (with the option of a fourth) with the club, for a speculated fee of around £2 million. There was a period of uncertainty as to whether Gravesen would sign for Celtic after false rumours arose of a failed medical and of an eleventh-hour bid by Newcastle.[9]

He scored his first goal for Celtic against arch rivals Rangers on 23 September 2006. He then went on to score the first hat-trick of his professional career[10] when Celtic won 3–1 against St Mirren on 12 November. After a promising start to his Celtic career, Gravesen was replaced in the starting line-up by Dutch international midfielder Evander Sno. In April 2007, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan denied rumours that Gravesen would leave the club to play for English club Sunderland,[11] but in May 2007 he declared his disappointment that Gravesen did not work harder to recapture his place in the starting line-up.[12]

On 18 August 2008, Celtic and Thomas Gravesen parted company.[13]

Loan to Everton[edit]

Gravesen re-signed for Everton on a season-long loan from Celtic on 29 August 2007. On his first game back for Everton, as a second-half substitute in the 2–1 win at Bolton Wanderers, he took the corner that Joleon Lescott headed the winner from. In his first European appearance of the season, in Everton's 3–1 victory over Larissa at Goodison Park in the UEFA Cup group stage, Gravesen set up Everton's third goal, scored by Victor Anichebe. However, Gravesen failed to make as big an impact as many Everton fans had hoped. A rare highlight was scoring a penalty in the shootout following the UEFA Cup match against Fiorentina, although Everton would go on to lose the shootout when Phil Jagielka missed the crucial spot-kick. After the last game of the 2007–08 season, manager David Moyes confirmed that Gravesen's contract would not be renewed and he would be returning to Celtic.[14]


On 27 January 2009, Gravesen announced his retirement from professional football after he failed to find a new club after being released by Celtic. On 12 September 2009, he stated in an interview with FourFourTwo that he had been approached by a number of clubs about a possible return to football, but nothing came of these approaches.

It was reported in December 2013 that Gravesen had been successful with his investments and was living in Las Vegas.[15]

International career[edit]

Gravesen debuted for the Danish national team in a 0–1 friendly match loss to the Czech Republic on 19 August 1998. Gravesen was selected to play for Denmark at the 2000 European Championship (Euro 2000) by coach Bo Johansson, despite concern from Johansson that he was not "psychologically stable" enough.[16]

While at Everton, new Danish national team coach Morten Olsen fully supported Gravesen and made him one of his pivotal players in the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 campaigns. His display in the 2002 World Cup qualifying game with Iceland, where Gravesen scored two goals in a 6–0 win, was so impressive that American boxer Mike Tyson asked for his shirt[2] and wore it throughout his stay in Denmark. He played all four of Denmark's matches at the 2002 World Cup, though Gravesen and his partner in the Danish midfield duo, Stig Tøfting, justified their pit bull reputations when they ganged up to play a prank on teammate Jesper Grønkjær at a World Cup training session.[17]

He missed the first group match at Euro 2004 as he was suspended due to a sending off in the last qualifying match before the tournament but he played the remaining three games before Denmark were eliminated.

On 15 September 2006, Gravesen announced his decision to end his international career, deciding now to focus his efforts solely on Celtic.[18]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
Thomas Gravesen: International goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 6 October 2001 Copenhagen, Denmark  Iceland 3–0 6–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
2 6 October 2001 Copenhagen, Denmark  Iceland 4–0 6–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
3 29 March 2003 Bucharest, Romania  Romania 2–2 5–2 Euro 2004 qualifier
4 30 April 2003 Copenhagen, Denmark  Ukraine 1–0 1–0 Friendly match
5 11 June 2003 Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 2–0 2–0 Euro 2004 qualifier

Career statistics[edit]



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Denmark League Danish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995–96 Vejle Boldklub Superliga 28 2
1996–97 30 8
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
1997–98 Hamburger SV Bundesliga 26 2
1998–99 22 3
1999–00 26 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Everton Premier League 32 2
2001–02 25 2
2002–03 33 1
2003–04 30 2
2004–05 21 4
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2004–05 Real Madrid La Liga 17 1 2 0
2005–06 17 0
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Celtic Premier League 22 6
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Everton Premier League 8 0
Total Denmark 58 10
Germany 74 6
England 149 11
Spain 34 1
Scotland 22 6
Career total 337 34



Denmark national team
Year Apps Goals
1998 3 0
1999 2 0
2000 8 0
2001 6 2
2002 12 0
2003 10 3
2004 11 0
2005 8 0
2006 6 0
Total 66 5



  1. ^ "Gravesen completes switch to Real". BBC Sport. 14 January 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Kay, Oliver (13 January 2005). "Real yearn for steel of Gravesen". The Times. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Real Madrid crush Espanyol 4–0 to make it six in a row". Daily Times. 7 February 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Wednesday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Gravesen lashes out at Capello". World Soccer. 8 September 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "El Madrid abre la puerta a Gravesen" (in Spanish). Marca. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Livie, Alex (3 August 2006). "Grav likes look of Magpies". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Fudge, Simon (16 August 2006). "Grav considers Bhoys". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Celtic complete Gravesen capture". BBC Sport. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Andersen, Lars Jørgen (12 November 2006). "Hat trick af Thomas Gravesen" (in Danish). TV 2 (Denmark). Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Strachan dismisses transfer talk". BBC Sport. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Clausen, Mads (22 May 2007). "Strachan skuffet over Gravesen" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Celtic part company with Thomas Gravesen". Celtic F.C. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. 
  14. ^ Kell, Tom (12 May 2008). "Gravesen and Wessels leave Toffees". Setanta Sports. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008. 
  15. ^ Drayton, John (13 December 2013). "Remember Gravesen? The former Everton midfielder is now worth over £80m and lives in Las Vegas with a blonde bombshell". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Klaus Moe, "Psykisk for ustabil", B.T. article, 19 April 2000
  17. ^ Møller, Lars (2005). "Thomas Gravesen i billeder" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Berendt, Lars (15 September 2006). "Thomas Gravesen stopper på landsholdet" (in Danish). DBU. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "GRAVESEN (Thomas Gravesen) – Celtic and Denmark". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. 
  20. ^ Thomas Gravesen at

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas Gravesen, told to Kurt Lassen, "Min version" (My version), Denmark, 2005, ISBN 87-91693-51-9

External links[edit]