Pontus Wernbloom joins PAOK
PAOK FC announce the signing of Pontus Wernbloom on a free transfer from PFC CSKA Moscow. The Swedish midfielder penned a three-year deal with the “Double-Headed Eagle”.
Pontus Wernbloom was born on 25 June 1986 in Kungälv, Sweden. He started his football career in 2001, when he joined the academies of local club IK Kongahälla. In 2004, he moved to the academy of IFK Göteborg.
A year later, he got promoted to the senior team and started getting playing time. Initially he featured in midfield, but, after Markus Berg left in 2007, Wernbloom was fielded as central forward due to his scoring prowess. He remained in the club until 2009 and conjured up 23 goals in 70 appearances. He celebrated one Allsvenskan league title (2007), a Swedish Cup (2008) and a Super Cup (2008). He scored in his debut in European competitions, in the summer of 2008, against SS Murata for the UEFA Champions League 1st qualifying round.
He then moved to AZ Alkmaar and Ronald Koeman made him a starter right away. In his first season there, he played in four UEFA Champions League encounters. In the following season, he scored two of his side’s four goals in the UEFA Europa League play-off ties against FC Aktobe and led them to the group stage. He played in 97 encounters, scored 17 goals and served 13 assists in all competitions with AZ Alkmaar until January 2012, when he decided to leave the Netherlands.
His next destination was PFC CSKA Moscow. He had a dream start in his new team. He started their home game against Real Madrid and scored a beautiful goal to seal the 1-1 full-time result. That goal marked the beginning of an excellent six-year spell in Russia.
He became a vital cog in PFC CSKA Moscow’s team and helped them win 3 Russian Premier League titles, one domestic Cup and two Russian Super Cup wins. He was one of the best midfielders on Russian soil and completed his career there with 224 matches, 22 goals and 18 assists to his name. In the UEFA Champions League, he netted three goals for the Russian champions in 34 encounters.
He earned his first cap for Sweden in 2007 and was an important member of their team until 2016, earning a total of 51 caps and accompanying them with 2 goals and 4 assists. Previously he had also played for his country’s U21 side, scoring 6 goals in 24 encounters.
In the end of the previous season, Pontus Wernbloom chose to leave PFC CSKA Moscow for family reasons. PAOK jumped at the opportunity to sign him and managed to beat strong competition and secure his signature.