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Michael Svensson (born 25 November 1975 in Värnamomarker, Swedenmarker) is a Swedish former professional football player who played as a centre back. He is best known at club level for his playing career with Southampton. He played in the 2003 FA Cup Final against Arsenal, where Southampton lost 1-0 to a Robert Pirès strike.

Early career

Svensson started his career in his home country, playing for various Swedish clubs including IFK Värnamo and Halmstads BK. He began to be noticed by bigger clubs when Halmstads BK won the Swedish championship in 2000.

He was transferred to Troyes in 2001 and then moved to Southampton in 2002.

Southampton

Svensson arrived at Southampton just after being a member of Sweden's squad at the 2002 World Cup. He immediately struck up a rapport with Claus Lundekvam at the centre of the Saints defence. He is a tough tackling, no nonsense centre-half but likes to play the ball out of defence and get forward to help out in attack. His nickname with both fans and press is "Killer".

Svensson holds the honour of scoring the last ever competitive goal at Maine Roadmarker on 11 May 2003, in a game won by Southampton 1–0.

Due to a serious knee injury sustained at the end of the 2003–04 season, he missed the entire 2004–05 season. He returned to action in October 2005 but, after only seven games, he broke down again and remained out of action for the remainder of the 2005–06 season. He failed to return to full fitness in time for the start of the 2006–07 championship season due to a kick in the knee during an Aldershot reserves game in the 2006 pre-season. Since then, he has flown to Germany to continue treatment with FC Bayern Munich doctor Hans Müller-Wolfhart. On 23 May 2007, it was announced that Svensson would undergo further surgery in an attempt to save his career. The procedure was expected to put him out of action for over a year, throwing a major question mark over his future. His contract with the Saints expired on 30 June 2007, and was not renewed as Southampton face up to the financial realities of a third season in the Championship.

On 2 July 2008, Southampton announced that Svensson "could be on the verge of a remarkable footballing comeback" following a visit to a specialist rehabilitation centre in Italy in the summer. Svensson is again in training and could be re-signed by Southampton for the 2008–09 season. He completed a pre-season friendly against Winchester City on 13 July, and is therefore in with a chance of making a full recovery from his injury. He captained the Southampton side which drew 2–2 with West Ham United in the Ted Bates Trophy.

On 7 August 2008 he agreed terms with Southampton and was appointed club captain. Two days later, he completed his remarkable comeback, playing 90 minutes in Southampton's first Championship match of the season, a 2–1 defeat to Cardiff City. A week later, prior to the home game against Birmingham City, Southampton and Svensson agreed terms signing a 12 months contract.

On 24 January 2009, Svensson joined new manager Mark Wotte's coaching staff as an assistant first team coach alongside Dean Gorré.

On 25 June 2009, Svensson announced his retirement from the playing side of the game, exactly seven years to the day after he was first unveiled at St. Mary's as Gordon Strachan's only summer signing of 2002 and thus severs the last remaining link on the playing side with the 2003 FA Cup final, in which he played the full 90 minutes.

International career

He made his debut in the Swedish national team on 17 August 1999 against Austria. He was a member of the Swedish squad for the 2002 World Cup, where he was not played. He has 25 caps for his country.

Honours

Club

Halmstads BK


Southampton


References

External links




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