Thomas Ravelli

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Thomas Ravelli
Thomas Ravelli in January 2014.jpg
Ravelli in 2014
Personal information
Full nameThomas Ravelli
Date of birth (1959-08-13) 13 August 1959 (age 59)
Place of birth Vimmerby, Sweden
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
1978–1988 Öster 219 (0)
1989–1997 IFK Göteborg 211 (0)
1998 Tampa Bay Mutiny 23 (0)
1999 Öster 8 (0)
National team
1977 Sweden U18 9 (0)
1979–1981 Sweden U21 10 (0)
1981–1997 Sweden 143 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Ravelli (Swedish:  [ˈtʊmːas raˈvɛlːɪ] ; born 13 August 1959) is a Swedish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Association football Team field sport played between two teams of eleven players with spherical ball

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.


His 21-year professional career was almost exclusively associated with Öster and Göteborg, for whom he appeared in 430 Allsvenskan games combined.

Östers IF sports club in Växjö, Sweden

Östers Idrottsförening, commonly known as Östers IF or simply Öster, is a Swedish sports club located in Växjö, specializing in football, and playing in the second tier of Swedish football, Superettan.

IFK Göteborg association football club in Gothenburg, Sweden

Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Göteborg, commonly known as IFK Göteborg, IFK or simply Göteborg, is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded in 1904, it is the only club in the Nordic countries that has won one of the main UEFA competitions, having won the UEFA Cup in both 1982 and 1987. IFK is affiliated with Göteborgs Fotbollförbund and play their home games at Gamla Ullevi. The club colours are blue and white, colours shared both with the sports society which the club originated from, Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna, and with the coat of arms of the city of Gothenburg.

Allsvenskan Swedish mens association football top division

Allsvenskan is a Swedish professional league for men's association football clubs. It was founded in 1924, and is the top flight of the Swedish football league system, operating on a system of promotion and relegation with Superettan. Seasons run from late March or early April to the beginning of November, with the 16 clubs all meeting each other twice, resulting in a 30-match season, for a total of 240 matches league-wide.

The most-capped player for the Sweden national team for several years, Ravelli represented the nation at two World Cups and one European Championship.

Cap (sport) sports game between two national teams

In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.

Sweden national football team mens national association football team representing Sweden

The Sweden national football team represents Sweden in football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body of football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Friends Arena in Solna and the team is coached by Janne Andersson. From 1945 to late 1950s, they were considered one of the greatest teams in Europe.

FIFA World Cup association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Club career

Ravelli was born in Vimmerby. At the club level he played for Östers IF and IFK Göteborg, winning three Allsvenskan championships during his ten-year tenure with the former team before signing for the latter in 1989, at the age of 29.

Vimmerby Place in Småland, Sweden

Vimmerby is a city and the seat of Vimmerby Municipality, Kalmar County, Sweden with 10,934 inhabitants in 2010.

With Göteborg, Ravelli conquered a further six leagues and his only Swedish Cup. In 1998, already 39, he joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer, closing out his career the following year with his first club; in total, he played in nearly 600 official matches as a professional.

Svenska Cupen

Svenska Cupen is a knockout cup competition in Swedish football and the main Swedish football cup. Svenska Cupen usually refers to the men's tournament, although a women's tournament is also held. Each year 98 teams compete, comprising the 16 teams from Allsvenskan and the 16 teams of Superettan together with 68 teams from lower tiers of the league system. The winners qualify for the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League. The winner is awarded Gustaf VI Adolf Cup.

Tampa Bay Mutiny association football club

The Tampa Bay Mutiny was a professional soccer team based in Tampa, Florida. They were a charter member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and played from 1996 to 2001. They played their home games at Tampa Stadium and then at Raymond James Stadium.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league in the United States and Canada

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League. The league plans to expand to 27 teams with the addition of Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC in 2020 and Austin FC in 2021, with further plans to expand to 28 teams by 2022 and 30 teams at a later date.

International career

Ravelli's international career spanned almost two decades, starting in 1981. He played in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1992, and the 1994 World Cup, with Sweden finishing third in the latter tournament, and appeared in a total of 143 games. [1]

1990 FIFA World Cup 1990 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations entered and qualification began in April 1988. 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champions Argentina.

UEFA Euro 1992 1992 edition of the UEFA Euro

The 1992 UEFA European Football Championship was hosted by Sweden between 10 and 26 June 1992. It was the ninth European Football Championship, which is held every four years and supported by UEFA.

1994 FIFA World Cup 1994 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th edition of the FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It was hosted by the United States and took place from 17 June to 17 July 1994 at nine venues across the country. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on 4 July 1988. Despite the host nation's lack of soccer tradition, the tournament was the most financially successful in World Cup history; aided by the high-capacity stadiums in the United States, it broke the World Cup average attendance record with more than 69,000 spectators per game, a mark that still stands. The total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams, which was first introduced at the 1998 World Cup and is the current format.

He is well known for saving two penalties during the shootout against Romania in 1994 World Cup's quarter-final clash, including one in the "sudden death" by Miodrag Belodedici (5–4 win). [2] This feat led to him finishing second in the year's race for Goalkeeper of the Year, [3] and he was also named by France Football as the seventh best player in Europe. [4]

Style of play

Extroverted, experienced and highly competitive with a tall and slender frame, known for his leadership and vocal presence in goal in spite of his eccentric and temperamental personality, Ravelli was a traditional, consistent and efficient goalkeeper with solid all-round fundamentals, who was regarded in particular for his positional sense and ability to read the game and organise his defence; considered to be a world-class player in his position in his prime, as well as one of Sweden's greatest goalkeepers ever, he also possessed good elevation and shot-stopping abilities, which enabled him to produce acrobatic saves without having to resort to histrionics, and was known for his command of his area and speed when rushing off his line, as well as his ability to close down his opponents and get over the ball quickly. He also stood out for his longevity throughout his career; however, he also came into criticism at times from his managers over his poor work-rate in training.

Although Ravelli was not known to be a penalty-saving specialist, Ravelli drew attention to himself in the media when he stopped two penalties in Sweden's quarter-final penalty shoot-out victory over Romania at the 1994 World Cup. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Personal life

Ravelli's twin brother, Andreas, was also a footballer. Their father was an Austrian immigrant of Italian descent who moved to Sweden in 1952, [16] [17] [18] and the siblings played alongside each other at Öster and the national team.

Ravelli particiated as a celebrity dance in Let's Dance 2019, broadcast on TV4. [19] [20]

Career statistics


[21] [22]

Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SwedenLeague Svenska Cupen League Cup Europe Total
1978 Öster Allsvenskan 00
1979 130
1980 260
1981 260
1982 240
1983 280
1984 170
1985 190
1986 200
1987 240
1988 220
1989 Göteborg Allsvenskan220
1990 260
1991 280
1992 240
1993 260
1994 250
1995 200
1996 170
1997 230
USALeague Open Cup League Cup North America Total
1998 Tampa Bay Mutiny Major League Soccer 230
SwedenLeague Svenska Cupen League Cup Europe Total
Career total4610








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  1. Thomas Ravelli – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
  2. WORLD CUP USA '94 / Quarterfinals: There once was a man named Ravelli... : Sweden: Goalkeeper's performance against Romanian penalty kicks seems like the stuff of legends.; Los Angeles Times, 11 July 1994
  3. 1 2 IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1994; at RSSSF
  4. European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 1994; at RSSSF
  5. Hersh, Phil (12 July 1994). "A wild and crazy goalie". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. "Lindahl brings award back to Cobham". Chelsea F.C. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. Hall, Richard (25 March 2016). "OPINION: Buffon may never be bettered... but Italy can replace him!". Calcio Mercato. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  8. "Happy birthday to you!". FIFA. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  9. Hughes, Rob (8 February 1995). "Peter Shilton's despond". The New York Times . Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  10. L. Jones, Grahame (12 July 1994). "WORLD CUP USA '94: Semifinals: The nut in the nets: Sweden's Ravelli seems like a normal fellow, but the truth cuts holes in that scenario". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  11. Clarey, Christopher (11 July 1994). "WORLD CUP '94; A would-be salesman buys dream for Sweden". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  12. Goff, Steven (2 July 1994). "Round of 16". The Washington Post . Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  13. Howard, Johnette (11 June 1994). "Save the world, a shot at a time". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  14. Hughes, Rob (13 July 1994). "Chance of a lifetime is in their hands". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  15. "World Cup team capsules". The Washington Post. 17 June 1994. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  16. Thomas Ravellis släkthistoria stolen (Thomas Ravelli's family history stolen) Archived 5 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine ; Aftonbladet, 10 June 2000 (in Swedish)
  17. Thomas Ravelli; UEFA, 10 July 2003
  18. Fredriksson, Jimmy (4 May 2014). "Ravelli: "Jag var rädd för att göra bort mig"" [Ravelli: "I was afraid to get rid of me"] (in Swedish). Expressen . Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  19. "Thomas Ravelli & Jasmine Takács – Vals" [Thomas Ravelli & Jasmine Takács – Waltz] (in Swedish). TV4. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  20. "Dan Ekborg had to leave "Let's dance"". AFAAE. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  21. "Thomas Ravelli". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  22. "Thomas RAVELLI" (in Japanese). Level K. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  23. IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1995; at RSSSF