Happy Birthday Pontus!
Our midfielder Pontus Wernbloom turns 34 today, and PAOK FC would like to wish him many years of health, happiness and successes on both a personal and professional level.
Pontus Wernbloom was born on June 25 1986 in Kungalv in Sweden. He got involved with football from 2001 when he joined the youth academy at his local club, IK Kongahälla. In 2004 he moved to the youth academy at IFK Goteborg.
A year later he was elevated into the senior squad and began to get some playing time. Initially he played in midfield, which is his natural position, but from 2007 following the departure of Marcus Berg he was used as a center forward because of his knack for scoring goals. He remained at the club until 2009 with a record of 70 appearances and 23 goals, while winning 1 Swedish league title (2007), one Swedish Cup (2008) and one Super Cup (2008). He also made his European debut with a goal against Murcia in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League in the summer of 2008.
He moved on to join Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar. He immediately won a place in the starting lineup under Ronald Koeman and played four times in the Champions League group stage during his first season. In the following season, he scored two of his teams four goals in the Play Offs for the UEFA Europa League which took his team into the group stage of European football’s second-tier competition. He stayed with AZ until January 2012, finishing with a record of 97 appearances, 17 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for the club.
His next stop was CSKA Moscow. His debut for the club was the stuff of dreams. As a member of the starting XI in a home match against Real Madrid he scored a wonderful goal in a 1-1 draw. It was only the start of an exceptional season.
Wernbloom became a central cog in the CSKA machine and won three Russian league title (2013,2014 και 2016), one Russian Cup (2013) and two Super Cups (2014, 2015). He made 224 appearances, scored 22 goals, and 18 assists, as well as 34 Champions League appearances and three goals, while establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in the Russian championship.
In parallel, from 2008 – when he made his debut – until 2016, he was also a regular member of the Sweden squad, making 51 appearances and scoring two goals while contributing four assists. He also played 24 times for the Swedish Under-21 side and scored six goals.
At the end of the 2017-18 season Wernbloom departed CSKA for family reasons. PAOK showed an interest from day one and managed to secure his signature amid tough competition.
During his first season with the Dikefalos tou Vorra, the Swede experienced rotten luck, damaging his Achilles tendon and has not made an appearance since.