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Victor Lindelöf

Victor Lindelöf

Swedish footballer

Victor Jörgen Nilsson Lindelöf (born 17 July 1994) is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Manchester United and captains the Sweden national team. Mainly a centre-back, he can also play as a right-back.

Lindelöf began his career in Sweden at Västerås SK, making his debut in October 2009. In December 2011, he agreed to move to Benfica in Portugal, initially representing the club at youth and B levels. After making his first-team debut in September 2013, he continued to appear for the club at B level, while also winning three Primeira Liga titles. He joined Manchester United in July 2017.

Lindelöf has represented Sweden at under-17, under-19, under-21, and senior levels. He was inside the winning squad of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He made his senior international debut in March 2016 and represented his country at UEFA Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020.

Early career

Lindelöf played for numerous Västerås-based clubs in his youth such as IK Franke, Västerås IK and Västerås SK.

Västerås SK

In October 2009, at the age of 15, Lindelöf made his first-team debut for Västerås SK, when the team beat BK Forward 3–0 in the last round of the 2009 Division 1 Norra season. In the following season, he helped his team advance a step higher in the Swedish league system, as they were promoted to the second highest league. In 2011, he travelled to England to have a trial with Stoke City, but they did not make an offer for him.

Benfica

Lindelöf playing for Benfica in 2016

On 1 December 2011, Lindelöf agreed to join Portuguese club Benfica in the summer of 2012, and on 8 June 2015, the contract was extended until 2020. In the 2012–13 season, he played for the youth team and won the Portuguese under-19 championship. On 19 October 2013, he debuted for the first-team in a 1–0 Portuguese Cup win against CD Cinfães, playing the full match. In the 2013–14 season, he scored 2 goals in 33 matches for the reserve team.

In the 2015–16 season, he returned to the first-team in a 1–0 win against Nacional in the Taça da Liga. On 16 February 2016, he played the entire match for Benfica in a 1–0 home win against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the first leg of UEFA Champions League's round of 16. Four days later, he scored his first goal for Benfica, in a 3–1 Primeira Liga victory at Paços de Ferreira. On 28 May 2017, he played in the Taça de Portugal final, which Benfica won over Vitória de Guimarães (2–1). By the time he was leaving Benfica he had won three Primeira Liga titles, two Taça de Portugal titles and one Taça da Liga title.

Manchester United

2017–18 season

Lindelöf playing for Manchester United in 2017

On 10 June 2017, Manchester United announced that they had agreed a deal with Benfica to sign Lindelöf for a fee of €35 million (with a potential €10 million in add-ons), pending the agreement of personal terms and the player passing a medical. Lindelöf passed his medical at the Trafford Training Centre on 14 June, with the Swede signing a four-year contract with the option of an extra year; Manchester United announced that the contract would begin on 1 July.

He made his official debut for the club against Real Madrid in the 2017 UEFA Super Cup; however, it was more than two months before his Premier League debut, brought on during added time against Liverpool on 14 October. He was limited to just 17 premier league matches, starting 13 of them, due to Jose Mourinho's preference of playing a defensive partnership of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

2018–19 season

In the 2018–19 season, Lindelöf became Mourinho's preferred centre-back and was playing more often than he did in the previous season. He played the full 90 minutes in the first match of the season on 11 August 2019 against Leicester City, which ended in a 2–1 home win. He further went on to start in 11 out of 13 league matches before Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 and replaced with Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Lindelöf scored his first goal for Manchester United on 29 January 2019, scoring their second goal in a 2–2 league draw at home to Burnley.

2019–20 season

In September 2019, Lindelöf signed a new contract until 2024, with the option of a further year. On 1 December 2019, he played 90 minutes and scored his only goal in the season in a league match against Aston Villa that ended 2–2 draw. He ended the season making 35 out of 38 appearances and scoring one goal in the league, the second most in league appearances within the club that season coming behind Harry Maguire and David de Gea who both played all 38 matches, forming a defensive partnership with Maguire in the process.

2020–21 season

On 20 December 2020, Lindelöf scored his first goal of the 2020–21 season in a 6–2 home win against Leeds United.He played the full 90 minutes on 2 February 2021 in Manchester United's Premier League record-equalling 9–0 home win against Southampton. On 26 May 2021, he played the full 120 minutes as Manchester United lost in the 2021 UEFA Europa League Final to Villarreal after a 10–11 penalty shoot-out in which Lindelöf scored United's 10th penalty kick.

Timeline

July 17, 1994
Victor Lindelöf was born in Västerås.

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