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Lennart "Nacka" Skoglund, (24 December 1929 – 20 July 1975), was a Swedishmarker football player.

Biography

Nicknamed through-out his career as Nacka (after his older brother who played for Nacka FF), Lennart Skoglund was a star of two Swedish World Cup sides in the 1950s. First as a young inside-left in 1950 and then as a mature left winger on home soil in 1958. He started at a local club called IK Stjärnan in 1943 before moving on to his favoured club Hammarby the following year. He played for Hammarby between 1944 and 1949. In 1950 he was controversially sold to rivals AIK due to the sad financial situation of the club. He soon made his first appearance for the national and made a great impact in the World Cup held in Brazilmarker. He formed a great partnership with Carl-Erik Palmér as Sweden finished third, and he also earned a new nickname: "The swaying corn-cob", a reference to his blond hair and his running style.

During the World Cup, São Paulo FC offered US$ 10.000 for him, but the price was considered low by the AIK principal who was monitoring Sweden team. In less than one month, Nacka was sold to Internazionale by five times that value. In Inter, he had huge success helping them win the Serie A title twice in the 1953 and 1954. In all, he played 246 matches with Internazionale, scoring 57 goals.

His fine ball-control, excellent left foot and fine distribution made him a big favourite with the fans. Sweden failed to qualify to the 1954 World Cup because they would not recall exiles like Nacka, hence his few caps, but when the Swedes played host to the 1958 tournament, they had a change of heart and Skoglund appeared in all Sweden’s games as they finished runners-up to Brazil. In the semifinal against West Germany, Nacka scored his first and only goal for Sweden in the 3-1 win which set them up for the classic final against Brazil.

He was a true entertainer living to please the crowds, wherever he plied his trade. Nutmegs, back-heels and mazy turns always kept his opponents guessing and mostly in the wrong direction.

After 13 years as a pro in Italy, where he also played for Sampdoria and Palermo, he returned to his native Södermalmmarker and Hammarby in 1964.

Nacka also had two footballing sons, both born in Milano, Georg and Evert; Evert played 16 matches with Internazionale, and the brother Georg some matches with A.C. Milan. Both later played for Hammarby.

During his summer breaks in Sweden he used to tour around amusement-parks in Sweden, singing and doing his famed "Two-Crown"-stint where he would actually drop a coin and kick it into his shirt pocket.

He died a desolate and broken man in 1975. But in 1984, a statue was raised in his honour outside his childhood home at Katarina Bangata. Every December 24, hundreds of people gather at the statue to celebrate the memory of Nacka. This is also the day when swedes celebrate Christmas, so it's quite an emotional thing for the people who have come there every year since 1984. It's mainly supporters of Hammarby who come there, but every now and then supporters from the other clubs were Nacka played show up. The square where the statue is located is now officially named "Nackas Hörna" (The corner of Nacka) - a play with words as he shot a corner kick straight into the goal in his comeback for Hammarby after coming back from Italy.

Image:Nacka_Skoglund_staty.jpg|the Nackas Hörna statue.

  1. "Sucesso e debandada", Max Gehringer, Especial Placar: A Saga da Jules Rimet fascículo 4 - 1950 Brasil, novembro de 2005, Editora Abril, pág. 37



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