Morten Wieghorst

Morten Wieghorst
Personal information
Full name Morten Wieghorst
Date of birth (1971-02-25) 25 February 1971
Place of birth Glostrup, Denmark
Height 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1992 Lyngby FC 71 (4)
1992–1995 Dundee 90 (11)
1995–2002 Celtic 86 (10)
2002–2005 Brøndby IF 65 (14)
Total 312 (39)
National team
1990–1991 Denmark U-21 6 (0)
1994–2004 Denmark 30 (3)
Teams managed
2005–2006 FC Nordsjælland (asst)
2006–2011 FC Nordsjælland
2011–2013 Denmark U-21
2013–2014 Swansea City (asst)
2014–2015 AGF

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Morten Wieghorst (born 25 February 1971) is a Danish association football manager and former player. He was most recently head coach for AGF. He is the former head coach of the Denmark national under-21 football team and FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga whom he guided to the 2010 and 2011 Danish Cup trophy.

During his active career, Wieghorst played as a midfielder. He started his career with Lyngby Boldklub, with whom he won the 1990 Danish Cup and 1992 Superliga titles. He then moved abroad and played 10 seasons in Scottish football with Dundee and Celtic, and won the 1998 Scottish football championship with Celtic. He ended his career with Danish club Brøndby IF, after winning the 2005 Superliga and two Danish Cup trophies with the team. He played 30 matches and scored three goals for the Denmark national football team from 1994 to 2004, won the 1995 Confederations Cup, and appeared in three games at the 1998 World Cup. He was named 2003 Danish Player of the Year, and received a 2003 Olympic Committee fair play award for missing a penalty kick on purpose.

Playing career

Club career

Born in Glostrup, he started his senior career with Lyngby Boldklub in 1989. and he was part of the 1990 Danish Cup winning Lyngby squad.[1] He suffered an ankle injury in the summer of 1991,[2] and returned to the team in September 1991. He played 24 games as Lyngby won the Danish Superliga 1991-92 championship. He took part in the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League qualification games against Scottish team Rangers in September 1992,[3] and moved to Scotland to play for Dundee shortly thereafter.

He joined Dundee in the Scottish Premier Division, but could not prevent the club from being relegated to the Scottish League Division One at the end of the 1993–94 season. He and Dundee reached the 1995 Scottish League Cup Final in November 1995, but lost to Aberdeen. He moved on to Premier Division team Celtic in December 1995. At Celtic, injuries partly ruined his first two seasons. In the 1997–98 season, Wieghorst played 31 of 36 league matches for Celtic,[4] as the club won its 36th Scottish championship to end "Old Firm" archrivals Rangers' nine-year strangle-hold of the title. In 2000, Wieghorst was diagnosed with the Guillain–Barré syndrome, and following treatment he spent a year in recovery before returning to play in a November 2001 Scottish Cup game. He played three league games for Celtic late in the 2001–02 season, before he returned to Denmark.

He signed on a free transfer for defending Danish champions Brøndby IF in the summer 2002, as one of the first signings of new manager Michael Laudrup. In his first year at Brøndby, he most famously suffered a gashed eyebrow in the November 2002 game against Farum BK, but played on wearing a bloody head bandage and scored four goals in Brøndby's 7–1 victory.[5] He was appointed vice-team captain behind Per Nielsen, and Wieghorst won his second Danish Cup title in 2003. In May 2004, Wieghorst suffered a knee injury in the "New Firm" local derby against archrivals F.C. Copenhagen. He returned to the starting line-up late in the 2004–05 season in April 2005, and was a part of the Brøndby team that won The Double of both league championship and cup trophy. In May 2005, less than a month after his rehabilitation, he announced his retirement at the season end on 26 June 2005.[6]

International career

Wieghorst made his international debut for the Denmark national under-21 football team in October 1990, and played six games for the team until September 1991. He made his debut for the Danish national team in August 1994,[7] when he came on as a half-time substitute and scored the deciding goal in the 2–1 friendly match win against Finland. He was a part of the Danish squad that won the 1995 King Fahd Cup, where he came on as a substitute to replace the injured team captain Michael Laudrup in the 2–0 final win against Argentina.[7] During his injured first seasons at Celtic, Wieghorst's international career went on a hiatus.

After his return to the Celtic team, Wieghorst became a mainstay in the Danish national team from October 1997.[7] He was selected to represent Denmark at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and played three games at the tournament. Most remarkably, he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute of the 1–1 draw with South Africa, only to be sent off three minutes later.[8] In Denmark's ultimate qualification game for the 2000 European Championship, he scored in the 3–2 victory against Italy which secured Denmark's qualification for the main tournament. Having been brought on as a substitute in the 52nd minute, he scored to level the game at 2–2 in the 57th minute, before he was sent-off for his second yellow card in the 80th minute. This made him the only Danish national team player to have been sent-off more than once. In October 1999, Wieghorst's national team career came to a halt again,[7] due to his illness.

Wieghorst re-entered the Danish national team in August 2002,[7] while playing for Brøndby, as he played the 1–0 friendly match win against Scotland. In February 2003, he was selected for the Denmark League XI national football team, consisting of the best Danish players from the Danish Superliga, to play a series of unofficial friendly matches against various Asian national teams.[9] In the game against Iran, an Iranian player mistook a whistle from the crowd as being the referee's half-time signal, and picked the ball up with his hands in the penalty area. The referee gave Denmark a penalty kick, but following consultation with national team coach Morten Olsen, Wieghorst missed the penalty on purpose as a token of fair play, and Denmark lost 1–0. The incident made CNN's "Play of the Day" of 2 February 2003,[10] and Wieghorst received an Olympic Committee fair play award.[11] He was selected the 2003 Danish Player of the Year. He played his last national team game in April 2004, a 1–0 friendly match win against Scotland.[7]

Coaching career

After ending his active career he became assistant coach for FC Nordsjælland during the 2005–06 season. When manager Johnny Petersen was let go, Wieghorst was promoted to FC Nordsjælland manager for the following season. In his first year as manager, he led Nordsjælland to a fifth-place finish in the 2006–07 Danish Superliga season, the best finishing position since 2003. Despite finishing ninth in the 2007–08 Danish Superliga season, Nordsjælland qualified for the UEFA Cup via the UEFA Fair Play ranking. Wieghorst managed Nordsjælland to a run in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup defeating TVMK Tallinn from Estonia and Scottish club Queen of the South,[12] before they were eliminated by Greek side Olympiacos. He managed Nordsjælland to the Danish Cup 2009-10 trophy, the first title in club history. The following year Wieghorst and Nordsjælland won the trophy again thereby defending the title.

On 28 February 2011 the Danish Football Association revealed that he would be the successor of Keld Bordinggaard as manager of the Danish national under-21 football team after the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in June that year. He continued as manager of FC Nordsjælland until the end of the 2010-11 Danish Superliga[13] and led Nordsjælland to the Danish Cup 2010-11 trophy in one of his last games in charge of the team.[14]

On 7 February 2013, it was reported that he will join Swansea City as an assistant to club manager Michael Laudrup.[15] On the 4th of February 2014, Swansea fired him alongside Michael Laudrup, just three days short of his year anniversary in the job.[16]

On May 30, 2014, he was appointed as the new head coach of AGF. He signed a 3-year contract.[17] He managed to get the team promoted to the Danish Superliga in his first season. He was sacked on 5 December 2015 due to a series of bad results in the 2015-16 Danish Superliga.[18]

Managerial statistics

As of 5 December 2015
Team From To Record
Nordsjælland 2006 2011 184 74 43 67 40.22
Denmark U-21 2011 2013 11 4 5 2 36.36
AGF 2014 2015 57 26 16 15 45.61
Total 248 102 62 84 41.13


International goals

Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1994-08-17 Copenhagen, Denmark  Finland 2–1 2–1 Friendly match
2 1995-01-08 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia 2–0 2–0 1995 King Fahd Cup
3 1999-09-08 Napoli, Italy  Italy 2–2 3–2 UEFA Euro 2000 Qual.


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