Football in Sweden

Football is one of Sweden’s trademark in the community of nations. If anyone is in doubt about Swedish football records, then just check how the country’s national team has performed in history. The leagues get full government support which makes it easy for all participating teams to nurture young talent until they get to play in international clubs.

The most popular sport in Sweden is Association football, with about 240 000 licensed players as well as 240 000 youth players. There are about 3200 active clubs in the nation playing in 7900 pitches. The Swedish Football Association was founded in 1904, and the initial championship was decided in 1896.

History of Football in Sweden

Football, as well as other organized sports, were introduced in Sweden in the 1870s. During that time, they were mainly organized in gymnastics. The first agreement of rules was established in 1885, in which clubs were active in Visby, Stockholm, and Gothenburg. It was in 1890 that the first international match was played, which resulted in the creation of modern rules in 1892.

Svenska Idrottsförbundet was the first to administer the Swedish national tournament. The association further conducted Svenska Mästerskapet that Örgryte IS won in 1896. The tournament went on till 1925 that the first premier league began. Since that moment, football has grown, and currently, there are approximately 32 700 teams and 3300 clubs.

Regarding the EURO tournament, the nation has short glories history as the best performance was in 1992. The other advance to the knockout stage was in 2004, which the Netherlands knocked them after losing in the penalties.

Sweden national football team

The Swedish Football Association controls Sweden’s national football team, and it is the nation’s men’s international football. Friends Arena is the home ground of Sweden, and it is in Solna. Since 1934, Sweden has made about 12 appearances in the World Cup, while in the European Championship, they have made six appearances.

About FIFA World Cup, the team finished second in 1958, and they were the host and third in both 1994 and 1950. In 1992, they reached the semi-finals while hosting the championship. The team played the first international game against Norway in 1908, in which they won 11-3. Other matches that it played were against Belgium, Great Britain, Netherlands, and England though it lost all of them.

 The nation, for the first time, defeated Denmark in 1916. Other accomplishments of the team include winning a gold medal in the 1948 Summer Olympics as well as bronze in 1952 and 1924. In the World Cup history, Brazil has been Sweden’s historical rival. Even though they have met seven times, Sweden has never won.

The best Swedish football players in history

Ronnie Hellstrom: The best goalkeeper in Swedens history, won prize in 1978 and 1971.

Henrik Larsson: Striker, 37 goals, and 106 caps.

Zlatan Ibrahimović:  Striker, 62 goals, and 118 caps

Gunnar Gren: Forward/ attacking midfielder, 32 goals, and 57 caps

Erik Nilsson: Left-back, 0 goals, and 57 caps

Gunnar Nordahl: Sriker, 43 goals, 33 caps.

The Current Sweden National Team Squad

1Robin OlsenGoalkeeper31
23Kristoffer NordfeldtGoalkeeper32
12Pontus DahlbergGoalkeeper22
21Alexander MilosevicCentre-back29
24Carl StarfeltCentre-back26
18Joakim NilssonCentre-back27
4Marcus DanielsonCentre-back32
3Victor LindelöfCentre-back27
5Martin OlssonLeft-Back33
6Ludwig AugustinssonLeft-back27
14Daniel SundgrenRight-Back30
2Emil KrafthRight-Back27
15Ken SemaLeft Midfield28
20Kristoffer OlssonCentral Midfield26
19Mattias SvanbergCentral Midfield21
13Magnus ErikssonAttacking Midfield31
16Jesper KarlssonLeft Winger23
7Viktor ClaessonLeft Winger29
10Emil ForsbergLeft Winger30
22Robin QuaisonSecond striker28
11Viktor GyökeresCentre-Forward23
9Alexander IsakCentre-Forward22

Women’s football in Sweden

Damallsvenskan is the national women’s competition in Sweden. The division entails 12 teams assigning Sweden national champions. The other division (lower) is  Ellitettan, and it was established in 2013; it consists of 14 teams.  The rule is that the first two Elettetan classifieds are promoted to Damallsvenskan as the last three become relegated to Division 1, and it represents the third division.

The Current Sweden Women National Team Squad

Manager : Peter Gerhardsson, 62


1Hedvig Lindahl38
12Jennifer Falk28
21Zećira Mušović25
Jonna Andersson28
14Nathalie Björn24
6Magdalena Eriksson28
5Nilla Fischer37
4Hanna Glas28
13Amanda Ilestedt28
3Emma Kullberg30
17Caroline Seger (captain)36
23Elin Rubensson28
16Filippa Angeldahl24
22Olivia Schough30
20Hanna Bennison19
Filippa Curmark26
Johanna Rytting Kaneryd24
19Anna Anvegård24
8Lina Hurtig26
10Sofia Jakobsson31
11Stina Blackstenius25
18Fridolina Rolfö27
7Madelen Janogy25
2Rebecka Blomqvist24
Julia Zigiotti Olme23

Sweden national youth football team

The Sweden national youth football teams include:

Sweden national under-17 football team: The team reached the semi-finals in UEFA European Under-17 Championship in 2013, in which Russia knocked them out during penalties. Besides, they finished third in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Sweden national under-19 football team: The team usually competes for UEFA European Under-19 Championship. Unfortunately, from 2002 to 2016, the team did not qualify for the championship. Even with the bad performance, they tried again in 2017, in which they reached the Group Stage.

Sweden national under-20 football team:  The team represents the nation in FIFA U-20 World Cup. Also, the Swedish Football Association controls the team. The team only managed to qualify for the championship in 1991.  

Sweden national under-21 football team: The Swedish Football Association controls the team, and it represents Sweden in the under 21-year-old players competition. The team made the first appearance in 1986 and became champions in 2015. Besides, in 2009 and 1990, the team reached the semi-finals, while in 1992, they finished second.

Current Competitions

Sweden was knocked out in the Round of 16 together with Germany, Croatia, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria, and Wales in the Euro Cup 2021. In addition, For the FIFA World Cup, Sweden was in group B that consisted of other teams such as Spain, Kosovo, Greece, and Georgia. The group winner will qualify for the World Cup finals, while the runners-up will advance to the playoffs.

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