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Larsson bids emotional farewell

Henrik Larsson
Larsson found it hard to keep his emotions in check

Striker Henrik Larsson fought back the tears as he said farewell to football and admitted his decision to retire had left an "emptiness".

The Swede took to the pitch for the last time in Helsingborg's 2-0 Swedish League loss to Djurgarden on Wednesday.

He was given a standing ovation from the crowd.

The 38-year-old scored over 300 goals during spells with Helsingborg, Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United.

Tributes from the likes of Sweden coach Lars Lagerback, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and international team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic were played at the ground.

"It really hits you when meet all this love," said Larsson, who will not play in Helsingborg's final match of the domestic season at Elfsborg on Sunday.

"I'm normally quite a cool character but right now I feel like I could cry.

"It's huge to be able to end it on our home ground and it has to end some time. It's rubbish to end things this way (with a defeat) but you can't have everything in life."

Larsson, who won 106 caps for Sweden, was also moved by Helsingborg's decision to retire the number 17 shirt in his honour.

606: DEBATE

"It's a fantastic gesture by the club, to retire it for ever. I'm very moved," he said.

Larsson will now take time out to think over how best to fill the void left by his retirement, although he has already been linked with several coaching jobs, including at Celtic.

"I don't know if I have to go down to the employment agency and do certain things, but I have the luck and luxury to be able to say no to jobs which are offered to me," he added.

"But obviously there is an emptiness at present, and I need to fill that emptiness with something.

"I'm fortunate enough to have earned enough money to be able to sit back and not panic, but I have to do something. I can't just glide through the rest of life."



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see also
Larsson keen on Celtic coach role
14 Oct 09 |  Celtic
Larsson planned Celtic swansong
19 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Larsson signs deal at Helsingborg
16 Feb 06 |  Europe
Man Utd capture Larsson on loan
01 Dec 06 |  Man Utd
Larsson joins Barcelona
30 Jun 04 |  Europe
Larsson's final bow
25 May 04 |  Celtic
Larsson's parting gift
22 May 04 |  Scottish League
Tears end Larsson reign
16 May 04 |  Celtic


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
World Soccer Spaniards dominate FIFA World Player shortlist - 2 hrs ago
STV.tv Henrik Larsson bids farewell to football - 5 hrs ago
ESPN Star Larsson says tearful goodbye - 21 hrs ago
Morning Star Online Tearful Larsson hangs up his boots - 22 hrs ago
The Scotsman Henrik Larsson left feeling 'empty' after emotional swansong - 39 hrs ago


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