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Thomas Ravelli

Thomas Ravelli

Thomas Ravelli (Swedish: [ˈtʊ̌mːas raˈvɛ̌lːɪ]; born 13 August 1959) is a Swedish former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. His 21-year professional career was almost exclusively associated with Öster and Göteborg, for whom he appeared in a combined 416 Allsvenskan games. The most-capped player for the Sweden national team for several years, Ravelli represented the nation at the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, and UEFA Euro 1992.

Club career

Ravelli was born in Västervik, but grew up in Vimmerby where he lived his first five years of life. 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.

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.


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. The 1994 World Cup semi-final against Brazil was Ravelli's 116th game for Sweden, overtaking Björn Nordqvist's appearances record.

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). This feat led to him finishing second in the year's race for Goalkeeper of the Year, and he was also named by France Football as the seventh best player in Europe.

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.

Ravelli was also known for his temperament among teammates, and he was also known to be a prankster, at one point cutting holes into Martin Dahlin's underwear.

Personal life

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

Ravelli participated as a celebrity dancer in Let's Dance 2019, broadcast on TV4.

Career statistics



Giuseppe Zanotti Luxury Sneakers


Östers IF

  • Allsvenskan: 1978, 1980, 1981

IFK Göteborg

  • Allsvenskan: 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • Svenska Cupen: 1991


  • FIFA World Cup bronze: 1994


  • Guldbollen: 1981
  • Swedish Goalkeeper of the Year: 1995, 1997
  • IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: Silver Ball 1994, Bronze Ball 1995
  • MLS All-Star, 1998

See also

  • List of men's footballers with 100 or more international caps


External links

  • Thomas Ravelli at
  • Thomas Ravelli – FIFA competition record (archived)
  • Thomas Ravelli at
  • #1 Thomas Ravelli at

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Thomas Ravelli by Wikipedia (Historical)