Sweden national football team

Sweden national football team

Infobox National football team
Name = Sweden
Badge = Sweden_national_football_team_logo.png FIFA Trigramme = SWE
FIFA Rank = 28
FIFA max = 2
FIFA max date = November 1994
FIFA min = 31
FIFA min date = August 1998, September 2008
Elo Rank = 30
Elo max = 2
Elo max date = June 1950
Elo min = 49
Elo min date = Sept 1980|
Nickname = "Blågult" (Blueyellow) | Association = "Svenska Fotbollförbundet"
Confederation = UEFA (Europe)
Coach = flagicon|SWE Lars Lagerbäck
Captain = Henrik Larsson
Most caps = Thomas Ravelli (143)
Top scorer = Sven Rydell (49)
Home Stadium = Råsunda Stadium


First game = Flagicon|Sweden Sweden 11 - 3 Norway Flagicon|Norway (Gothenburg, Sweden; 12 July, 1908)
Largest win = Flagicon|Sweden Sweden 12 - 0 Latvia Flagicon|Latvia (Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May, 1927)
Flagicon|Sweden Sweden 12 - 0 South Korea Flagicon|South Korea
(London, England; August 5 1948)
Largest loss = Flagicon|England England Amateur 12 - 1 Sweden Flagicon|Sweden (London, England; 20 October, 1908)
World cup apps = 11
World cup first = 1934
World cup best = Runners-up, 1958
Regional name = European Championship
Regional cup apps = 4
Regional cup first = 1992
Regional cup best = Semi-finals, 1992
The Swedish national football team is the national football team of Sweden and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association.


Sweden has traditionally been a strong team in international football, with eleven World Cup appearances and three medals in the Olympics. The Swedish team finished second in the 1958 World Cup, when it was the host team, being beaten by Brazil 5-2 in the final. Sweden has also finished third twice, in 1950 and 1994. In 1938, they finished fourth.

Early history

Sweden played its first international game against Norway, on 12 July 1908, and won it 11-3.Other games in 1908 were against England, Netherlands and Belgium. Sweden lost all three games.

In the same year Sweden competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics for the first time. Sweden however lost a game in the Olympics against the English Amateur team with 1-12 and it became the biggest loss in the Swedish national team's history.

During 1910-1930 Sweden had some friendly games, and in 1916, beat Denmark for the first time.

Sweden played in the 1912 Olympics (as hosts), the 1920 Olympics, and in the 1924 Olympics, where Sweden took the bronze and their first medal ever.

1938 World Cup

The 1938 World Cup was Sweden's second qualification for the world cup. In the first round, they were scheduled to play against Austria, but after the Germans occupied the nation of Austria could not continue playing in the tournament. Instead, Sweden went straight to the quarterfinal match against Cuba. They beat Cuba 8-0 with both Tore Keller and Gustav Wetterström scoring hat tricks.In the semi-final match against Hungary, Sweden lost 1-5. Sweden's next match was the 3rd place match against Brazil. In that game the Swedes lost 2-4, and ended in 4th place for the first and only time in Swedish football history.

1948 Summer Olympics

In the first round Sweden played against Austria. The Austrian team had qualified without their professional players, which was a surprise since the Austrian league had many professional players who were allowed to play in the tournament. The match was played at White Hart Lane in London and Sweden won 3-0. In the second game, Sweden played against Korea and won 12-0, one of the two largest margin wins Sweden has ever had. In the semi-final Sweden met their archrivals from Denmark beating them 4-2.

The final was played at legendary Wembley Stadium in London. The attendance was around 40,000 people which was high for a football game in those days. Sweden took on Yugoslavia in the final and won 3-1, with goals by Gunnar Gren (24', 67'), Stjepan Bobek (42') and Gunnar Nordahl (48'). This was Sweden's first championship win in any international football tournament.

1950 World Cup

In the 1950 FIFA World Cup the Swedish football association did not allow any professional Swedish football players to take part. Sweden consequently only fielded amateur players during the tournament.

Qualifying for the tournament as one of six European national teams, Sweden played in the same group as Italy and Paraguay. (India withdrew from the group.)

In the first game, Sweden beat the Italians 3-2 in São Paulo. The second game, against Paraguay, ended in a draw 2-2. With the most points in the group, Sweden advanced to the next round.

Their first game in the group was against the host nation, Brazil. It was played at the Maracanã with a total attendance of more than 138,000, to this day the record attendance for the Swedish national team. The game ended 7-1 to Brazil and it is rumored that almost everyone in the Brazilian audience waved the Swedes good bye with their scarfs.

The next game was against Uruguay, who Sweden played against for the first time in World Cup history. Played in São Paulo, Uruguay won the game 3-2, which meant Sweden were unable to play for the gold.

The final game for Sweden in the tournament was played in São Paulo, against Spain. Sweden won 3-1 with goals by Stig Sundqvist (15'), Bror Mellberg (34') and Karl-Erik Palmér (79'). Sweden finished 3rd in the group and took their first World cup medal.

1958 World Cup

In 1956 the Swedish football federation allowed the professional footballers to play for the national team again, giving Swedish football fans hope for the 1958 FIFA World Cup. Sweden, the host nation, were in the same group as Mexico, Hungary and Wales.

The first game, Sweden vs Mexico, was played at Swedens's national stadium, Råsunda Stadium, Solna, and was attendaed by around 32,000 people. Sweden won the game 3-0, taking the lead in Group 3. The next match was against Hungary, who had finished 2nd in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland and were also the 1952 Olympic Champions. Also played att Råsunda, this game ended 2-1 to Sweden, with both goals scored by Kurt Hamrin. In the next match, against Wales, Sweden drew 0-0.

Making it through to the quarterfinal, playing at Råsunda for the fourth time in this tournament, Sweden were up against the USSR and won 2-0.

The semifinal at Ullevi, Gothenburg, was the only game in the tournament which Sweden did not play at at Råsunda. The crowd of around 50,000 people attended one of the best games Sweden played in the tournament. West Germany led by 1-0 when Erich Juskowiak was sent off in the 59th minute. Sweden won by 3-1.

The final was played at Råsunda between host nation Sweden and the 1950 FIFA World Cup runners-up, Brazil. The total attendance was approximately 52,000 people. Brazil ended up winning the World Cup for the first time ever after beating Sweden by 5-2. Sweden consequently became runners-up, the best result for Sweden in any World Cup. After the final match the Brazilian players honoured the host nation by sprinting around the pitch holding a Swedish flag.

After the World Cup success

Sweden was one of the best teams in the World during the 50's. But after the successful 1958 World Cup Sweden did not have any success. In the qualification round of the 1962 World cup Sweden won the group, but it was only points that was counted so they did a last play-off game against Switzerland, played in West Berlin, which they lost by 1-2. In the qualification group Sweden was the better team, where they scored 10 goals and only had 3 goals scored against them.Sweden almost got to the UEFA European Championship 1964. They started their play-off against Norway and won the first game and drawed in the last game.In the second round Sweden beat Yugoslavia 3-2, but they lost the first gaME.In the quarterfinals Sweden played against the defending champions, the Soviet Union . Sweden drawed the first game, but lost the second. During the 1966 World Cup Sweden was in the UEFA Qualification group 2. After starting the qualification with a draw against West Germany and after that a victory Cyprus with 3-0.But in the last game against West Germany Sweden lost and was out from the group, because it was only the winners of each group qualified.Sweden even entered the UEFA European Championship in 1968, but they finished in the Qualification group 2.Sweden had only one success in the 60's and that was to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, after winning UEFA Group 5 before Norway and France.

1974 World Cup

Sweden did not qualify for 2 previous World Cups in 1962, 1966 and exited in the group stages in 1970. In the qualification of the 1974 FIFA World cup, Sweden was in the same group as Austria, Hungary, and Malta. Sweden finished 2nd, below Austria, and advanced to the World Cup.

The group Sweden drew into included Uruguay, Netherland, and Bulgaria. The first game against Bulgaria ended in a draw. In the second game against the Netherlands, Sweden drew another tie. The last game of the round was played against Uruguay. That game was the first victory Sweden had in the tournament, when they beat Uruguay 3-0 with goals by Roland Sandberg (74') and Ralf Edström (46', 77'). Sweden finished 2nd in the group and advanced to the second group stage.

In the second group stage, Sweden was defeated in the first game against Poland 0-1. The situation after the defeat against Poland was that if Sweden lost against West Germany with a single goal difference and Yugoslavia defeated Poland, Sweden would be second in the group and play for the bronze medal. But since Poland beat Yugoslavia 2-1, Sweden had to win the game against the host nation, West Germany, in order to finish second in the group.

The game against West Germany was played in Düsseldorf with an attendance of 66,500 people. The Swedish striker Ralf Edström gave the Scandinavian the lead with 1-0 after 29 minutes. But in the second half West Germany took control of the game, even after Roland Sandberg's equalizer after 52 minutes. Germany won 4-2. After the tournament, the German players commented that the game against Sweden was their best game in that tournament. The last game for Sweden was played in Düsseldorf against Yugoslavia. Sweden won that game 2-1. They finished the tournament as the 5th place team.


After the successful 70's, reaching all three World Cups. Sweden changed their coach from Georg "Åby" Ericson to Lars "Laban" Arnesson. Arnesson had been a successful coach for Östers IF before becoming national coach. After the failed qualification for the '86 World Cup, Olle Nordin took over the team. Sweden failed to qualify for every World Cup and European Championship during the 1980's, but won their qualification group for the 1990 World Cup ahead of England and went on to their first World Cup in 12 years. However the World Cup campaign ended with losses in all group stage games, 1-2 against Brazil, Scotland and Costa Rica.

1992 European Championship

As the host of the 1992 European Championship, Sweden played in their first European Championship tournament. They played in the same group as Denmark, France, and England. Sweden was the only team that defeated the champions of the tournament, Denmark.Sweden finished in the semi-final against Germany, which is the best result for Sweden in the European Championship.

1994 World Cup

Sweden qualified for the World Cup at the top of their qualifying group ahead of Bulgaria. Sweden was placed in Group B with Brazil, Cameroon, and Russia. The first game against Cameroon was going to be yet another 1-2 loss, (after the 1990 World Cup fiasco with losses of 1-2 in all three games), but in the 75th minute Martin Dahlin scored the equalizer from a rebound shot off of Henrik Larsson. In the next game against Russia, Russia scored early with a penalty. But Sweden managed to come back, with a penalty goal from Tomas Brolin and two goals from Martin Dahlin. In the last group stage match against Brazil, they tied 1-1.

In the first knockout stage match, Sweden faced Saudi Arabia and won 3-1 after two goals from Kennet Andersson and one from Martin Dahlin. The quarter-final match against Romania has become a memorable match for Swedish football fans. After Sweden scored late in the second half, Romania managed to equalize in the last minutes of the match, sending it into extra time. Romania's Florin Raducioiu who scored the first goal for Romania, scored his second of the day to take Romania ahead at the 101st minute. But with five minutes left Kennet Andersson scored with a header to make the score even at 2-2. The penalty shoot out began with a miss from Håkan Mild of Sweden, but Thomas Ravelli managed two saves. That gave Sweden the win, making him a Swedish hero. Sweden went through to face Brazil in the semi-finals. They had managed to score in the group stage against Brazil but couldn't do it a second time. After Jonas Thern had been sent off with a red card Romário scored the only goal of the game in the 80th minute.

In the third place match Sweden played against Bulgaria who had lost to Italy in their semi-final match. Sweden scored 4 goals in the first half, but the second half went goal-less. Sweden won the bronze medal, the best placing for the national team in a World Cup play-off since the 1958 silver medal. This led Sweden to the second place of the FIFA World Rankings for one month, in November 1994.

They finished as the top scorers of the tournament, with 15 goals.

2000 European Championships

Sweden qualified impressively for this tournament, winning all games except the away game against England (0-0) and conceding only one goal. The finals however, were a great disappointment. Sweden lost their opening game against the host Belgium 1-2. Johan Mjällby scored the goal for Sweden after a mess-up by the Belgian goalkeeper Filip De Wilde. Then Sweden played 0-0 against Turkey and lost 2-1 to Italy. The goal was scored by Henrik Larsson. Sweden finished the group last with only 1 point.

2002 World Cup

Sweden was part of the Group of Death, Group F also including big favourites Argentina, England and Nigeria. The first match was against England. Sol Campbell gave England the lead in the first half by heading in a left side corner from David Beckham. In the second half, Sweden took over completely and dominated the game, creating numerous chances. The equalizing goal was scored by midfielder Niclas Alexandersson, a powerful left-foot shot from outside the box past David Seaman. This gave the result 1-1. In the next game, Sweden played Nigeria. Julius Agahowa gave Nigeria the lead by heading in a cross from the right. But Sweden managed to equalize with a fine goal by Henrik Larsson. Later in the game, Larsson was fouled in the penalty area and Sweden were awarded with a penalty which Larsson himself put in the goal. Sweden won 2-1. In the final group match, Sweden played Argentina, who needed to win after losing 0-1 to England in the previous game. However, midfielder Anders Svensson scored a great freekick goal from 30 meters. Andreas Andersson then had a shot off the crossbar and out. Mattias Jonson commited a foul in the penalty area and Argentina got a penalty. Ariel Ortega shot straight on Magnus Hedman, the Swedish keeper, but Hernán Crespo rushed into the box and shot the rebound from Hedman between the keepers legs. This was a controversal goal because Crespo began running into the box at the same time as Ortega stepped up to shot. However, the match ended 1-1 and Sweden won the group, England on second place, Argentina third and Nigeria last. In the round of 16, Sweden played Senegal. Henrik Larsson gave Sweden an early lead by heading in a corner from Anders Svensson. But Senegal equalized through Henri Camara. Senegal also had a goal disallowed for offside. The game came to sudden death golden goal. Rising star Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on and nearly won Sweden the game. He made a terrific run on the right wing past several Senegal players, and shot with his weaker left foot from a tight angle straight at Senegals keeper Tony Sylva. Ibrahimovic had Larsson and Svensson in execellent posisitions for a pass, but shot instead. Then Anders Svensson made a great spin past a defender and hit the post with a powerful shot. Sylva had no chance of saving that strike. Henri Camara then shot a weak attempt which went past Hedman, off the post and in. Sweden were eliminated.

2006 World Cup

Sweden competed in Group B at the 2006 World Cup. Their squad for the tournament features players who play club football in eleven different nations. Sweden started the World Cup slowly, recording a scoreless tie against unheralded Trinidad and Tobago, despite playing with a one-man advantage for much of the game. The second game, against Paraguay, threatened to produce the same result until Fredrik Ljungberg scored in the 89th minute to give Sweden a 1-0 victory. Sweden then rallied to tie England, 2-2, to finish group play with five points - enough to finish second in its' group and advance to the second round. There, the team's World Cup run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to the host team, Germany.

2008 European Championship Qualifying

Sweden finished second in Group F behind Spain, thus qualifying for the finals. The campaign included an abandoned match away to Denmark, for which Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win by UEFA.

2008 European Championship

In their first match in Euro 2008, they beat the reigning European champions, Greece, by a score of 2-0 with goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Petter Hansson. Their next game was against Spain, who they played in qualifying. The game looked like a draw until a 92nd minute strike from David Villa, which put the Spaniards ahead. In the final group match, the Swedes went on to lose 2-0 to the Russians, eliminating them from the tournament.

Swedish supporters showed up first during the 1912 Summer Olympics, where they sang "Heja Sverige Friskt humör, det är det som susen gör" during the football games.The traveling supporters for Sweden's away games showed up for the first time in the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany, and since thens Sweden has always had supporters in large tournaments. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup Sweden had one of the largest group of supporters during a tournament, especially during the group stage match against Paraguay with around 50,000 Swedish supporters in attendance.


The Swedish national stadium is called the Råsunda Fotbollsstadion, but it will be replaced in 2011 by the new national stadium Swedbank Arena.According to FIFA, Råsunda Stadion is a classic stadium, one of only two stadiums in the world, the other one being the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, USA, which hosted both the 1958 FIFA World Cup final and the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup.Råsunda stadium was opened 18 September 1910, and had a capacity of only 2.000, mostly standing. It was Råsunda stadium and Valhalla stadium in Gothenburg that were the first football fields with grass used for Swedish football.The stadium was expanded during 1937, to a capacity of 40000 people.The stadium was used for the football tournament in the 1912 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm, and hosted 8 games during the FIFA World Cup 1958. In the UEFA European Championship in 1992, the stadium hosted 4 games and in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup it hosted only the final game. But Råsunda stadium is still the only stadium in Scandinavia that has hosted 4 big tournaments.Ullevi in Gothenburg is used for some games which Sweden plays, such as the 100 years celebration game of the Swedish football association, against England in 2004.Even other stadiums, such as Malmö stadion in Malmö, is used for the national team.

Competitive record

World Cup


Coaching staff

weden managers

*1908 Ludvig Kornerup
*1909–11 Wilhelm Friberg
*1912 John Ohlson
*1912–13 Ruben 'Massa' Gelbord
*1914–15 Hugo Levin
*1916 Frey Svenson
*1917–20 Anton Johanson
*1921–36 John 'Bill' Pettersson
*1937 Carl 'Ceve' Linde
*1938–42 Gustaf 'Gurra' Carlson
*1942 Selection Committee
*1943–56 Rudolf 'Putte' Kock
*1957–61 Eric Person
*1962–65 Lennart Nyman
*1966–70 Orvar Bergmark
*1971–79 Georg 'Åby' Ericson
*1980–85 Lars 'Laban' Arnesson
*1986–90 Olle Nordin
*1990 Nils Andersson
*1991–97 Tommy Svensson
*1998–99 Tommy Söderberg
*2000–04 T. Söderberg & L. Lagerbäck
*2004– Lars Lagerbäck

ee also

*Football in Sweden
*Sweden women's national football team
*Sápmi national football team
*Sweden national under-21 football team

External links

* [http://hem.passagen.se/fotbollslandslaget/statistiktest.htm National team statistics] sv icon
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesz/zwed-intres.html RSSSF archive of results 1908-]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/zwed-recintlp.html RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/zwed-coach-triv.html RSSSF archive of coaches]
* [http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/swe.html World Cup history at Planet World Cup]


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