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Fredrik Ljungberg

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Status: Single
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Biography

1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 14:00 16 September 2007 (UTC).2 National team caps and goals correctas of 2007-03-29.* Appearances (Goals)

Ljungberg joined Halmstad in Sweden as a youth player at the age of five. He played several other sports including ice hockey and handball for which he was called up to the national squad. He made his senior debut for Halmstads on 23 October 1994 in the Swedish First Division against AIK. He went on to make 139 appearances and score 16 goals for the club. He won both the Swedish Cup and League title with the club.

Ljungberg was signed by Arsenal in 1998 for £3 million. Arsenal's manager, Arsène Wenger, took the unusual step of authorising the signing of Ljungberg after watching him play for Sweden in their defeat of England on television, without seeing him play live. The match confirmed to Wenger that Ljungberg would cope against English opponents. Ljungberg passed the test without difficulty and made a sensational debut after coming on as a substitute scoring against rival club Manchester United.

Some of Ljungberg's best form came in the second half of the 2001-02 season, when Arsenal won their second Premiership and FA Cup double. Following a knee injury to Robert Pirès, Ljungberg came in and scored in most of Arsenal's remaining games, including a stunning finish in the FA Cup final against Chelsea. He endeared himself to Arsenal Supporters by having a bright red stripe in his hair.

He is most comfortable on either wing in midfield, though he can also play centrally in a 4-5-1 formation or as a second striker. Ljungberg became a regular in Arsenal's starting lineup following the departure of Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars in the summer of 2000. He has had to fight with constant injury problems and occasionally severe bouts with migraines; in 2005 a mysterious persistent hip injury led to fears he may have contracted cancer, which were unfounded. It transpired that he was suffering from blood poisoning caused by his large tattoos.

It was speculated in January 2007 that Ljungberg was being forced to leave Arsenal, after bosses became tired of a run of injuries restricting his play. Though it was suggested he could make a move to West Ham, later these speculations proved to be untrue. "Ljungberg still has a lot to offer to Arsenal," Arsene Wenger said, on July 13, at a Blackburn Rovers pre-match press-conference, stressing the fact that Ljungberg will stay at Arsenal until the end of his contract in 2009.

Ljungberg came back after a long pending injury in a FA Cup match against Bolton Wanderers, scoring a goal thirteen minutes before the end of extra time, earning Arsenal a place in the fifth-round tie of the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers.

On July 23, 2007, Ljungberg joined West Ham United on a four-year contract for a fee that could rise to £3 million. West Ham United are only the second English professional club of Ljungberg's career.

Ljungberg made his West Ham United debut in the 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City on August 11, 2007 a game in which he was also captain.

As of August 8, 2006, Ljungberg is captain of the Swedish national football team, taking over after Olof Mellberg.



 


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