Christian Poulsen

Christian Poulsen
Christian Poulsen
Schalke Poulsen02.jpg
Personal information
Full name Christian Bjørnshøj Poulsen[1]
Date of birth February 28, 1980 (1980-02-28) (age 31)
Place of birth Asnæs, Denmark
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in) [2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current club Evian
Number 12
Youth career
1985–1995 Assnæs BK
1995–1997 Holbæk
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2000 Holbæk 82 (13)
2000–2002 Copenhagen 45 (10)
2002–2006 Schalke 04 111 (3)
2006–2008 Sevilla 62 (4)
2008–2010 Juventus 48 (1)
2010–2011 Liverpool 12 (0)
2011– Evian 6 (0)
National team
1998–1999 Denmark U19 4 (0)
2001 Denmark U21 8 (0)
2001– Denmark 85 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 May 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 8 Juni 2011

Christian Bjørnshøj Poulsen (born 28 February 1980) is a Danish footballer who plays for Evian in Ligue 1. He has played for a number of European clubs, winning the Danish Superliga championship with F.C. Copenhagen, the German DFB Ligapokal trophy with FC Schalke 04, and the European UEFA Cup with Spanish team Sevilla FC and with Italian Serie A club Juventus.

He has been a regular member of the Denmark national football team since his debut in 2001, and has played 81 matches, scoring 6 goals for his country. He represented Denmark at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2004 European Championship international tournaments. Poulsen was named 2001 Danish under-21 Player of the Year, and won the 2005 and 2006 Danish Player of the Year awards; the first to win two years in a row.


Club career

Asnæs and Holbæk

Born in Asnæs, Poulsen started playing youth football in the local club Asnæs BK. However, he moved to amateur club Holbæk at the age of 15, where he made his senior debut at 17 years of age, captaining the side on several occasions.[3] He was called up for the Danish under-19 football team in September 1998, and played four games for the team.


In September 2000, he underwent a trial period for F.C. Copenhagen in the top-flight Danish Superliga championship,[3] and signed his first professional contract with the club within a week. Poulsen took a commanding role in the attacking midfield of FCK, following the heart problems of former Norwegian international midfielder Ståle Solbakken in March 2001. Poulsen quickly made his mark on the league, and helped his club win the 2000–01 Superliga championship. He scored the 1–0 goal in the 3–1 win against second-placed Brøndby IF, which secured the league title.

Following a good start of the 2001–02 Superliga season, Poulsen was called up for the Danish national football team by national manager Morten Olsen. He got his debut when he started the 1–1 draw with the Netherlands on November 10, 2001. FCK ended runners-up in the 2001–02 Superliga, and Poulsen was named 2002 FCK Player of the Year. He was called up for the Danish squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he was initially used as a substitute. He took part in all three group stage matches, gradually getting more playing time in each game. Following two yellow cards in the group stage, he was suspended when Denmark were eliminated in the knock-out phase. Following two successful seasons with FC Copenhagen, which included nearly 50 official appearances and 10 goals, Poulsen was transferred to German outfit FC Schalke 04.

Schalke 04

Poulsen at Schalke 04.

After the 2002 World Cup, Poulsen made a 7M move, the most expensive sale by a Danish club at the time,[4] to German club Schalke 04, where he looked to take over the position as holding midfielder left by veteran Czech international Jiří Němec. His start in Schalke was made easier by the fact that his team mate in the Danish national team, Ebbe Sand, also played for the club. Through his time at Schalke, Poulsen played a number of matches at right back, but eventually secured himself a spot in the central midfield for both club and country.

Poulsen was selected for the Danish squad at the 2004 European Championship. He played three of Denmark's four games, before Denmark was eliminated from the tournament. With Schalke, Poulsen won the 2005 DFB Ligapokal cup trophy. His displays for Schalke and the Danish national team earned him the 2005 Danish Player of the Year award. After four seasons with the club, which included well over 100 appearances, his contract expired in June 2006. Long-lasting rumours linked him to several teams, including Italian clubs Inter Milan and A.C. Milan.[5]


He eventually signed a contract with defending UEFA Cup champions Sevilla FC of Spain, the team that knocked Schalke out of the 2005-06 UEFA Cup tournament. In his debut match for the club, Poulsen helped Sevilla win the European Super Cup trophy, with a 3–0 victory against FC Barcelona on August 25. Following his first month at the club, he was named the best new signing in Spain by Spanish sports daily Marca.[6] He became the first player to be named Danish Player of the Year for two consecutive years, when he also won the 2006 award. He helped Sevilla defend the UEFA Cup title, winning the 2006–07 edition of the tournament and also won the Spanish Cup that year.


On July 14, 2008, Juventus officially announced the acquisition of Poulsen from Sevilla FC. The transfer fee was €9.75M, with a four-year contract[7] worth three million euros[citation needed] a year for Poulsen. On February 8, Poulsen scored his first goal for Juventus against Catania in the 90th minute, earning a win for his team after the game was heading for a 1–1 draw.


Poulsen playing for Liverpool in 2011

On 12 August 2010, Liverpool announced the signing of Christian Poulsen on a three-year contract, for a fee of £4.5m. He was handed the number 28 shirt, previously worn by Damien Plessis.[8][9] On 19 August 2010, Poulsen made his debut against Turkish team Trabzonspor in the Europa League, in a match won by Liverpool 1-0, but during which he had a goal disallowed.[10] Poulsen made his league debut for Liverpool in a 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on 29 August 2010. He did not, however, endear himself to the Liverpool fans who often found his performances on the pitch lacking in style. On 20 November, he produced probably his best display in the centre of Liverpool's midfield against West Ham at Anfield, a game which the home side won 3-0.[11]

Following the sacking of Roy Hodgson, and the appointment of new manager Kenny Dalglish, the winds changed not only for Liverpool but also for Poulsen. Dalglish praised Poulsen's performances in the 1-2 defeat by Blackpool on 16 January, 2011,[12] the 3-0 win against Wolverhampton on 22 January 2011[13] as well as the 1-0 win against Fulham on 26 January. 2011.[14] Relatively soon after that, it did become clear that Dalglish preferred the young ermerging midfielder Jay Spearing to Poulsen.

On 30 August 2011, Liverpool agreed a undisclosed fee with Évian for Poulsen's transfer to the French Ligue 1 side.[15]


On 31 August 2011, the French side announced that Poulsen had signed a one year deal.[16] After his transfer in France, he became the second player in history after Florin Răducioiu to play in all five of the big leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France).[17][18][19]

Notable events in career to date

Totti "spitting incident"

Poulsen playing in a 2010 World Cup qualifying game against Portugal.

In the group stage of the 2004 European Championship, following the 0–0 draw with Italy, Danish television showed Poulsen being spat on by Italian playmaker Francesco Totti. Totti received a three-match ban and gave a "full public apology", after failing in his claim that he was provoked by Poulsen.[20] Italy were subsequently eliminated from the tournament in the group stage.

Carlo Ancelotti rant

In the 2005–06 Champions League tournament, Poulsen's club Schalke played two games against Italian team A.C. Milan. Following their first match, a 2–2 draw, Poulsen was bizarrely described as "a coward" by Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti,[21] alleging that Poulsen physically kicked Milan's Brazilian playmaker Kaká. In the second match Schalke lost 2–3, despite a goal by Poulsen. Following the final whistle, Italian player Gennaro Gattuso steered towards Poulsen and confronted him.[22] Gattuso made gloating taunts, while Poulsen gave him a sarcastic thumbs up, afterwards declaring he found Gattuso childish and hoped he felt embarrassed for himself.[23]

Rosenberg-Poulsen incident

In the 89th minute of the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Sweden, Sweden's Markus Rosenberg struck Poulsen, who in turn punched Rosenberg.[24] After conferring with his assistant referee, referee Fandel sent off Poulsen and awarded Sweden a penalty, which was never taken as a fan ran onto the pitch trying to punch the referee. The Danish player Michael Gravgaard grabbed a hold of the fan but the referee abandoned the game.[25]

In the aftermath of the game, an angry fan attempted to press charges against Poulsen for punching Rosenberg.[26] A member of the Copenhagen metropolitan police called for a month long jail sentence,[26] and Danish Minister of Justice Lene Espersen called for Poulsen's exclusion from the national team.[27]

The case failed in court on June 18,[28] and national team coach Morten Olsen re-called Poulsen for the national team.[29]

See UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier fan attack for a list of other incidents in the controversial match between Sweden and Denmark.



F.C. Copenhagen

Schalke 04

  • DFB Ligapokal: 2005




  1. ^ "List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League.,,12306~29290,00.html. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "FCK prøver ung Nordvest-spiller", Jyllands-Posten, 2 September 2000
  4. ^ (Danish) Daniel Agger skifter til Liverpool, Danmarks Radio, January 11, 2006
  5. ^ (Italian) Carlo Laudisa, Milan, arriva Poulsen, La Gazzetta dello Sport, 30 March 2006
  6. ^ (Danish) Anders B. Rasmussen, Marca: Poulsens bedste indkøb, TV 2 (Denmark), September 21, 2006
  7. ^, ed (July 14, 2008). "Christian Poulsen alla Juve" (in italian). 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Christian Poulsen joins Liverpool from Juventus". BBC Sport. 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  10. ^ "Liverpool 1 - 0 Trabzonspor". BBC Sport. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  11. ^ url= ""
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  14. ^ url= ""
  15. ^ Reds agree terms with Evian TG
  16. ^ Poulsen, le dernier (gros) coup (FR)
  17. ^ "Christian Poulsen præsenteret i Evian" (in Danish). DR Forside. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  18. ^ "Transfer deadline day – live!". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  19. ^ "Liverpool Transfer News: Christian Poulsen to Ligue 1 Evian—Who Are Evian?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  20. ^ Totti ban confirmed, BBC Sport, June 18, 2004
  21. ^ ANCELOTTI FURIOUS AT POULSEN, Sporting Life, September 13, 2005
  22. ^ AC Milan 3–2 Schalke: Giants stutter through, Soccernet, December 6, 2005
  23. ^ (Danish) Poulsen: Gattuso opførte sig som et barn, Danmarks Radio, December 6, 2005
  24. ^
    Burlund, Martin (2007-06-02). "UEFA to decide on Denmark-Sweden abandonment". The Guardian.,,-6679435,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  25. ^ a b Politiken. "Politikomissær: Poulsen bør sigtes for vold" (in (Danish)). Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  26. ^ Politiken. "Justitsminister: Poulsen skal af landsholdet" (in (Danish)). Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  27. ^ Politiken. "Christian Poulsen slipper for straffesag" (in (Danish)). Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  28. ^ (Danish) Lars Berendt, Kenneth Perez tilbage på landsholdet, Danish Football Association, October 2, 2007

External links

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