Thomas Christiansen

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Thomas Christiansen
Personal information
Full name Thomas Christiansen Tarín
Date of birth (1973-03-11) 11 March 1973 (age 44)
Place of birth Hadsund, Denmark
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Leeds United (head coach)
Youth career
1982–1988 Avedøre
1988 Brøndby
1989–1991 Hvidovre
1991 B.93
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Barcelona B 60 (28)
1993–1996 Barcelona 0 (0)
1993 Sporting Gijón (loan) 10 (4)
1993–1994 Osasuna (loan) 14 (1)
1994–1995 Racing Santander (loan) 15 (1)
1996–1997 Oviedo 50 (5)
1997–1999 Villarreal 41 (6)
1999 Terrassa 17 (5)
2000 Panionios 12 (3)
2000 Herfølge 4 (2)
2001–2003 VfL Bochum 76 (38)
2003–2006 Hannover 96 55 (12)
Total 354 (105)
National team
1992–1995 Spain U21 11 (3)
1993 Spain 2 (1)
Teams managed
2013 Al Jazira (assistant)
2014–2016 AEK Larnaca
2016–2017 APOEL
2017– Leeds United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Thomas Christiansen Tarín[1] (born 11 March 1973) is a retired footballer who played as a striker, and the current head coach of English club Leeds United.

Left-footed, during his career he played for a number of clubs in Danish, Spanish and German football, being crowned the top goalscorer of the 2002–03 Bundesliga whilst with Bochum.

Christiansen also briefly represented the Spain national team, in a 15-year professional career. In 2013, he started working as a manager.

Playing career

Early years

Born in Hadsund to a Spanish mother, Christiansen was raised in Copenhagen also in Denmark.[2][3][4] He started playing football aged nine in Avedøre IF, then spent one year at Brøndby IF before moving on to Hvidovre IF.

Christiansen trained with the youth team of Spanish giants Real Madrid, but when his mother forbade him to join the club, he moved to Boldklubben af 1893.[2] In May 1991 he scored six goals in a youth team match against Kjøbenhavns Boldklub, and went back to Spain to train with defending La Liga champions FC Barcelona.[5]

Barcelona

Christiansen signed a four-year contract with Barcelona in July 1991, when Johan Cruyff was team manager, with a dream of playing alongside their Danish playmaker Michael Laudrup.[6] He started competing as a senior with the reserve side FC Barcelona B, where he soon was joined by compatriot Ronnie Ekelund; during this period, he was frequently called up to train with the main squad, but received almost no playing time due to stiff competition.[7]

When he joined Barcelona, Christiansen agreed to a clause in his contract that stated he would be a Spanish citizen, and thereby not count towards the foreigner quota in the league. After becoming naturalized, he was called up for the under-21 team in December 1992,[8] and scored a goal to help defeat Germany 2–1.[9]

Still playing for Barcelona's B-team, Christiansen was called up for the Spanish senior squad by manager Javier Clemente, in January 1993, making his debut against Mexico on the 27th and impressing in a game which featured few regulars for the European nation.[10] He prolonged his link with the Catalans until 1997, and made his official debut for the club when he played the last seven minutes of the UEFA Super Cup final – first leg – away to SV Werder Bremen.[11][12] He appeared in his first competitive match in a Copa del Rey contest against Atlético Madrid, and was once more selected to the national team, appearing as a substitute in a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Lithuania and scoring with a flick of the heel in an eventual 5–0 home win.[13]

Without having played any league games for Barcelona, Christiansen was put on loan at fellow league side Sporting de Gijón, in February 1993. He was mostly injured during that stint, but managed four league goals, subsequently returning to the Camp Nou where he suffered another injury during pre-season;[14] other loans followed, first at CA Osasuna then at Racing de Santander in the 1994–95 season, starting well enough at the latter to earn another call-up by Spain, only to pull out due to injury.

Mixed success

Spanish league regulations stated that following three years of loan contracts, Barcelona had to compensate Christiansen financially, if they declined any proposed transfer deal. He was first sold to English club Manchester City in October 1995, but wanted to stay in Spain, being instead transferred to Real Oviedo the next January for DKK 4.6 million.[15] Following a good start, he failed to score any goals in his second year even though he appeared in 31 matches, and was sold to Segunda División's Villarreal CF in November 1997, helping it promote but managing to find the net only once the following campaign, which ended in relegation.

A proposed deal with a Mexican team never materialized, and Christiansen was without a club in 1999. He went on to play for Terrassa FC in the Spanish lower leagues,[16] finishing that season at Panionios F.C. in Greece before returning to Denmark in August 2000, signing with defending Danish champions Herfølge BK, and showing good form when he scored two goals in a win over eventual runners-up Brøndby.

Breakthrough in Germany

In January 2001, Christiansen moved to Germany to play for VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga, being relegated to the second division (as with Herfølge) but contributing with 17 goals the following season, to be the North Rhine-Westphalia's side top scorer as they won promotion; he added 21 in next year's top flight, being crowned joint league top scorer with Giovane Élber of Bayern Munich.[17][18]

Following that achievement, Christiansen was signed by Hannover 96 in June 2003 to replace Fredi Bobic.[19] He scored nine times in his first year, but failed to reproduce his previous form mainly due to several injuries, including a knee operation and two shinbone ailments; in the summer of 2006, the club chose not to prolong his contract and he left, retiring shortly after at the age of 33.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 24 February 1993 Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain  Lithuania 4–0 5–0 1994 World Cup qualification

Coaching career

Early spells / AEK

Christiansen started his managerial career in the United Arab Emirates, as part of Luis Milla's coaching staff at Al Jazira Club, arriving in February 2013 and leaving in October as the latter was fired. In late April 2014 he was appointed head coach of Cypriot First Division side AEK Larnaca FC, after having been approached for the job by former Barcelona B teammate Xavier Roca, who acted as director of football;[20] in his first two seasons, he led them to consecutive best-ever runner-up league finishes.[21][22][23]

Also during the 2015–16 campaign, Christiansen coached his team to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, losing 0–4 on aggregate to FC Girondins de Bordeaux.[24]

APOEL

On 21 May 2016, after two successful seasons, Christiansen moved to reigning Cypriot champions APOEL FC, signing a one-year contract effective as of 1 June.[25] On 2 August, they knocked out Rosenborg BK 4–1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League,[26] being ousted the following round by F.C. Copenhagen[27] and eventually reaching the last-16 stage in the Europa League for the first time in their history.[28][29]

Christiansen won his first managerial title in 2017 after conquering the Cypriot League, losing only two games during the season and having the best defensive record with 27 clean sheets.[30][31] He also reached the final of the domestic cup, lost 0–1 to Apollon Limassol;[32] on 25 May a meeting between club and coach was held, and subsequently both decided to part ways.[33]

Leeds United

On 15 June 2017, Christiansen was announced as the new head coach of EFL Championship side Leeds United,[34] after being appointed by new owner Andrea Radrizzani to replace Garry Monk, with the club announcing that they wanted to appoint someone who can help us create a winning culture at the club and unite everyone connected with Leeds United, from the players to the supporters.[21][31][35] Four days later, it was revealed that Christiansen would be joined by assistant Julio Bañuelos, fitness coach Iván Torres and goalkeeper coach Marcos Abad.[36]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 21 October 2017
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Leeds United 15 June 2017 Present 16 9 3 4 056.3 [37]
Total 16 9 3 4 056.3

Honours

Player

Club

Barcelona

International

Spain U-21

Individual

Manager

APOEL

References

  1. ^ Danish pronunciation: [tʌmas ˈkʁɛsdn̩sn̩], Spanish: [taˈɾin]
  2. ^ a b Uno, Steen (4 July 1991). "Cruyffs nye stjerneskud Thomas fra Hvidovre" [Cruyff's newest star from Hvidovre]. BT (in Danish). 
  3. ^ "Football: Top to Bochum; Dane from Spain Thomas gives new boys dream start". The Free Library. 26 August 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "AEK Larnaca make sixth signing". Parikiaki. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Kristensen, Jens-Carl (30 June 1991). "Pingel bliver den næste" [Pingel will be the next]. Berlingske (in Danish). 
  6. ^ "Drømmen er at spille med Laudrup" [Dream of playing with Laudrup]. Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 31 July 1991. 
  7. ^ "Thomas Christiansen, entre contrastes y azares" [Thomas Christiansen, between contrasts and jinxes] (in Spanish). Sphera Sports. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Madsen, Peter Juul (14 December 1992). "Thomas på spansk landshold" [Thomas with Spanish national team]. BT (in Danish). 
  9. ^ "Los sub-21 de Goikoetxea ganan a Alemania por 1–2" [Goikoetxea's under-21 defeat Germany 1–2]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 16 December 1992. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Más joven, pero igual de gris" [Younger, but just as grey]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 28 January 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "El Barça encarrila otro euro-título" [Barça all but wins another euro-title]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 11 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Christiansen: "Al fin he cumplido mi gran sueño"" [Christiansen: "Finally my big dream has come true"]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 11 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "La selección repite otro 5–0 en Sevilla" [The national team repeats another 5–0 in Seville]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 25 February 1993. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Ahlstrøm, Frits (30 October 1994). "Jeg vil spille for Cruyff" [I want to play for Cruyff]. Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). 
  15. ^ Pihl, Jørgen (7 January 1996). "Oviedo scorer mål- sluger". BT (in Danish). 
  16. ^ "En stjerne i mørket" [A star in the dark] (in Danish). Aktuelt. 30 October 1999. 
  17. ^ a b "Aubameyang ist Torschützenkönig 2017" [Aubameyang is 2017 top scorer] (in German). Spox. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  18. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (6 May 2011). "Thomas CHRISTIANSEN Tarín – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Hannover 96: Christiansen ersetzt Bobic" [Hannover 96: Christiansen replaces Bobic]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 6 June 2003. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Συμβόλαιο συνεργασίας με Thomas Christiansen" [Cooperation contract with Thomas Christiansen] (in Greek). AEK Larnaca. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Head coach appointed". Leeds United F.C. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "ΑΠΟΕΛ – ΑΕΚ 1–1 (video)" [ΑPΟΕL – ΑΕΚ 1–1 (video)] (in Greek). Cyprus Football Association. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  23. ^ "Η τελική κατάταξη" [The final ranking] (in Greek). Cyprus Football Association. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  24. ^ "Ligue Europa. Très efficace, Bordeaux se qualifie pour les barrages" [Europa League. Quite effective, Bordeaux qualify to playoffs]. Ouest-France (in French). 6 August 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  25. ^ "Σύναψη συμφωνίας με τον προπονητή Thomas Christiansen" [Agreement with coach Thomas Christiansen] (in Greek). APOEL FC. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "APOEL 3–0 Rosenborg". UEFA.com. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  27. ^ "Champions League play-off draw made". UEFA.com. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  28. ^ "UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw". UEFA.com. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "Gladbach, Anderlecht, Celta and Lyon take headlines". UEFA.com. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  30. ^ a b "Apoel seal title after win over arch-rivals Omonia". Cyprus Mail. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  31. ^ a b "Thomas Christiansen: New Leeds United head coach's managerial career in focus". Yorkshire Evening Post. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Ten-man Apollon defeat Apoel to win Cyprus Cup". Cyprus Mail. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  33. ^ "Μη ανανέωση συνεργασίας με Thomas Christiansen" [Partnership with Thomas Christiansen not renewed] (in Greek). APOEL FC. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  34. ^ "Thomas Christiansen: Leeds United name ex-Spain international as head coach". BBC Sport. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  35. ^ "How Leeds United came to put their faith in Thomas Christiansen". Yorkshire Evening Post. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  36. ^ "Thomas Christiansen | The first press conference". Leeds United F.C. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  37. ^ "Managers: Thomas Christiansen". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  38. ^ "España pierde la inocencia" [Spain lose innocence]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 16 April 1994. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 

External links

  • Thomas Christiansen at BDFutbol
  • Thomas Christiansen at fussballdaten.de (in German)
  • Thomas Christiansen at National-Football-Teams.com
  • Thomas Christiansen at FootballDatabase.eu
  • Thomas Christiansen at WorldFootball.net
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