As a popular Swedish supporters' chant says, it’s a happy mood that gets the job done. The good-natured travelling army in their blue and gold have certainly done as much as the national team to popularise Swedish football on the world stage. They even play their home games at the Friends Arena! But that’s not to suggest that Sweden are only there to have fun and make up the numbers. They boast a team of serious international talent – or rather ‘teams’, as Sweden is one of the few countries where the women’s squad has rivalled or even overtaken the men. Join the ‘Blågult’ for their next international adventure by taking a look at the choice of Sweden Tickets at StubHub!
Swedish football – a long and proud history
Sweden has an impressive pedigree in international football, including appearances at the 1938 and 1950 World Cups, plus a memorable appearance at Wembley Stadium during the 1948 ‘Austerity’ Olympic Games in London. This success continued into the 1970s when the country qualified for all three World Cups and secured a creditable 1-1 draw against footballing superpower Brazil – a fixture of great significance to Sweden over the years. As European Championship hosts in 1992, they defeated eventual winners Denmark in the pool stages, only to be undone by a powerful German side in the semi-finals.
For a side that prides itself on team spirit, Sweden have nurtured many individual superstars. The team captain for six years, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has an international scoring record to go with a host of club honours in Sweden and abroad and remains an iconic figure within the national game. In the women’s game, Swedish football has produced highly successful performers and role models such as keeper Hedvig Lindahl, striker Lotta Schelin -a five-time national player of the year, and hard-working midfield dynamo and international co-captain Caroline Seger.
While unable to match the women’s record of three European Championship silver medals and a World Cup runners-up spot, the Swedish men’s team have treated their fans to some memorable moments. With the formidable striking talents of Martin Dahlin, Tomas Brolin and Henrik Larsson, the 1994 World Cup squad qualified from the group stages and faced a quarterfinal against a Romanian side led to the tournament by Gheorghe Hagi. After extra time could not separate the two sides, the Swedes won the penalty shoot-out thanks to two saves, as keeper Thomas Ravelli wrote himself into the country’s sporting folklore.
Sweden have also enjoyed success closer to home. A disappointing qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 was rescued when the team reached the playoffs as a best third-placed nation. There, they secured a memorable 4-3 aggregate win against long-time rivals Denmark.