Maija Saari

Last updated
Maija Saari
Personal information
Full nameMaija Karoliina Saari
Date of birth (1986-03-26) 26 March 1986 (age 32)
Place of birth Vaasa, Finland
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in) [1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Youth career
FC Kiisto
Senior career*
2002–2008 FC Honka
2009–2010 Umeå IK 43 (4)
2011 Kolbotn 21 (1)
2012 AIK 22 (2)
2013 Mallbackens IF 8 (0)
2014–2015 AIK 36 (2)
2015– Stabæk
National team
2007 Finland 86 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 06:21, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 06:21, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Maija Karoliina Saari (born 26 March 1986) is a Finnish international footballer who plays as a defender for Norwegian club Stabæk Fotball Kvinner. She previously represented AIK, Mallbackens IF and Umeå IK in Sweden, Kolbotn in the Norwegian Toppserien and FC Honka in her home country. Since making her debut for the Finland women's national football team in 2007, Saari has won over 85 caps and captained the team.


Club career

A strong, left-sided defender, Saari won three consecutive domestic titles with FC Honka in 2006, 2007 and 2008. She joined the club aged 10 after moving to Helsinki from her birthplace of Vaasa and rose to captain the club. In December 2008 Saari signed a two-year contract with Swedish club Umeå IK. [2] In 2011, she played for Kolbotn Fotball in the Norwegian Toppserien, before returning to Sweden with AIK. [3]

Saari returned to AIK for the 2014 season, having spent 2013 with Mallbackens IF. [4] In December 2015 she agreed a return to Norway, signing a two-year deal with Stabæk Fotball Kvinner. [5]

International career

She made her debut for the senior Finland team on 7 March 2007; playing 90 minutes against Sweden in the Algarve Cup. [6] Saari also played in all four of Finland's matches at UEFA Women's Euro 2009, including the quarter final defeat to England.

In June 2013 Saari, by then the national team captain, was devastated to be ruled out of UEFA Women's Euro 2013 with a cruciate ligament injury. [7]


  1. "Finland". Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  2. Britta Åkerlund. "Umeå IK värvar finsk landslagsback" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2011-12-11. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  3. AIK signs the Finnish Maija Saari
  4. Karlsson, Juho (2 December 2013). "Saari återvänder till AIK" (in Swedish). Yle . Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  5. Holmlund, Tor Bjørnar (21 December 2015). "Finlands landslagskaptein har signert for Stabæk" (in Norwegian). Budstikka . Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  6. "Maija Saari" (in Finnish). Suomen Palloliitto. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  7. Erävuori, Mikael (7 June 2013). "Devastated Saari out for Finland". UEFA . Retrieved 3 December 2013.