FC St. Pauli has signed centre-back Tore Reginiussen. The 34-year-old Norwegian had been without a club since the beginning of January. Previously, Tore Reginiussen was captain and regular player at Norway’s top club Rosenborg Trondheim, played regularly in European competitions and was a Norwegian national player until recently. Reginiussen signs a contract until the end of the season with the option for another year.
(Cover photo: Trond Tandberg/Getty Images/via OneFootball)
Why have we already finished the article? Because we know how to use translation machines and last Thursday it was announced that Reginiussen was moving to the 2nd Bundesliga. A quick look at the stats showed that it would be a “perfect match” with the needs of FCSP, so we carefully set the mill in motion. On Sunday, the name FCSP was explicitly mentioned in connection with Reginiussen for the first time in the media. So, we finally got down to the business of writing this article.
His story so far…
Tore Reginiussen made his professional breakthrough in the Norwegian second division with Alta IF in 2005, playing his first game on his 19th birthday. The very next season Reginiussen moved to Tromsø IL in the highest Norwegian division, the Eliteserien. After four years as a regular player, he moved to Schalke 04 at the beginning of 2010, at a time when Felix Magath was virtually omnipotent at Schalke, bringing in over 30 players in a very short space of time, very few of whom had any lasting success there. Reginiussen was loaned out to US Lecce after only half a year (18 minutes with the professionals, six appearances with Schalke 04’s U23s), but left again after half a year and not a single minute of playing time. A few months after his return to Schalke 04, in March 2011, Reginiussen went back to Tromsø on loan until the summer.
He then moved to Denmark to join Odense BK for the 11/12 season. Reginiussen was a regular there, but broke his fibula in the spring of 2012 and was no longer a regular on his return for the 12/13 season, so a move back to the Eliteserien to Rosenborg Trondheim followed. There, too, he was immediately a regular and even captain. In 2015 (the Norwegian division plays out its season in the calendar year) Tore Reginiussen ruptured his Achilles tendon, but returned at the end of the season and celebrated the double victory with Trondheim. Trondheim repeated this success in 2016 (and 2018), with Reginiussen as a regular, which he remained until the end.
And if you play for a top team in your country and win one or two titles more often, then of course you also play in Europe. Celtic Glasgow fans are probably still familiar with Tore Reginiussen. At the end of 2018, he scored a late equaliser in the Europa League group match against RB Leipzig, even though Trondheim had already been eliminated. The beneficiary of this goal: Celtic Glasgow, who subsequently showered him with Christmas cards.
In addition to his club career, which has definitely been at its most successful in the last six years, Tore Reginiussen has been a Norwegian international since 2008 and has made a total of 31 caps in that time. The last time he played 90 minutes was in October 2020 in the play-off for the upcoming European Championship (whenever that will be).
What do the statistics say?
In short, they say that Tore Reginiussen was one of the best centre-backs in the Eliteserien for years. According to InStat, in 2020 he was the 4th best centre-back in the Eliteserien with an Instat-Index of 260 (since the value is universal, according to InStat, it is a significant increase compared to the previous FCSP’s centre-backs). The year before he had also performed similarly and was in 4th place (similar tackling/heading stats – index at 254). In 2018, he was even the best centre-back in the division. And in 2017, he was voted player of the season of the elite series. Wyscout also shows similar things: in the 2020 season, he was the seventh-best centre-back in the division and in 2019 the ninth-best. In the years before that, he was listed even higher (2018: 3rd, 2017: 2nd, 2016: 3).
What makes him so strong?
Based on his statistics, I would describe him as a real defensive “all-rounder”. Rerginiussen is a good to very good tackler, won on average over the last years in Trodnheim about 70% of his duels and also his header duels (no tendency discernible). But also in the category “interceptions” Rerginiussen is always among the top 10 in the division.
What can he do better?
His passing game is quite passable, but not outstanding (although the pure passing rate (90%) is of course hardly meaningful): Tore Reginiussen plays an average of five passes into the final third (75% successful). That’s quite okay and the number is in the same range as the current FCSP centre-backs (but his rate is better). However, he will not be able to keep up with James Lawrence, who plays much more progressively (e.g. in his last match against Aue, he delivered 12 of 13 passes into the final third to his teammate).
Another statistic is rather so-so: less than 40% of his passes go forward (the rest to the side or back) – this is rather below average compared to the FCSP players (with Ziereis/Lawrence it is more than 50%, with Avevor only about 30%). But it is always a question of a team’s style of play whether and how progressive players should be in the passing game. In any case, Reginiussen’s rates are already good.
Does Tore Reginiussen need time to settle in?
Since the Norwegian season ended in December and Reginiussen had his last game in mid-December, it is not at all clear whether he can be an immediate help despite his obvious strengths. We are seeing it with Eric Smith, whose last game was a week before Reginiussen’s and who is now spending some time in rehabilitation training. It is therefore unlikely that we will see him directly on the pitch. However, Reginiussen has always won a regular place at his new stations right at the start of the season. So he seems to be able to settle in relatively quickly. But whether that will be the case again without preparation and after eight years at the same club is anything but certain. So it could take a while until he is on the pitch.
Is Tore Reginiussen too old?
The question naturally arises: At 34, Reginiussen is definitely no longer a player who can be profitably transferred. And many players have already not been able to reach their maximum performance level one or two years earlier. But age doesn’t necessarily mean that Reginiussen can’t keep up. And experience is basically a good thing. In the 2nd division alone, with Hünemeier (34), Mavraj (34) and Gordon (36), there are three players who clearly speak against it (according to WyScout, Hünemeier is the best centre-back in the division). In addition, Reginiussen was still a regular player and captain of Rosenborg Trondheim about a month ago and one of the best centre-backs in the Eliteserien. It is possible that he will not be able to reach his level of 2016-2017. But he should also be a help if he reaches the level of 2020.
But as we all know, statistics aren’t everything, so we are very pleased to have found Nik Wildhagen, a connoisseur of Norwegian football and observer of FCSP, to answer a few questions about our new addition:
Nik, nice to talk to you again. FC St.Pauli signs Tore Reginiussen from Rosenborg BK. His contract expired, he was a free agent. Is this a good fit for him and for us?
Well, Tore probably feels like he has some unfinished business in Germany. He was one of the many signings Felix Magath brought in at Schalke when things started to unravel for him over at the Royal Blues. Things didn’t work out as he spent most of his time being injured and he then made a return to Norway where he’s been a solid player for Rosenborg for almost 9 years.
I’ve never had the pleasure of interviewing him, but he seems like a nice guy. Last month when it became clear that his contract at Roseborg wasn’t going to be extended, there was a story of a nine year old girl who was so sad to see him leave that she had to cry. The following day Reginiussen popped up at her door and delivered a jersey to her and have a chat.
Ouh, that’s really kind and it sounds like, that he cares about his supporters. Good to hear that.
He was the captain at RBK, played a good role in Eliteserien and also in the european cups. Any idea why he did not stay in Rosenburg?
Well, Rosenborg were saying that it was up to him if he wanted to stay for another year. In the end they decided against extending his contract, which meant that he had to look for employment elsewhere if he wanted to extend his career. Given that he was on rather high wages, this decision was mostly influenced by monetary reasons and not the quality of performances he has delivered on the pitch.
What are Tores strengths on the field? FCSP needs a good central back, especially in the air. Does this fit?
He is good in the air, has a good understanding of the game and intercepts balls in key situations. Additionally he is a natural leader on the pitch. All things considered, it is fair to say that he is one of the best central defenders within Norwegian football for the last 15 years. And to put a little cherry on top of all of that, Reginiussen isn’t half bad at scoring goals from set pieces as well.
And on which aspects is room for improvement?
He could be a little quicker, his technique could be improved, but I think you won’t see massive improvements in those areas given his age. But, what St. Pauli are getting is a secure 34-year-old who can help the team straight away.
FC St.Pauli struggles in our league and we desperately need someone in the back who gives us confidence and in best case, also leads his team mates on the pitch. Do you think he can fulfil these expectations?
Yes, defintely. Reginiussen has done well in the Eliteserien over the last few years and the level of that league and the style of play isn’t all that different from the Bundesliga 2. All things considered this a great solution for both parties. Reginiussen gets to taste international football at an advanced age and St. Pauli get a player who can step up in central defense and bring some much needed security to that backline.
What kind of a person is Tore Reginiussen? Anything we should know about him, offside the football field?
He seems to be a calm guy who enjoys a bit of fishing in his spare time. Given that he is originates from Finnmark (the most northern part of Norway), that doesn’t really come as a surprise. The people from that region are used to long and dark winters and a lot of cold climate. They are known for their dry sense of humor and resilience.
Sounds good, thanks for your time, Nik, all the best!
So FC St. Pauli signs Tore Reginiussen, a player who can be described as a real all-rounder at the centre-back position. Nik describes him as a “natural leader on the pitch”, strengths in the air. We can use that. The strengths in the air, but also on the ground, are evident from the statistics (and Nik has also highlighted them), according to which Tore Reginiussen was one of the best Norwegian centre-backs of the last decade.
This is clearly the club’s response to the existing weaknesses in the squad, the physical disadvantages in the air. And it is also clear that this is not a “small solution”. If Tore Reginiussen can deliver similar performances as in recent years, he will be a starting eleven player, especially against physical teams.
Welcome to the Millerntor, Tore Reginiussen!
// Maik & Tim (translated by Arne)
(Unless otherwise marked, all statistics are from Wyscout)