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The Swedish national football team is the national football team of Swedenmarker 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.

From 1910 to 1930 Sweden exclusively played friendly games; in 1916 Sweden 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 theSwedes 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 Lanemarker in Londonmarker 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 Stadiummarker 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 Paulomarker. 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 Maracanãmarker 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

Sweden won the silver medal at the 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 Stadiummarker, Solnamarker, and was attended 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 quarter-final, playing at Råsunda for the fourth time in this tournament, Sweden were up against the USSR and won 2-0.

The semifinal at Ullevimarker, Gothenburgmarker, was the only game in the tournament which Sweden did not play 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 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 drew 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 two 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, the Netherlands, 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 Germanymarker, in order to finish second in the group.

The game against West Germany was played in Düsseldorfmarker 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 1980s, 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 quickly after three 1–2 defeats in the group stage matches, 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 were drawn in the group with Denmark, France, and England. Sweden managed to win advance as group winners ahead of the eventual champions Denmark. In the semi-finals following the group stage Sweden were eliminated by Germany 2–3. The place in the semi-final is Sweden's best result in a European Championship to date.

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 looked 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 and the match finished 2-2. In the next game against Russia, Russia was handed an early penalty and made it 1-0. Sweden managed to come back, with a penalty goal from Tomas Brolin and two goals from Martin Dahlin the final result was written 1-3. In the last group stage match against Brazil, they tied 1-1 after goals by Kennet Andersson ('23) and Romário ('47).

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 had scored late in the second half, Romania managed to equalize in the dying 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 it level at 2-2. The penalty shoot-out began with a miss from Håkan Mild of Sweden, but Thomas Ravelli managed to save two penalties from Dan Petrescu and Miodrag Belodedici giving Sweden the win and making himself a 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 in the 53rd minute after a mess-up by the Belgian goalkeeper Filip De Wilde while Belgium won via goals from Bart Goor in the 43rd minute and Emile Mpenza in the 46th one. Then Sweden played 0-0 against Turkey and lost 2-1 to Italy. The goal was scored by Henrik Larsson while Italy won via goals from Luigi Di Biagio and Alessandro Del Piero. Sweden finished the group last behind Belgium with only 1 point. Italy finished first and Turkey second.

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 Aghahowa 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 committed 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 controversial 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 Ibrahimović 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. Ibrahimović had Larsson and Svensson in excellent positions 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 took a weak shot which went past Hedman, off the post and went into the goal. Consequently, Sweden were eliminated.

Swedish national team of 2006.

UEFA Euro 2004

Sweden came into the tournament in Portugalmarker with low expectations. But after a dazzling 5-0 win againts Bulgariamarker they became one of the favorites. Fredrik Ljungberg began the goal-fest after a well done pass by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Henrik Larsson scored 2-0 and 3-0 in the second half. His first goal was done by a nice header after that he received a perfectly taken crossball by Erik Edman. 4-0 and 5-0 was scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a penalty and the substitute Marcus Allbäck scored the last goal of the game. After the 5-0 victory, Sweden became a feared team in the tournament and many were surprised by Sweden's offensive play since they where known to mostly play a defensive form of football.

In the next game they where set up againts Italymarker, who would prove themselves as a very hard opponent. After 36 minutes Antonio Cassano scored the first goal of the game for Italy after a cross by Christian Panucci. A great game by swedish goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson made Sweden survive the rest of the game and after 84 minutes Sweden finally managed to score a goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a crazy backheel wich found the back of the net.

Sweden's last game of the group was held againts Denmarkmarker. It was said before the game that if Sweden and Denmark played 2-2, Italy would be eliminated from the tournement. This is exactly what happened. Denmark led the game by 2-1 a long time. But at the end of the game, Mattias Jonsson scored the equalizer after a dozen of rebounds. Italy was eliminated and both Denmark and Sweden was qualified for the quarter-finals.

In the quarter-finals, Sweden had to face Holland. The game became goaless after full time, but not without alot of chances. The closest one to score was Fredrik Ljunberg but he hit the pole after a nice taken shot. But the game went goaless and they went to penalty-shooting. After a long run of penalties taken, it was Olof Mellberg's turn to take a shot. The dutch goalie Edwin van der Sar pulled a trick on Mellberg which made him save the ball. Sweden was eliminated and Holland was through to the next round.

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 most of the game. The second game, against Paraguay, looked to be another goal-less draw 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 and Beyond

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.

In their first match in Euro 2008, they beat the reigning European champions, Greece, by a score of 2-0 with goals from Zlatan Ibrahimović 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.

For the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, it ended disastrous for Sweden. In the first game in Tiranamarker, they were only able to tie 0-0 with a Albania side that fought hard. However, 4 days later they would go on to defeat Hungary 2-1 with goals from Kim Källström and Samuel Holmén. They would go on to tie with Portugalmarker in Stockholmmarker and draw with them again on March 28, but this time in Portomarker. Both games ended 0-0. Sweden would lose to Denmark on home ground with a early strike from Thomas Kahlenberg after a defensive mistake. The game to Denmark was revenge for the 3-0 loss 2 years earlier. However, Sweden recovered with a 4-0 hammering of Malta. However, only had 2 narrow victories versus Hungary and Malta. Both of the winning goals for Sweden were scored late for Sweden. They would lose to Denmark at Parken Stadiummarker in Copenhagen after a late goal from Jakob Poulsen in another defeat to rivals Denmark. While Portugal would defeat Hungary 3-0. Putting the Portuguese team ahead of Sweden. This put Sweden's chance of a play-off in the balance. They would hammer Albania 4-1, however, with news from the Portugal-Malta game, which Portugal won 4-0, Sweden was eliminated. Lars Lagerback resigned and Erik Hamrén was appointed the next head coach.


Swedish supporters showed up first during the 1912 Summer Olympics, where they sang "Heja Sverige Friskt humör, det är det som susen gör" (roughly meaning "Go Sweden, being in good spirits is what does the trick!") 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 then 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, plus an additional 50,000 fans watching the game outside the stadium. The Swedish fans were also voted the best fans during the 2006 World Cup, due to their massive numbers, friendly attitude and love for the game.


The Swedish national stadium is called the Råsunda Fotbollsstadionmarker, but it will be replaced in 2012 by the new national stadium Swedbank Arenamarker.According to FIFA, Råsunda Stadion is a classic stadium, one of only two stadiums in the world, the other one being the Rose Bowl Stadiummarker in Pasadena, Californiamarker, USAmarker, which hosted both the men's and women's World Cup final (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, are used for the national team.

Competitive record

World Cup

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1930 Did Not Enter - - - - - - -
1934 Quarter-Finals 8 2 1 0 1 4 4
1938 Fourth place 4 3 1 0 2 11 9
1950 Third place 3 5 2 1 2 11 15
1954 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1958 Runners-up 2 6 4 1 1 12 7
1962 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1966 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1970 Round 1 9 3 1 1 1 2 2
1974 Group Round 2 5 6 2 2 2 7 6
1978 Round 1 13 3 0 1 2 1 3
1982 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1986 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1990 Round 1 21 3 0 0 3 3 6
1994 Third place 3 7 3 3 1 15 8
1998 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
2002 Round 2 13 4 1 2 1 5 5
2006 Round 2 14 4 1 2 1 3 4
2010 Did Not Qualify
Total 11/19 - 46 16 13 17 74 69

European Championship

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1960 Did not Enter - - - - - -
1964 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1968 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1972 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1976 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1980 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1984 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1988 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
1992 Semi-finals 4 2 1 1 6 5
1996 Did not Qualify - - - - - -
2000 Round 1 3 0 1 2 2 4
2004 Quarter-final 4 1 3 0 8 3
2008 Round 1 3 1 0 2 3 4
2012 - - - - - -
Total 4/13 14 4 5 5 19 16

Olympic Games

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won. Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 1

Current starting XI

Last updated on 18 November 2009 from the match against Italy.
1 Isaksson
2 Lustig 3 Mellberg 4 Majstorović 5 Dorsin
9 V. Elm 8 Svensson (C)
7 S. Larsson 10 Elmander 6 Safari
11 Hysén

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the match against Italy in November 2009.

Recent call-ups

  • Only players available for call-up, not retired players.




Coaching staff

Top 10 goalscorers

Players in bold text are still active with Sweden.

Most appearances (caps)

Players in bold text are still active with Sweden.


FIFA ranking

See also

External links


  1. There was no official World Cup final match or bronze match in 1950. The tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden, and Spain). Sweden's 3-1 victory over Spain ensured that they finished third.

Date of birth
Caps (goals)
Most recent call up
Rami Shaaban
June 30, 1975
16 (0)
UEFA Euro 2008
Date of birth
Caps (goals)
Most recent call up
Matias Concha
March 31, 1981
8 (0)
v. Turkey, 6 February 2008
Rasmus Bengtsson
June 26, 1986
Hertha BSC
1 (0)
v. Mexico, 28 January 2009
Date of birth
Caps (goals)
Most recent call up
Kennedy Bakircioglü
November 2, 1980
14 (0)
v. Slovenia, 26 May 2008
Tobias Linderoth
April 21, 1979
76 (2)
v. Albania, 6 September 2008
Samuel Holmén
June 28, 1984
11 (2)
v. Albania, 14 October 2009
Date of birth
Caps (goals)
Most recent call up
Daniel Nannskog
May 22, 1974
v. Austria, 11 February 2009
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
October 3, 1981
v. Albania, 14 October 2009
Head Coach Erik Hamrén
Assistant Coach Marcus Allbäck (Acting)
U-21 Managers Tommy Söderberg
Jörgen Lennartsson
Sven Rydell
Gunnar Nordahl
Henrik Larsson
Gunnar Gren
Kennet Andersson
Marcus Allbäck
Martin Dahlin
Agne Simonsson
Tomas Brolin
Per Kaufeldt
Thomas Ravelli
Roland Nilsson
Björn Nordqvist
Niclas Alexandersson
Henrik Larsson
Anders Svensson
Olof Mellberg
Patrik Andersson
Orvar Bergmark
Teddy Lučić
Kennet Andersson
Lowest rank
July 2009
Highest rank
November 1994
Current rank
October 2009

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