The latest things going on in football tagged with `Sweden`
So do me under the Trade Descriptions Act. See if I care.
The teams in Group G haven’t played a competitive game yet, but a small snag like that isn’t going to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic off the front pages.
He scored twice in Sweden’s friendly vs. Estonia, the second a typically audacious back heel that not only broke Sven Rydell’s record of 49 international goals, but completed Zlatan’s record of scoring in every sixty second period of 90 minutes.
You will remember Cristiano Ronaldo achieved this feat in February, but even the shiny Portuguese would have to admit, how Zlatan got there was infinitely more inspiring than most.
Even we English have managed to come to terms with that, so there’s still hope.
In actual, meaningful, results-based football, Scotland came within a whisker of a fabulous draw against the world champions - Thomas Muller ruining the party with a 70th minute winner after Ikechi Anya’s equaliser.
Charlie Mulgrew was sent off in the final few minutes after receiving a second yellow card. I didn’t watch the game but am reliably informed neither was shown because he was waving Little Charlie about, or even pretending to. Which must be a relief to everyone.
The Polish national team proved they have no respect for essential services after trouncing a largely part-time Gibraltar side 7-0.
The Gibraltar line-up featured two police officers (not quite a Police Machine - just a wheel, or perhaps even a designer mudflap), a fireman, an electrician, a couple of clerks and a Customs dude alongside two professionals.
Robert Lewandowski scored four and wants to hope his iPad doesn’t short circuit and catch fire while he’s entering Gibraltar carrying more than a litre of ’Alcoholic Beverage, Spirits, liqueurs or cordials’ because no one’s going to rush and help him.
Bet he didn’t think of that while he was dancing through the Gibraltan defence, did he?
After the first round of fixtures, Portugal are the team most likely to be found driving to the Iberian equivalent of Dundee in their bare feet.
The Guardian described the Ronaldo-less side “slumping” to a 1-0 defeat against Albania, which shattered their “hopes of bouncing back from a miserable World Cup”.
Keep an eye on their shirt sponsors. If it changes to Toblerone for the next competitive fixture, we’re on.
Oh, and England’s goalkeeper has ‘gone nuts’. And by ‘gone nuts’ we mean, someone at the Daily Mail presumably spotted a couple of agency photos of Joe Hart eating and flicking nuts off a balcony in Basle, went to their editor with the ‘gone nuts’ headline proposal and was not immediately fired.
Is it vaguely reassuring to learn that England Football is not the only organisation in need of a top down review? No. No it’s not.
By Kelly Welles
France 3-0 Ukraine (agg 3-2)
A shock 3-2 aggregate win over Ukraine was sufficient to propel France through to the finals, and most of the squad through the mixzone brandishing bottles of champagne, but forgive us if we remain sceptical. They might be getting on now, but there’s seven months of bickering, in-fighting, bullying and inexplicable self-destruction to get through before the main event.
We can’t wait.
Sweden 2-3 Portugal (agg 2-4)
The Shoot Out for the Soul of Samba Football ended Cristiano 4-2 Zlatan; a ten-minute period of golazo mayhem in the second half securing Portugal’s place in the tournament. Don’t be too worried about the big man, though. His two strikes put the fear of god into Portugal and their main man’s petulance flared before a delicious pair of slips put him where he needed to be to kill off the tie.
Love him or hate him, Ronaldo doesn’t miss from there. Zlatan will tell you that.
Romania 1-1 Greece (agg 2-4)
The dream is over for Romania, crushed by an irrepressible Greece side with no consideration for the international career prospects of Adrian Mutu. The troubled Romanian striker, currently plying his trade for Ajaccio, has fallen out with coach Victor Piturca and at 34 years old, is unlikely to outlast him to another major tournament.
He’s made his mistakes, for sure, but the enthusiasm with which misfortune dogs that boy never ceases to amaze us.
Croatia 2-0 Iceland (agg 2-0)
We’re gutted for Iceland, but what kind of a World Cup would it be without the chequered beauty of the Croatia first choice kit?
Incisive, insightful reporting, you say? We’ve got it by the bucket load.
By Kelly Welles
Images: 101greatgoals, Alex Grimm/Getty Images Europe, Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe.
What could be better than watching those Zlatan goals again? Probably watching them again with an American commentator that REFERS TO HIM AS ‘ZOLTAN’.
Enjoy you delicious bastards, we will never get bored of this, and we imagine Zlatan would probably quite like being referred to as ‘Zoltan’, anyway.