by Ellie Ramsauer (4/7/22)
Above: After finishing third and second in their last two major tournaments, Sweden are going all out to win the Euros. Photo via: Chester Standard.
They are one of the strongest teams in the world. Peter Gerhardsson’s side has some outstanding defenders, superb creative attackers, and at least two goalkeepers in their squad that just about every other nation would love to have. Semi-finalists in the World Cup and beaten finalists in the Olympics in their last two major tournaments – Sweden are arguably well set to take a step up and win.
Goalkeepers: Hedvig Lindahl (Atlético Madrid), Jennifer Falk (BK Häcken), Zećira Mušović (Chelsea)
Defenders: Jonna Andersson (Hammarby), Nathalie Björn (Everton), Hanna Glas (Bayern Munich), Amanda Ilestedt (Paris St-Germain), Emma Kullberg (Brighton and Hove Albion), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Amanda Nilden (Juventus), Linda Sembrant (Juventus)
Midfielders: Caroline Seger (Rosengård), Elin Rubensson (BK Häcken), Filippa Angeldahl (Manchester City), Hanna Bennison (Everton), Kosovare Asllani (Unattached)
Forwards: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (BK Häcken), Olivia Schough (Rosengård), Lina Hurtig (Juventus), Sofia Jakobsson (San Diego Wave), Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal), Fridolina Rolfö (Barcelona), Rebecka Blomqvist (Wolfsburg).
The Head Coach:
Gerhardsson took over as Sweden Women’s manager in 2017 following the European Championships of that year. He already has experience with the Swedish national team in a major tournament as he led the squad to third place in 2019’s Women’s World Cup and the silver medal at the Olympic Games last summer. He brings the Swedish team a wealth of experience in football and coaching, having previously coached a number of Swedish teams in the first tier of the Men’s Swedish league, including taking BK Häcken to Swedish Cup success in 2016 as well as the Sweden U17 Men’s team.
The Swedes have only won the competition once before, in 1984, the first-ever Women’s European Championships when they defeated England over two legs. However, they do have a record to be proud of in this competition as they have previously finished runners-up an additional three times (1987, 1995, and 2001), as well as a number of other semi-final appearances (1989, 1997, 2005, 2013). Their last Euro appearance was not as successful as previous displays, having exited the competition in the Quarter-Finals.
The Swedish team topped Group F in qualifying for the tournament. Out of the eight games they played in qualifying, they won seven and drew one. The only team they dropped points against was Iceland who finished runners-up in the group. Sweden scored an impressive 40 goals in their qualifying campaign, while only conceding two. This record proves that they are a force to be reckoned with this summer.
This Sweden side has a number of top players, playing at the highest level in a number of European leagues. They also come off the back of a very successful Olympic Games campaign where they won silver after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Canada in the Final. Considering the fact this is an extremely similar squad, the players will be filled with confidence as they look to avenge that defeat last year.
There will be significant pressure on this side due to the expectations and reputation of the squad. They will also be ones to watch and opponents will set themselves up so they will be hard to break down. We will learn a lot from their fiendishly tough opening match against the Netherlands at Bramall Lane.
Magdelena Eriksson: Currently regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe, Eriksson will be a vital asset to this Swedish side and their quest for a European trophy. Coming off the back of an extremely successful season with Chelsea, in which they were crowned champions of the highly-competitive FAWSL, Eriksson will be filled with confidence and ready to go for the Swedes. Her club boss Emma Hayes, who has heaped continuous praise on the 28-year-old throughout her time at Chelsea, highlighting her character and footballing intelligence.
Caroline Seger: A legend of Swedish football. Captaining them again is the highly experienced Caroline Seger. Having made her debut for Sweden in 2005 in the Algarve Cup, just before her 20th birthday, she has gone on to earn 299 caps for the national women’s side, making her the most-capped European international of all time. Having previously shared the captaincy with Lotta Schelin, she is now the sole captain, following Schelin’s retirement from international football. Seger will be keen to better Sweden’s results at their last two major trophies and be the player lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament.
Fridolina Rolfö: Injuries have plagued Rolfö throughout her career, perhaps inhibiting her early career progression and recognition. However, last year she shone at the Olympics and proved to everyone why she had earned such a prestigious move to Barcelona for the 2021/22 season. After playing consistently this season in the Primera Division, Rolfö will certainly be one to watch at this tournament as she hopes to help the Swedes lift the coveted European trophy for only the second time ever.
One To Watch:
Hanna Bennison is the youngest player in the Swedish squad heading to England. The young international from the small town of Lomma, Sweden, made her debut against the USA at the age of just 17. There has been significant hype around the teenage star, and the attention, and praise, earned her a big-money move to Everton last year. Bennison was a regular starter in the Everton team, making 22 appearances and earning young player of the season.
9th July: Netherlands, 8pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
13th July: Switzerland, 5pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
17th July: Portugal, 5pm, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh.
Impetus is previewing a different nation every day between now and the start of the European Championships. Click below to read the previously published articles:
FRANCE – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/25/euros-preview-france/
AUSTRIA – by Jorge Ceron: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/26/euros-preview-austria/
GERMANY – by Johnathan Stack: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/27/euros-preview-germany/
ICELAND – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/28/euros-preview-iceland/
SPAIN – by Nathan Edwards: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/29/euros-preview-spain/
FINLAND – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/30/euros-preview-finland/
NETHERLANDS – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/01/euros-preview-netherlands/
SWITZERLAND – by Ellie Ramsauer: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/02/euros-preview-switzerland/
BELGIUM – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/03/euros-preview-belgium/