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Best Swedish footballers of all time

Sat 19 December 2020 | 4:30

Here is a look at the list of the best Swedish footballers of all time.

Do you want to know who are the greatest Swedish football players ever? In this article about the best Swedish soccer players in history, we will answer your question. This rundown covers not only current soccer players but also retired legendary ones. 

In the 1938 World Cup, Sweden reached the semifinals. Nonetheless, despite Austria's elimination, the outcome was rewarded with a simple path to the semifinals. All things being equal, when they won the Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympic Games, football in Sweden received first attention.

In 1958, as the host country of the World Cup Finals, Sweden finished second behind Brazil, their greatest World Cup Finals results. They hosted the 1992 Euro, where they made it to the semifinals. After that Sweden routinely qualified for major competitions, yet only played the Euro 2004 quarterfinals.

The list is organized by prominence, with the greatest players appearing at the bottom. Therefore, this article addresses all the questions considering 

greatest Swedish players in football history

.  

Best Swedish footballers of all time

Here is a look at the list of the best Swedish footballers of all time.

Ronnie Hellstrom

  • Name in home country

    : Folke Ronnie Wallentin Hellstrom

  • Date of birth

    : Feb 21, 1949

  • Place of birth

    : Malmo Sweden

  • Age

    : 71

  • Height

    : 1.92 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Goalkeeper

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

In the 1970s, Ronnie Hellstrom was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and currently, he is considered one of the

best Swedish soccer players in history

. He began his journey at

Hammarby IF

. In 1974, he joined

FC Kaiserslautern

and later left the club in 1984. He participated in the World Cup Finals in 1970, 1974, and 1978 for the national team. Altogether, He capped 77 times. Twice, in 1971 and 1978, he received the Swedish golden ball (Guldbollen). 

Thomas Ravelli

  • Date of birth

    : Aug 13, 1959

  • Place of birth

    : VImmerby  Sweden

  • Age

    : 61

  • Height

    : 1,86 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Goalkeeper

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

The 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals and the 1992 European Championship witnessed Thomas Ravelli. In 1992, Sweden reached the semifinals hosting the World Cup Finals, and finished 3rd.

The goalkeeper was the most-capped player for Sweden national team with 143 games, and he starred for Osters IF, IFK Goteborg, and Tampa Bay Mutiny at the club level for many years.

Ravelli started to steal the spotlight in the newspapers at the point when he saved two penalties at the 1994 World Cup in Sweden's quarter-final win against

Romania

.

Famous for his bravery and vocal presence in goal disregarding his quirky and unpredictable character, Ravelli was a modern, reliable, and effective goalkeeper with strong complete basics, who was respected especially for his tactical sense, game intelligence, and his skills to sort out his defensive line. Ravelli was regarded to be a classy player in his prime and one of the

greatest Swedish football players ever

.

Bjorn Nordqvist

  • Date of birth

    : Oct 6, 1942

  • Place of birth

    : Hallsberg  Sweden

  • Age

    : 78

  • Height

    : 1,78 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Defender - Centre-Back

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

Bjorn Nordqvist held a world record at a certain point with 115 caps for Sweden and is known as of the greatest Swedish players in football history.

He also performed in the World Cup Finals of 1970, 1974, and 1978. Nordqvist was Swedish and Dutch champion with IFK Norrkoping and

PSV Eindhoven

at the club level.

He was brilliant with Minnesota Kicks in the USA as well.  In 1968 he won the Guldbollen prize and was invited to the Swedish football Hall of Fame. Nordqvist also featured national ice hockey and bandy. Nordqvist was Sweden's most capped player before Thomas Ravelli and others overtook him.

Olof Mellberg

  • Name in home country

    : Erik Olof Mellberg

  • Date of birth

    : Sep 3, 1977

  • Place of birth

    : Gullspang  Sweden

  • Age

    : 43

  • Height

    : 1,87 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Defender - Centre-Back

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

The best-known stint of the player was with Italian team

Juventus

and Greek club Olympiacos along with 7 campaigns at

Aston Villa

. He was a longtime Swedish national side skipper who capped 117 times. He also appeared in the World Cup Finals 2002 and 2006 and in the Euro 2000, Euro 2004, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.

As the Swedish football player of the Year, Olof Mellberg won the Guldbollen in 2003. The player has been portrayed as tall powerful and outstanding in the air. Considered a talented center-back in his adolescence, he eventually made a name for himself as a strong, reliable, and solid defender.

All things considered, despite the fact that he was not extremely quick, his game intelligence was high, and being a decent header of the ball persuaded us to name him as one of the

best Swedish football players ever

.

Freddie Ljungberg

  • Name in home country

    : Karl Fredrik Ljungberg

  • Date of birth

    : Apr 16, 1977

  • Place of birth

    : Vittsjo  Sweden

  • Age

    : 43

  • Height

    : 1,75 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Midfielder - Attacking Midfield

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

Another Swedish legendary name and one of the best Swedish football players ever is Fredrik Ljungberg who is known for his 9 campaigns with the Gunners, where he lifted two Premier League trophies and three FA Cup titles.

Leaving Arsenal he played also for

West Ham United

, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire, Celtic, Shimizu S-Pulse, and

Mumbai City

. At the international level, he earned 75 caps and scored 14 goals.

He played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals and From 2006 until his international retirement in 2008, he was skipper of the Sweden national team. Playing for Arsenal, Freddie Ljungberg was a key figure of the "Invincibles" side of the 2003–04 campaign, who went the entire league season unbeaten.

Bo Larsson

  • Name in home country

    : Bo Goran Larsson

  • Date of birth

    : May 5, 1944

  • Place of birth

    : Malmo  Sweden

  • Age

    : 76

  • Height

    : 1.75 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

  • Current club

    : Retired

In 1965 and 1973, Bo Larsson was named the Player of the Year for Sweden. He was the first footballer to receive the trophy two different times. At the club level, he spent almost all of his tenure with

Malmo

.

He additionally spent 3 campaigns with

Vfb Stuttgart

as a great player and scored 21 times in 88 matches. In 1969, the town of Stuttgart appointed him the "Athlete of the Year".

He capped 70 times and netted 17 goals, and played in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the 1974 FIFA World Cup, and the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Bosse Larsson is considered one of the

famous Swedish footballers ever

and Sweden's most complete footballer of all time who was able to practically play at any position on the field.

Lennart Skoglund

  • Date of birth

    : Dec 24, 1929

  • Place of birth

    : Stockholm  Sweden

  • Date of death

    : 08.07.1975 (45)

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Left Winger

  • Foot

    : left

Lennart Skoglund is seen as one of the

best players in the history of Sweden

. From 1950 to 1963, he starred in Italy. Perhaps his best spell was with

Inter Milan

. He additionally represented Hammarby IF,

Sampdoria

, and Palermo.

Due to Sweden's restriction of using professional athletes, he just capped 11 times. At the 1950 World Cup Finals, where Sweden placed third behind Uruguay and Brazil, Skoglund was a superstar. For the 1958 World Cup Finals, where they placed second, he was called back into the national squad.

The good ball-control, superb left foot, and great passing by Lennart Skoglund made him a fan favorite. Skoglund developed his excellent dribbling ability with a wonderful understanding of the game during his transition from a youthful player to a successful winger.

He had good shots with outstanding scoring quality. He is one of the famous Swedish footballers ever and was regarded as a set-piece expert in his prime. However, In some cases, he was a greedy and selfish player. His playing style was comparable to Sven Rydell's.

Tomas Brolin

  • Name in home country

    : Per Tomas Brolin

  • Date of birth

    : Nov 29, 1969

  • Place of birth

    : Hudiksvall  Sweden

  • Age

    : 51

  • Height

    : 1,78 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

  • Foot

    : right

  • Current club

    : Retired

In the mid-1990s, Tomas Brolin was a world-class player leading Sweden to finish third in the 1994 World Cup in the US and reaching the 1992 European Championship semi-finals. Somewhere in the range of 1990 to 1995, a time regarded as a golden age for Parma, he starred for the club.

However, after the time, he never recovered his form and moved among numerous clubs following an injury in 1995, all ahead of retiring at 31 years of age. From 1990 to 1995, Tomas Brolin capped 47 times and netted 27 goals. 

Brolin, a versatile, fast, ambitious, and technically skilled soccer player was in his prime a superstar, renowned for his exceptional dribbling ability, along with his distribution and strong shots. 

A dynamic figure, thanks to his potential to give assists, he was primarily used as an attacking midfielder, yet because of his tactical intelligence, the player was able to play as a winger, central midfielder, striker, and center forward. He is considered to be one of the

best Swedish footballers of all time

.

Henrik Larsson

  • Name in home country

    : Henrik Edward Larsson

  • Date of birth

    : Sep 20, 1971

  • Place of birth

    : Helsingborg  Sweden

  • Age

    : 49

  • Height

    : 1,77 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

  • Foot

    : both

  • Current club

    : Retired

Henrik Larsson considered one of the

best Swedish footballers of all time

, was his generation's most important footballer. At the World Cup Finals in 1994, Larsson made a name for himself as a young striker. In 2002 and 2006, he proceeded to appear in the World Cup Finals.

He capped 106 times and netted 37 goals. He is additionally famous for his 7 campaigns with Celtic. At that point, he was recognized as the greatest player in

Scotland

who won the European Golden Shoe in the 2000–01 season.

He led the side to reach the final of the 2003 UEFA Cup versus

Porto

as well. Larsson was a complete striker, as best exemplified by his outstanding attacking flexibility and game intelligence, which helped him to overcome his rivals, find gaps in the defensive line, and make aggressive moves into the box. He was renowned for his agility, goalscoring skills, mental toughness, and awareness on the field.

Despite the fact that he had considerable physical power and could play a vital role in the air, he was not especially large as a forward.

An impressive player on the pitch, he was additionally equipped with outstanding technical abilities and was able to provide teammates with assists along with netting goals. In addition to his positioning, flexibility, and intelligence the player was a powerful and precise goalscorer. He could easily score goals with either foot from both inside and outside the box, just like his head.

Sven Rydell

  • Name in home country

    : Sven Ake Algot Rydell

  • Date of birth

    : Jan 14, 1905

  • Place of birth

    : Goteborg  Sweden

  • Date of death

    : 04.04.1975 (70)

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward

For a long time from 1932 until 2014, Sven Rydell held the record as Sweden's all-time top scorer and he is still considered one of the

best Swedish footballers of all time

. He netted 49 goals in just 43 games for the Sweden national team and holds the record of netting nine hat-tricks for Sweden.

The Summer Olympics in 1924, in which

Sweden

won a bronze medal, is his only participation on the world stage. Rydell played for Orgryte IS, Redbergslids IK, and Holmens IS at the club level. By netting his 50th international goal,

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

surpassed him.

Gunnar Gren

  • Name in home country

    : Johan Gunnar Gren

  • Date of birth

    : Oct 31, 1920

  • Place of birth

    : Goteborg  Sweden

  • Date of death

    : 10.11.1991 (71)

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward

Gunnar Gren was one of the legendary strikers of the Sweden national team and

AC Milan

during the 1950s. At the 1948 Olympics, he won a Gold Medal and led Sweden to place second in 1958 at the World Cup. For both Sweden and AC Milan, he is regarded to be one of the best soccer players ever. He starred for IFK Gothenburg, AC Fiorentina,

Genoa

, and Orgryte IS in Sweden. Gren is regarded as one of the Best Swedish footballers of all time and one of the top goal scorers in Sweden.

Kurt Hamrin

  • Name in home country

    : Kurt Roland Hamrin

  • Date of birth

    : Nov 19, 1934

  • Place of birth

    : Stockholm  Sweden

  • Age

    : 86

  • Height

    : 1,70 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Right Winger

  • Foot

    : both

  • Current club

    : Retired

One of the best wingers throughout the entire existence of the sport is known to be Kurt Hamrin. From 1956 until 1971, he starred in Italy. He enjoyed his peak days at

Fiorentina

, where he was known as one of their finest stars. In 1968, he additionally lifted the European Cup with AC Milan. From 1953 to 1965, Hamrin capped 32 times for Sweden.

As Sweden made the final of the 1958 World Cup Finals, he was a world-class player.Hamrin was a strong, versatile, lovely, and technically talented attacker, who was blessed with excellent speed, perception, and finishing in front of the goal. Hamrin was especially famous for his elegance, along with his excellent playmaking and scoring abilities with both feet, and was known for his staggering pace.

The player was likewise able to defeat players with creative techniques and tricks, including the nutmeg, in one-on-one situations. The striker was an exceptionally talented footballer who is widely regarded as one of the best Swedish footballers of all time.

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Nils Liedholm

  • Name in home country

    : Nils Erik Liedholm

  • Date of birth

    : Oct 8, 1922

  • Place of birth

    : Valdemarsvik  Sweden

  • Date of death

    : 05.11.2007 (85)

  • Height

    : 1.85 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden  Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

"The Baron" is undoubtedly one of the legendary names for both Sweden and AC Milan. Between 1949 and 1961, he starred in Italy. Liedholm captured the Latin Cup twice in 1951 and 1956 and was Milan's skipper over

Real Madrid

in the 1958 European Cup Final, where they lost 2-3. At the 1948 Olympics, he earned a Gold Medal and led Sweden to place second in the 1958 World Cup.

Liedholm was voted the best Swedish footballer of the millennium by the followers of Sweden's biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet, at the end of the 20th century. He is known as one of the all-time best players for Milan and Sweden's national team and is regarded as one of the best Swedish footballers of all time.

Gunnar Nordahl

  • Name in home country

    : Nils Gunnar Nordahl

  • Date of birth

    : Oct 19, 1921

  • Place of birth

    : Hornefors  Sweden

  • Date of death

    : 15.09.1995 (73)

  • Height

    : 1.85 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

Gunnar Nordahl is another legend of both Sweden's national team and AC Milan. He scored the highest number of goals in Serie A in 5 campaigns. For AC Milan, he is the all-time top scorer. At the 1948 Olympics, he captured the Gold Medal, yet in 1950 he was not picked for the World Cup.

Ahead of retirement, he joined Roma to play two seasons. Nordahl is widely regarded as one of the best soccer players ever and is known as one of the greatest forwards throughout the entire existence of the game. Prior to being outperformed by Francesco Totti, the player held the record for most goals for a single club in the history of Serie A.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Name in home country

    : Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Date of birth

    : Oct 3, 1981

  • Place of birth

    : Malmo  Sweden

  • Age

    : 39

  • Height

    : 1,95 m

  • Citizenship

    : Sweden

  • Position

    : Forward - Centre-Forward

  • Foot

    : both

  • Current club

    : AC Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the best Swedish football player ever. The player has won a record 12 Guldbollen up until this point. Guldbollen is a Swedish football trophy given by the Aftonbladet and the Swedish Football Association to the greatest male Swedish soccer player every year.

Ibra earned the Swedish golden ball 10 times in a row from 2007 to 2016. Zlatan received the 2013 FIFA Puskas Award for his acrobatic goal against England. Ibra has been a five-time Serie A Player of the Year. The striker has played with Malmo,

Ajax

, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, PSG,

Manchester United

, LA Galaxy, and now Milan AC once again.

He is well considered one of the greatest attackers in the history of football. Having captured 31 titles in his lifetime, he is one of the world's most decorated professional soccer players who has netted 565 goals up until now including his record for scoring in each of the past four decades. For Sweden's national team, he is the all-time top scorer.

Ibrahimovic is a flexible and complete soccer player who is able to play any place in the attack from a tactical perspective as he is skillful in both giving assists or netting goals. The Swedish forward is famous as one of the finest players during his prime, and as one of the best forwards of his era as he has outstanding technique and stamina.

 

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