Thomas Ravelli

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Thomas Ravelli
Thomas Ravelli in January 2014.jpg
Ravelli in 2014
Personal information
Full name Thomas Ravelli
Date of birth (1959-08-13) 13 August 1959 (age 59)
Place of birth Vimmerby, Sweden
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1988 Öster 219 (0)
1989–1997 IFK Göteborg 211 (0)
1998 Tampa Bay Mutiny 23 (0)
1999 Öster 8 (0)
Total 461 (0)
National team
1981–1997 Sweden 143 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Ravelli ([ˈtʊmːas raˈvɛlːɪ], Italian: [raˈvɛlli]; born 13 August 1959) is a retired Swedish footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

His 21-year professional career was almost exclusively associated with Öster and Göteborg, for whom he appeared in 430 Allsvenskan games combined.

The most-capped player for the Sweden national team for several years, Ravelli represented the nation at two World Cups and one European Championship.

Club career[edit]

Ravelli was born in Vimmerby. At the club level he played for Östers IF and IFK Göteborg, winning three Allsvenskan championships during his ten-year tenure with the former team before signing for the latter in 1989, at the age of 29.

With Göteborg, Ravelli conquered a further six leagues and his only Swedish Cup. In 1998, already 39, he joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer, closing out his career the following year with his first club; in total, he played in nearly 600 official matches as a professional.

International career[edit]

Ravelli's international career spanned almost two decades, starting in 1981. He played in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1992, and the 1994 World Cup, with Sweden finishing third in the latter tournament, and appeared in a total of 143 games.[1]

He is well known for saving two penalties during the shootout against Romania in 1994 World Cup's quarter-final clash, including one in the "sudden death" by Miodrag Belodedici (5–4 win).[2] This feat led to him finishing second in the year's race for Goalkeeper of the Year,[3] and he was also named by France Football as the seventh best player in Europe.[4]

Style of play[edit]

Extroverted, experienced and highly competitive with a tall and slender frame, known for his leadership and vocal presence in goal in spite of his eccentric and temperamental personality, Ravelli was a traditional, consistent and efficient goalkeeper with solid all-round fundamentals, who was regarded in particular for his positional sense and ability to read the game and organise his defence; considered to be a world-class player in his position in his prime, as well as one of Sweden's greatest goalkeepers ever, he also possessed good elevation and shot-stopping abilities, which enabled him to produce acrobatic saves without having to resort to histrionics, and was known for his command of his area and speed when rushing off his line, as well as his ability to close down his opponents and get over the ball quickly. He also stood out for his longevity throughout his career; however, he also came into criticism at times from his managers over his poor work-rate in training.

Although Ravelli was not known to be a penalty-saving specialist, Ravelli drew attention to himself in the media when he stopped two penalties in Sweden's quarter-final penalty shoot-out victory over Romania at the 1994 World Cup.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Ravelli's twin brother, Andreas, was also a footballer. Their father was an Austrian immigrant of Italian descent who moved to Sweden in 1952,[16][17][18] and the siblings played alongside each other at Öster and the national team.

Club statistics[edit]


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sweden League Svenska Cupen League Cup Europe Total
1978 Öster Allsvenskan 0 0
1979 13 0
1980 26 0
1981 26 0
1982 24 0
1983 28 0
1984 17 0
1985 19 0
1986 20 0
1987 24 0
1988 22 0
1989 Göteborg Allsvenskan 22 0
1990 26 0
1991 28 0
1992 24 0
1993 26 0
1994 25 0
1995 20 0
1996 17 0
1997 23 0
USA League Open Cup League Cup North America Total
1998 Tampa Bay Mutiny Major League Soccer 23 0
Sweden League Svenska Cupen League Cup Europe Total
1999 Öster Allsvenskan 8 0
Total Sweden 438 0
USA 23 0
Career total 461 0









  1. ^ Thomas Ravelli – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
  2. ^ WORLD CUP USA '94 / Quarterfinals: There once was a man named Ravelli... : Sweden: Goalkeeper's performance against Romanian penalty kicks seems like the stuff of legends.; Los Angeles Times, 11 July 1994
  3. ^ a b IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1994; at RSSSF
  4. ^ European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 1994; at RSSSF
  5. ^ Hersh, Phil (12 July 1994). "A wild and crazy goalie". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Lindahl brings award back to Cobham". Chelsea F.C. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. ^ Hall, Richard (25 March 2016). "OPINION: Buffon may never be bettered... but Italy can replace him!". Calcio Mercato. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Happy birthday to you!". FIFA. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  9. ^ Hughes, Rob (8 February 1995). "Peter Shilton's despond". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ L. Jones, Grahame (12 July 1994). "WORLD CUP USA '94: Semifinals: The nut in the nets: Sweden's Ravelli seems like a normal fellow, but the truth cuts holes in that scenario". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  11. ^ Clarey, Christopher (11 July 1994). "WORLD CUP '94; A would-be salesman buys dream for Sweden". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  12. ^ Goff, Steven (2 July 1994). "Round of 16". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  13. ^ Howard, Johnette (11 June 1994). "Save the world, a shot at a time". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  14. ^ Hughes, Rob (13 July 1994). "Chance of a lifetime is in their hands". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  15. ^ "World Cup team capsules". The Washington Post. 17 June 1994. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  16. ^ Thomas Ravellis släkthistoria stolen (Thomas Ravelli's family history stolen) Archived 5 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.; Aftonbladet, 10 June 2000 (in Swedish)
  17. ^ Thomas Ravelli; UEFA, 10 July 2003
  18. ^ Fredriksson, Jimmy (4 May 2014). "Ravelli: "Jag var rädd för att göra bort mig"" [Ravelli: "I was afraid to get rid of me"] (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Thomas Ravelli". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Thomas RAVELLI" (in Japanese). Level K. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  21. ^ IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1995; at RSSSF

External links[edit]