Football - Euro 2012

Squad profiles: Sweden

We profile the players who will represent Sweden at Euro 2012.

 
Squad profiles: Sweden - Football - Euro 2012Reuters
 

GOALKEEPERS

Andreas Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 3.10.81 Caps: 92. An excellent shot-stopper, gained his first Sweden cap against Switzerland in 2002 while playing for Stockholm club Djurgarden. Had two-year stints at Rennes and Manchester City before joining PSV Eindhoven. Kept goal in Euro 2004 and 2008 tournaments and 2006 World Cup, will be first choice if fit.

Johan Wiland (FC Copenhagen) Born: 24.1.81 Caps: 6. Sweden's goalkeeper of the year in 2008 and 2010 but forced to play back-up to Isaksson. Excelled in FC Copenhagen's most recent Champions League campaign, helping them get to the last 16 in 2010-11 only to lose to Chelsea.

Par Hansson (Helsingborgs IF) Born: 22.6.86 Caps: 2. A Swedish league champion with Helsingborg, made his debut against Botswana during Sweden's annual winter tour in 2011. In May that year was attacked by a fan in the local derby against Malmo, which led to the match being abandoned.

DEFENDERS

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) Born: 13.12.86 Caps: 23 Goals: 1. Was first choice at right-back, playing every minute of Sweden's qualifiers, and scored his first international goal against Moldova. However, a lack of playing time since joining Celtic in January of this year could limit his participation and Andreas Granqvist could be chosen ahead of him. Not blessed with blistering pace but has good passing and crossing, and his ability to play in central defence could help his cause.

Olof Mellberg (Olympiacos) Born: 3.9.77 Caps: 113: Goals 7. The Swedes' most experienced defender, the well-travelled Mellberg is their talisman. Strong and fearless, he made his debut in 2000 against Italy and has been virtually ever present ever since. Has played in Sweden, Spain, England, Italy and Grecee, and this will be his fourth European Championship.

Andreas Granqvist (Genoa) Born: 16.4.85 Caps: 17 Goals: 2. An experienced centre-back, Granqvist has played recent friendlies at right back. A threat from set pieces, scored 21 goals in 96 Dutch league games for Groningen, twice after dribbling from his own half. Had limited playing time with Genoa, partly owing to a back injury.

Martin Olsson (Blackburn Rovers) Born: 17.5.88 Caps: 8 Goals: 4. Following underwhelming performances by Oscar Wendt and Behrang Safari in qualifying, Olsson stepped in and looks to have made left-back berth his own. Equally at home as left winger, he showed his attacking instincts by scoring twice on debut against Bosnia. His twin brother Marcus recently joined him at Blackburn.

Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion) Born: 10.3.83 Caps: 7 Goals: 0. A teak-tough defender not known for his technique, has become a fan favourite since moving to England from Dutch club NEC in 2008. May not have helped his cause with an own goal in a recent friendly against Croatia, but his never-say-die attitude might be just what Sweden need.

Mikael Antonsson (Bologna) Born: 31.5.81 Caps: 5 Goals: 0. Bologna centre-back Antonsson collected 20 Under-21 caps during a seven-year spell at IFK Gothenburg before heading abroad to join Austria Vienna. A short spell at Panathanaikos in Greece followed before he returned to Scandinavia and FC Copenhagen, where he won three league championships and the Danish Super Cup.

Behrang Safari (Anderlecht) Born: 9.2.85 Caps: 24 Goals: 0. Born in Tehran, left-back Safari moved to Sweden as a young child, where he went on to represent Malmo FF before moving to Basel in Switzerland. Substituted by Hamren following a nightmare first half in the 4-1 qualifying defeat away to Netherlands. Can also play on the left wing but unlikely to see much action.

MIDFIELDERS

Rasmus Elm (AZ Alkmaar) Born 17.3.88: Caps: 23 Goals: 1. One of three brothers from a footballing family, Elm is a winger-cum-midfielder for AZ Alkmaar. Helped Kalmar secure a first Swedish title in 2008, before moving to the Netherlands in 2009. A former Under-19 national captain, made his full debut against the United States in January 2009, netting his first international goal against Austria a month later.

Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) Born: 6.6.85 Caps: 40 Goals: 5. Energetic right winger with superb dead-ball delivery, can also slot comfortably into the full-back position. Larsson has spent his career in England with Arsenal, Birmingham and Sunderland. Made Sweden debut against Turkey in February 2008, had not scored till Euro 2012 qualifying when he netted three times.

Anders Svensson (Elfsborg) Born: 17.7.76 Caps: 126 Goals: 18. The evergreen Svensson made his Sweden debut in 1999 and has represented his country at two World Cups and two European Championships. Usually given role in front of the back four with Kallstrom, setting up counter-attacks and keeping the play moving with his passing. His intelligence and economical use of the ball have kept him in Sweden's starting XI.

Kim Kallstrom (Lyon) Born: 24.8.82 Caps: 91 Goals: 16. Lyonmidfielder Kallstrom (pronounced "Shell-strum" in Swedish) first emerged as a 16-year-old with Hacken. Possessing a lethal left foot, he won Sweden's Allsvenskan twice with Djurgarden before moving to Rennes, for the first of nine seasons in France. Made Sweden debut in indoor game against Finland in 2001.

Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow) Born: 25.6.86 Caps: 22 Goals: 2. A classic destroyer in central midfield, Wernbloom is famed for his tough, occasionally late, tackles. Came to prominence with IFK Gothenburg, where he won Swedish league in 2008. Moved to AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, then CSKA Moscow in January 2012. Hit injury-time volleyed equaliser on CSKA debut in a Champions League tie against Real Madrid.

Samuel Holmen (Buyuksehir) Born: 28.6.84 Caps: 25 Goals: 2. Rose to prominence on wing for Brondby in Denmark's Superligaen. Made Sweden debut against Ivory Coast in 2006 and scored first goal in his fifth game, a friendly against Costa Rica. One of several high-profile Swedish players to have chosen Turkey over the Dutch, Belgian and English leagues where they normally play.

Emir Bajrami (Twente) Born: 7.3.88 Caps: 16 Goals: 2. A winger with electric pace and skill, Bajrami was born in Pristina in the former Yugoslavia before moving to Sweden, where he also excelled at bandy, an ice hockey-like sport played on large outdoor rinks. Started with Elfsborg before moving to Twente in 2010. Made Sweden debut against Oman that year and played six Euro 2012 qualifiers, netting in last June's 5-0 rout of Finland.

Christian Wilhelmsson (Al-Hilal) Born: 8.12.79 Caps: 73 Goals: 9. Winger Wilhelmsson could be headed for a fourth major tournament with Sweden. Now based in Saudi Arabia, the 32-year-old has previously played in Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Italy, England and Spain. Together with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mellberg, was sent home from national-team duty for breaking a curfew in September 2006.

FORWARDS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) Born: 3.10.81 Caps: 76 Goals: 30. A centre forward of enormous strength and technical ability, Euro 2012 represents one of the last chances for Ibra to show his talents on the big stage. Dominant in Serie A since his move to Juventus in 2004, Zlatan has won virtually everything there is to win in club football, but so far the Champions League and other major international trophies have eluded him.

Johan Elmander (Galatasaray) Born: 27.5.81 Caps: 63 Goals: 16. By now a well-travelled 30-year-old, Elmander's tremendous physical capacity belies a player of excellent technical ability and football intelligence. Elmander's adaptability has seen him deployed in a wide variety of attacking roles for club and country, from target man to playmaker to right winger. Broke a metatarsal bone in his right foot but expected to play in Sweden's opener against Ukraine.

Ola Toivonen (PSV Eindhoven) Born: 3.7.86 Caps: 23 Goals: 5. When Toivonen side-footed home a rebound from Elmander's 53rd minute shot, he secured Sweden's place at Euro 2012 as the best second-placed team in qualifying. All the better for Toivonen, it came against Netherlands where he plays for his club football for PSV Eindhoven and who had humiliated Sweden earlier in the qualifying phase.

Tobias Hysen (IFK Gothenburg) Born: 9.3.82 Caps: 22 Goals: 7. Now 30, Hysen's chance in international football was in danger of passing him by until he hit a rich vein of goalscoring form in 2011 and 2012. Son of former Liverpool and Fiorentina defender Glenn, he started out at BK Hacken before moving to Djurgarden in the Swedish capital where he won the Allsvenskan in 2005.

Markus Rosenberg (Werder Bremen) Born: 27.09.82 Caps: 31 Goals: 6. Called into the squad in place of John Guidetti, who will miss the tournament due to a virus. The former Ajax and Racing Santander striker suffered a bruised knee against Iceland but should be fully recovered by the time Sweden take on Ukraine.

Squad profiles: Sweden - Football - Euro 2012 

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