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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 18:44 GMT
Sweden great Liedholm dies at 85
Nils Liedholm
Liedholm was both player and coach at Milan
Former Sweden and AC Milan legend Nils Liedholm has died at the age of 85.

Liedholm was a member of the Sweden side that won the 1948 Olympic title and also captained the 1958 World Cup team which lost to Brazil in the final.

The midfielder won four Serie A titles in the 1950s with Milan, before going on to become a successful coach.

"Heaven makes room for Nils Liedholm," said a Milan statement. "Maestro of irony, a true, irreplaceable football champion, a winning, innovative coach."

As a coach Liedholm won the Serie A title with Milan in 1979 and AS Roma in 1983.

He also took Roma to the 1984 European Cup final which they lost to Liverpool on penalties.

His funeral will take place in Cuccaro, the town where he lived, on Thursday.

"With him goes a huge part of Milan's history, but his memory will remain indelible for all Milan fans and football aficionados," added the Milan statement.

Former Sweden coach Tommy Svensson said Liedholm had been a key figure in the country's football development.

"Nils was one of the first players to go to Italy," Svensson told BBC Sport. "That was important for Swedish football and was a key reason why the team did so well at the 1958 World Cup.

"He never managed the Swedish national team because our association thought it was impossible to persuade him to leave Italy, where he was so settled."


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