By reaching Euro 2008, Sweden have now qualified for their fifth successive tournament, finishing second in Group F behind Spain. The most memorable moment of their campaign came in Copenhagen against Denmark. With the score at 3-3, a Danish spectator attacked the referee after he gave Sweden a late penalty. Consequently, Sweden were awarded a 3-0 victory. Qualifying began with four consecutive wins, including a 2-0 victory over Spain. They were beaten by Northern Ireland in Belfast, but qualified after beating Latvia with a Kim Kallstrom winner.
Despite a strong qualifying campaign, Sweden’s form this year has been less impressive. A 1-0 victory in Costa Rica was followed by a 2-0 defeat against the USA and a goalless draw with Turkey. In March, Sweden celebrated the 50-year anniversary of their World Cup final appearance against Brazil with a game against the five-time world champions at Emirates Stadium, where they lost 1-0.
Sweden have been a traditionally strong side in international football, having made 11 appearances at the World Cup. They won their first international 11-3 against Norway in Gothenburg in 1908. In 1958 they hosted the World Cup and reached the final, losing 5-2 to Brazil. They did not qualify again until 1970, when they were eliminated in the group stages. In 1992 they played in and hosted their first European Championship, and were the only team to defeat the eventual winners Denmark. At USA ’94, Sweden finished in third place and reached their highest ever FIFA World Ranking of second.
Sweden will look to the likes of Kim Kallstrom to provide some inspiration. The talented midfielder is blessed with superb ability on the ball and a devastating left foot. He is a constant threat at dead-ball situations and has been a regular for his country ever since his debut as a teenager in 2001.
Fellow talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic has struggled for form for the national side of late, but he is by far the most talented player in the squad and should not be underestimated. His touch and flair belie his 6’4″ frame, and his all-round ability makes him a permanent threat.
Sweden Euro 2008 Squad
Head coach: Lars LagerbÃ¤ck
Back to Euro 2008 Squads.
More Euro 2008 Information.