Swedes plying their trade in England
The strong relationship to English football in Sweden has only grown since and it has also come to influence Swedish football in many ways. The dream for many young Swedish footballers is to make it to the English Premier League, and the football in Sweden has been influenced by the English game in several ways.
Many Swedish players have also made the journey to England, and often at a young age. Sweden’s captain Andreas Granqvist signed for Wigan when he was 21. Sebastian Larsson, who has spent 17 years of his career in England, first came to Arsenal when he was 16 and John Guidetti was also only 16 when he arrived at Manchester City, to name just a few.
In the current Swedish squad five players played their football in the English league system last season: Victor Lindelof (pictured above, Manchester United), Martin Olsson (Swansea City), Sebastian Larsson (Hull City), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United) and Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea).
“It was a long time ago since I played in England,” Granqvist told FIFA. “But their mentality, they run and fight a lot. Their players have a lot of good qualities. So if we are to have any chance to win tomorrow, we need a max-performance.”
Larsson put all the pressure on his second home country. “England has their own demons to fight and the pressure is on them. I think it would be a major fiasco for them if they were to be knocked out by Sweden.”