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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 17:23 UK

Sweden team guide

BBC Sport's Euro 2008 guide to Sweden.

Fixtures (Group D):


v Greece - 10 June, 1945 BST, Salzburg
Greece team guide

v Spain - 14 June, 1700 BST, Innsbruck
Spain team guide

v Russia - 18 June, 1945 BST, Innsbruck
Russia team guide

How did they get there: Won their first four games but lost 2-1 in Northern Ireland, drew 1-1 at home against the same side and then lost 3-0 in Spain to put their qualification in doubt. But sealed their place in the last round of games by beating Latvia, while Northern Ireland lost in Spain.

Lars Lagerback

Manager: Lars Lagerback. Became joint coach with Tommy Soderberg in 2000, taking over full control after Euro 2004. Was heavily criticised as Sweden limped out of the World Cup with a 2-0 second-round defeat by Germany two years ago, but in January signed an extension to stay as boss until 2010.

Captain: Freddie Ljungberg. The 31-year-old West Ham midfielder has represented his country for 10 years and is a potent weapon, attacking from his wide midfield position. However, Sweden will be slightly concerned by his form this season after he managed a paltry two goals in 28 games for the Hammers.


Euro highlights: Hosted the competition in 1992 and reached the semi-finals thanks in part to a memorable 2-1 win over England, with Tomas Brolin playing a starring role. Reached the quarters last time around, helped by a 5-0 demolition of Bulgaria, before bowing out on penalties to the Netherlands.

Euro legend: Brolin makes a case, but it has to be the great Henrik Larsson. Played and scored in Euro 2000 and after being persuaded to come out of international retirement, notched three in 2004, including the goal of the tournament - a majestic diving header from Erik Edman's almost impossibly pinpoint left-wing cross.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Star man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Fiery, outrageously gifted, supremely confident - the 26-year-old Inter Milan striker is considered one of the world's great strikers but needs a big tournament to prove to his many critics that he can produce when it most matters. Once said of Norway's John Carew: "What he can do with a football, I can do with an orange."

Strengths: They have quality in forward positions with Ibrahimovic ably supported by Johan Elmander, the speedy Christian Wilhelmsson and Ljungberg and former Everton midfielder Tobias Linderoth provides a tireless shield for the back four.

Weaknesses: The lack of playing time of Manchester City goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson is a major concern - he is their undisputed number one with over 50 caps at the age of only 26, but played just four times in the Premier League last season.

World ranking: 30th.

Our verdict: Much depends on the maverick genius of Ibrahimovic. If he fires, they could well go as far as the semi-finals, but if he disappears as he did against Liverpool in the Champions League, they could be on an early flight back home.

see also
Pick your Sweden XI
23 May 08 |  Sweden
Country profile: Sweden
04 Dec 07 |  Country profiles

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