Aalborg (Denmark), Ajax Amsterdam (Holland), Chelsea FC (England),
Atletico Madrid (Spain), Birmingham City (England), VfB
FA Cup Finals (Chelsea)
Jesper Grønkjær (born 12 August 1977 in Nuuk, Greenland) is a
Danish football (soccer) player who currently plays for VfB
Stuttgart. He is a pacey winger who can play either right or
For Denmark, Grønkjær has been capped over 50 times. He played
for his country at Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup, and Euro 2004.
He missed the opening game of Euro 2004 due to the death of his
mother, but went to Portugal to join up with the Danish squad
and scored against Bulgaria.
Grønkjær started with Aalborg in 1995, and played almost 100
matches, before moving on to Ajax Amsterdam 1998.
Grønkjær's big money move from Ajax for £7.5m to English
Premiership club Chelsea FC raised some eyebrows with the
Stamford Bridge faithful but the team were in need of wingers
and some pace. Jesper certainly doesn't lack speed, and it was
mentioned that earlier in his career he could have been a
sprinter. His Chelsea career lasted for four years and his
erratic form caused much frustration for his manager (Claudio
Ranieri) and the Chelsea fans. His crossing was either pin-point
or in the stands, and he would either be best on the ground or
not get a touch. However, at his best he could tear past even
the best full-backs and he scored some great goals.
His most notable moments came when playing in the UEFA Champions
League semi-final against AS Monaco (when he scored from outside
the box with a cross-come-shot) and scoring the goal that saw
Chelsea qualify for that competition. Grønkjær scored against
Liverpool on the final day of the 2002/2003 Premier League
season at Stamford Bridge to give Chelsea a 2-1 victory and
ultimately, fourth place in the league. He also scored a
thunderous strike in front of 67,000 fans at Old Trafford
against Manchester United in the penultimate game of the
2003/2004 season, the second of a three-game scoring streak. His
final goal scored for Chelsea came the week after against Leeds,
where he scored the winner with a header in the first half.
Grønkjær started the 2004/05 season at Birmingham City, after a
summer transfer from fellow Premiership side Chelsea. However,
after a poor start with Birmingham where he failed to adapt to
the tactics of the team, he was transferred to Atlético de
Madrid in January 2005 for a fee of around £2.5m. His spells
with Birmingham and Atletico were a troubled time for Jesper,
but in the summer of 2005 he transferred to german club VfB
Stuttgart. Here he will look to get his career back on track at
Stuttgart, with the club building a formidable squad under
Giovanni Trapattoni. Grønkjær is playing alongside fellow Dane
Jon Dahl Tomasson. However, despite the massive hype and
expectations at the start of the season, the club struggled in
mid-table and it was obvious the tactics of the coach didn't
In the beginning of February 2006, Grønkjær and Jon Dahl
Tomasson openly criticized coach Giovanni Trapattoni as "lacking
the will to attack and win". The criticizm came from an amazing
12 drawn games out of 20, and although Trapattoni wanted to
assert his authority and benched both players for the next game,
he himself was fired on the very next day, on 9 February 2006.
Grønkjær now hopes for more attacking football and playing time
under the new coach Armin Veh.