|Full name||Henrik Edward Larsson|
|Date of birth||20 September 1971|
|Place of birth||Helsingborg, Sweden|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Striker (retired)|
|Current club||Landskrona BoIS (manager)|
|2007||→ Manchester United (loan)||7||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Henrik Edward "Henke" Larsson MBE (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈhɛnrɪk ˈlɑːʂɔn]; born 20 September 1971) is a Swedish football manager, and former footballer from Helsingborg. He is currently managing Landskrona BoIS.. Larsson began his career with Högaborgs BK as a youth-player. As a senior he moved to Helsingborgs IF ,where he was one of the key-players when they qualified to Allsvenskan 1993. He then moved to Feyenoord whom he left for Celtic 1997.Larsson won four league titles in seven years with Celtic before moving to Barcelona, where he won two league titles and the Champions League. After his contract had expired at Barcelona, Larsson returned to his home town club of Helsingborg, and joined Manchester United on a brief loan spell between January and March 2007. He has announced his retirement from domestic football on 20 October 2009.
Prior to his retirement from international football in 2006, Larsson had won 93 caps for Sweden, scoring 36 goals. On 13 May 2008, it was announced that Larsson would once again play for Sweden at the Euro 2008 championships in Austria and Switzerland. He was the captain of the Swedish national team.
With his retirement imminent, Larsson has hinted he will make a move into professional floorball in Sweden, having already turned out for Helsingborg in the Swedish floorball league, this is however unlikely since his recent appointment as Landskrona manager.
Born in Helsingborg, Scania, Larsson started his professional career playing for Högaborg at the age of 17. He subsequently moved to Helsingborg, where he scored 50 goals in 56 appearances. It was this sensational form that sparked the interest of Dutch club Feyenoord, who signed him for £295,000 in 1993. This was despite the fact he was negotiating a contract with Grasshopper Zürich of Switzerland at the time.
Following a contract dispute with Feyenoord, he was signed by Celtic manager Wim Jansen in July 1997 for a fee of £650,000. He won 4 SPL Titles, 2 Scottish League Cup and 3 Scottish Cups during his tenure. He was the top goalscorer in the Scottish Premier League for five of the six seasons that he competed in, the only exception being the 1999–00 season, most of which Larsson missed due to the injury suffered in Lyon. Larsson was also a consistent goalscorer in international competition. He scored two goals in the 2003 UEFA Cup Final, although Portuguese opponents Porto went on to win 3–2. Celtic fans selected Larsson (the only player from outside Scotland) in the greatest ever Celtic team, when a vote was held in 2002.
His debut against Hibernian at Easter Road was inauspicious. Larsson, only just on as a late substitute, inadvertently passed the ball to Hibernian player Chic Charnley who then went on to score, resulting in a 2–1 defeat for Celtic. He did not fare much better in his first European game, scoring an own-goal, although Celtic did go on to win 6–3 against Tirol Innsbruck. After his poor start to the season Larsson quickly endeared himself to the Celtic support. Initially Larsson played the role of support striker alongside Darren Jackson, Simon Donnelly and later Harald Brattbakk. His work rate and unselfish play led to many assists for his team mates. In November 1997 Larsson won his first medal for the club with a 3-0 win over Dundee United at Ibrox Stadium giving Celtic the Scottish League Cup. He scored the opener in the final day of the league season against St. Johnstone to clinch the championship for Celtic. It was the club's first league championship win since the double winning season 1987-88 and stopped Old Firm rivals Rangers from breaking Celtic's record of nine titles in a row. Larsson finished the season as the clubs top goal scorer with 16 league goals and 18 goals in all competitions.
Larsson's second season with the club saw a change in management with Dr. Jozef Venglos taking the Parkhead hotseat following Wim Jansen's resignation. The 1998-99 season was to prove ultimately disappointing as Celtic finished runners up to rivals Rangers in both the newly established SPL and in the Scottish Cup. During this season Larsson also made the scoresheet for the first time in an Old Firm match chalking up a brace in a 5-1 victory in November and scoring the equaliser in the 2-2 Ne'erday match at Ibrox Stadium. Throughout the season Larsson forged a mutually prolific partnership with diminutive Slovak playmaker Lubo Moravcik. The season however did mark the player's coming of age as a goal scorer. Playing in a more advanced striker's role Larsson notched up 38 goals ending the season as both Celtic and Scotland's top goal scorer. He was also awarded the honours of SPFA Players' Player of the Year, SFWA Footballer of the Year and Swedish Footballer of the Year.
The 1999-2000 season saw yet another change in management for Celtic. Former Liverpool and England winger, John Barnes replaced the outgoing Venglos to become player-manager at the club. The season started very brightly for Larsson as he notched up 8 league goals in only 9 games for the club. During Celtic's 1–0 defeat in a UEFA Cup tie against Lyon, Larsson suffered a career-threatening injury, breaking his leg in two places. This resulted in him spending eight months on the sidelines, only returning on the last day of the 1999–2000 season. John Barnes cited Larsson's injury as being a "big factor" in why he was sacked by Celtic after only months in the position. By the time Larsson had completed his rehabilitation John Barnes had been sacked and replaced by Director of Football and Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish as interim manager. Larsson made his comeback with a substitute appearance against Dundee United at Celtic Park on the final day of the SPL season.
Following the arrival Martin O'Neill in the summer of 2000, Larsson went on to have what would become his most successful season for Celtic. As Larsson forged a prolific partnership with new arrival Chris Sutton he scored an extraordinary total of 35 league goals in 38 league games to become SPL Top Goalscorer and to win the European Golden Boot. The season saw Celtic lift the domestic treble of the Scottish League Cup, Scottish Cup and the Scottish Premier League. Larsson scored an impressive hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock at Hampden Park to win the Scottish League Cup as well as a brace in the Scottish Cup in a 3-0 win over Hibernian. Other personal highlights for Larsson included scoring his 50th goal of the season against Rangers at Ibrox in a 3-0 victory and finishing the season with a total of 53 goals in all competitions. He was again voted SPFA Players' Player of the Year as well as SFWA Footballer of the Year. Larsson's form over the season was such that experienced opposition coach Dick Advocaat was moved to observe, "Larsson is one of the best strikers in Europe, maybe the world. If you watch Batistuta, he is sometimes not seen for 90 minutes but he scores two goals. Larsson has even more, because, besides being a good player and goalscorer, he has a tremendous workrate."
Larsson's fifth season at the club yielded a second consecutive SPL title for the club. It also marked the club's first foray into the UEFA Champions League group stage. Larsson scored his first Champions League goal with a penalty in Celtic's opening fixture in a controversial 3-2 defeat to Juventus in Turin. He scored again for Celtic in the Champions league campaign with the solitary goal in a 1-0 victory over Porto and again from the penalty spot against Juventus in a thrilling 4-3 victory at Celtic Park. Despite achieving a Scottish record of 9 points in the group stage Celtic failed to qualify for the latter stages and parachuted into the UEFA Cup. The club were drawn against Valencia with Larsson scoring the 2nd leg goal to take the tie into penalties which Celtic eventually lost. Larsson once again ended the season as SPL Top Goalscorer with 29 goals from 33 league appearances.
The 2002-03 season proved to be one of the most memorable in Celtic's history as the club reached the UEFA Cup Final. After losing out on a place in the UEFA Champions League following a shock away goals defeat to Basel Celtic parachuted into the UEFA Cup. The first round saw the paired with Lithuanian side Suduva with Larsson scoring a hat-trick in the 8-1 1st leg victory as they progressed 10-1 on aggregate after adding a 2-0 away win. The 2nd round saw former Ranger's player-manager Graeme Souness' Blackburn Rovers side visit Celtic Park in a matched dubbed The Battle of Britain. After a tough fought game Celtic came went into the 2nd leg at Ewood Park 1-0 courtesy of a late Larsson goal. After comments from the Blackburn players in the media who felt their team deserved the win claiming that the tie was "like men against boys", Larsson answered the critics with the opening strike in a 2-0 away win. The following rounds saw Celtic see off Celta Vigo 2-2 on away goals and VfB Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate. Larsson was to miss both ties with VfB Stuttgart following a broken jaw in an SPL match against Livingston. Larsson returned from injury in time for Celtic's Battle of Britain II Quarter Final clash with 2001 winners Liverpool. Despite Celtic's chances of progression being written off by press on both sides of the Anglo-Scottish Border Celtic defeated Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate with Larsson scoring the opener in a 1-1 1st leg draw followed by a 2-0 Celtic victory at Anfield Stadium. Celtic met unfashionable Portuguese side Boavista in the semi-final. After a cautious game at Celtic Park, Boavista took the advantage on away goals into the 2nd leg after a 1-1 draw in which Larsson scored the equaliser after missing a penalty. The 2nd leg saw Boavista attempt to play out their advantage but Larsson struck for Celtic after a one-two with John Hartson with only ten minute remaining. The goal sent Celtic through to their first European Final since 1970. The final in Seville against José Mourinho's Porto saw Celtic finish as credible runners-up after a hard fought 3-2 defeat after extra time. The match saw Larsson pick up the man of the match award after equalising twice for Celtic with two sublime headers. Larsson also finished runner-up to FC Porto's Derlei in the competition's Top Scorer Charts. Larsson described the pain of the defeat as being the worst moment of his career, including his leg break. More disappointment was to follow as Celtic finished up runners up to Rangers on the last day of the SPL season. 2003 also saw Larsson voted as the Greatest Swedish Footballer of the Last 50 Years as part of the UEFA Jubilee Awards. He also finished the season yet again the Top SPL Goalscorer with 28 goals from 35 games.
Larsson's seventh and final season for Celtic saw the club lift the SPL Title and the Scottish Cup. After parachuting from the UEFA Champions League, Celtic also managed to reach the UEFA Cup Quarter Finals eliminating Barcelona on the way before crashing out 3-1 on aggregate to Villarreal. Larsson scored his only UEFA Champions League goal of the season against Anderlecht in a 3-1 win at Celtic Park. He added to his European goal tally with the equaliser in a 1st Leg Quarter Final tie at Celtic Park versus Villarreal. After previously having a credible goal chalked off for handball the match ended 1-1. This was to prove Larsson's final European goal for Celtic. Celtic executed their revenge for the previous season's heartache on rivals Rangers by defeating the club in all five Old Firm fixtures that season. Larsson's final Old Firm goal came in a 2-1 SPL win at Ibrox, an opening goal which was a header from a cross. Larsson's final competitive game at home for Celtic came in a league match against Dundee United. In an emotional match, Larsson scored two goals as Celtic went on to win 3-1. In his last competitive appearance for Celtic, he scored two goals (with either foot) to defeat Dunfermline Athletic and win the 2004 Scottish Cup Final. He gave a teary goodbye at his testimonial match against Sevilla in front of a capacity crowd at Celtic Park, Glasgow. In all, Larsson scored 242 goals for Celtic in 315 matches and left the club as the SPL's All-Time Leading Goalscorer with 158 goals, a record that stood until 30 December 2009 when Rangers' Kris Boyd surpassed it . He was also voted Swedish Footballer of the Year for the second time for the 2003-04 season.
Since leaving Celtic Park in June 2003, Larsson has returned to play for Celtic in testimonial matches twice. First in May 2005, for Jackie McNamara's testimonial against Ireland, which was also incidentally Martin O'Neill's final match in charge. His second guest appearance was in May 2008 for the Phil O'Donnell Memorial Match. Larsson played as part of the Celtic 1998 championship-winning side against the Motherwell 1991 Scottish Cup winning side. The match was played in memory of Larsson's former team mate Phil O'Donnell, who died earlier in the season in a match for Motherwell against Dundee United. Larsson, who scored in the 5-1 victory for Celtic, left Sweden's national training camp early to take part in the game.
At the end of the 2003–04 season Larsson left Celtic on a free transfer and signed a one year contract with Barcelona with an option for a second year.
Larsson's played only a nominal part in Barça's La Liga win in his first season at Barcelona. He scored three goals in 12 Liga games and one goal (against his former club Celtic) in four UEFA Champions League matches. After the game he said "It was very difficult for me to celebrate my goal because I had so many great times here."
On 20 November 2004, during the 3–0 victory in the derby versus Real Madrid, Larsson tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee. Despite having missed most of the 2004–05 season, Barcelona took the option to extend his contract. In 2005–06 Larsson scored 10 goals as Barcelona won La Liga for a second consecutive year.
In January 2006, Larsson announced that at the end of his contract, which ended in July, he would leave Barcelona and return to Sweden to end his career. He revealed that he had politely refused a verbal promise by club president Joan Laporta to extend his contract to the end of the next season. News of his departure provoked praise from his teammates, including Ronaldinho, who said, "With Henrik leaving us at the end of the season this club is losing a great scorer, no question. But I am also losing a great friend. Henrik was my idol and now that I am playing next to him it is fantastic."
In his final game for Barcelona, he won his first UEFA Champions League medal. Larsson came on as a substitute and assisted both of Barcelona's goals in a 2–1 win over Arsenal. Thierry Henry paid tribute to Larsson's contribution to Barcelona's win after the game, saying, "People always talk about Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Giuly and everything, but I didn't see them today, I saw Henrik Larsson. He came on, he changed the game, that is what killed the game. Sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto'o and people like that; you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference, and that was Henrik Larsson tonight." Indeed his ability to give Barcelona the cutting edge required to overcome Arsenal was noted by the international press.
After Sweden's elimination from the 2006 World Cup on 24 June 2006, Larsson joined up with his former club, Helsingborg. He made his second debut for his home town club against Hammarby in the Swedish Cup on 6 July 2006. Helsingborg went on to win the competition earning Larsson another medal, and he helped his team to a fourth place finish in the Swedish League. This successful season earnt Helsingborg a slot in the following season's UEFA Cup.
Shortly after rejoining Helsingborg, Larsson was signed on loan by Manchester United. United announced that Larsson would be on loan from 1 January until 12 March 2007, coinciding with the Swedish league's off season. He scored on his debut against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Third Round on 7 January 2007 at Old Trafford. Larsson scored his first ever Premier League goal on 31 January in a 4–0 win over Watford. Larsson then scored on his last appearance at Old Trafford in a Manchester United shirt in a 1–0 UEFA Champions League win over Lille on 7 March 2007 to give United a 2-0 win on aggregate.
Whilst United were eager to extend the loan deal, Larsson stated that he had made a promise to his family and his club to return on 12 March. This was confirmed on 20 February, when Larsson announced that he would not be extending his loan period. Despite this, Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for the striker, who scored three goals in 13 matches in all competitions during his three-month stay, saying, "He's been fantastic for us, we tried everything we could to get him to stay longer, but he made a promise and you have to respect that." Larsson made his final appearance for United on 10 March in a sixth round FA Cup tie away to Middlesbrough, ending in a 2–2 draw.
Manchester United won the Premier League two months after Larsson had left the club, and although he had not played the required quota of 10 league games to qualify for a Premier League winners medal, he, alongside Alan Smith, was granted special dispensation by the Premier League after the club requested extra medals for the two.
His last appearance at Old Trafford in fact came against United, a few days after his loan with the club expired, as captain for a Europe XI team in a UEFA Celebration Match. He received a warm ovation from the fans upon being substituted for Robbie Fowler.
After leaving Manchester United, Larsson resumed his career with Helsingborg. Larsson helped the club through the group stages of the UEFA Cup and they qualified for the Round of 32 losing to PSV Eindhoven.
Some reports at the time suggested that this in fact was the end of his playing career. With this injury coming on top of the recent and untimely passing of his younger brother, Robert, it may have appeared to some that Henrik's resilience had finally run-out. However, as a mark of the man and his true grit, he fought back from injury and heartache. Upon his return to the first team on 24 September 2009, Larsson scored two goals, including the winner against league rivals AIK. The game finished up 3-2 to Helsingborg, and Henrik's unbroken spirit lives on.
On 20 October 2009, Larsson announced his retirement from playing at the end of the Swedish domestic season. The announcement followed a previous statement from the player declaring his intention to retire from international duty. Larsson had also stated his desire to move into coaching and expressed his intent to study for coaching badges in Scotland under the SFA system. The announcement quickly sparked rumours of a return to Celtic as manager, even going so far as to suggest a link up with former Celtic team mate Lubomir Moravcik as his assistant.
Further speculation began on 21 October 2009 as Larsson discussed the possibility of taking up floorball on a full-time basis, as he had previously played floorball with FC (Floorball Club) Helsingborg during the football close season.
Larsson's international record is impressive with 37 goals in 104 games, many of which he played in midfield or as a winger. He scored his first international goal in his debut, during the World Cup Qualifications stage against Finland. His first World Cup goal came at the USA 1994 against Bulgaria in the third place match to help Sweden win the bronze.
Sweden did not qualify to the 1998 World Cup, but reappeared on the global stage four years later at the 2002 World Cup. Larsson helped guide Sweden out of the group of death and into the knockout round with a 2-1 win over Nigeria in which he scored both goals. He then scored in the round of sixteen match against Senegal, though Sweden ended up losing 1-2 in extra time to a golden goal and were eliminated.
Larsson originally chose to retire from International football after that World Cup. His decision was met with much dismay in his homeland and there was much clamoring for him to return to the team for their campaign at Euro 2004 in Portugal). Despite initially maintaining his decision to retire, he eventually returned to the national side at the behest of his son, and to great effect, scoring three goals in four matches and leading Sweden to the quarter-finals, where they were defeated in a penalty shootout by the Dutch. Larsson's tremendous diving header against Bulgaria was voted Best Goal of the 2004 European Championships.
Larsson also featured at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He scored in the final minute of the match against England for Sweden to draw the match 2–2 in their final game in the group stages, thus becoming only the sixth player to score in three World Cup finals. The goal also sealed Sweden's qualification for the second round of the tournament. However in Sweden's Round of 16 game against host Germany, he blasted a penalty over the bar and Sweden went out with the score at 2-0 to Germany.
He retired from international football for the second time on 17 July 2006. "It is time to quit now. It feels right. I'm done with the national team," the 34-year-old Larsson told TV station Canal Plus. However Sweden boss Lars Lagerbäck managed to lure Larsson out of international retirement once more and on 13 May 2008, the Swedish FA officially declared that Larsson had agreed to make a comeback and play for Sweden once again in Euro 2008.
On 11 October 2009, Larsson once again decided to retire from the national team.
|1.||13 October 1993||Råsunda, Stockholm||Finland||2–1||3–2||1994 World Cup qualification|
|2.||20 February 1994||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami||United States||1–1||3–1||Joe Robbie Cup|
|3.||20 April 1994||Racecourse Ground, Wrexham||Wales||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|4.||5 May 1994||Råsunda, Stockholm||Nigeria||2–0||3–1||Friendly|
|5.||16 July 1994||Rose Bowl, Pasadena||Bulgaria||3–0||4–0||1994 World Cup 3rd place|
|6.||17 August 1994||Råsunda, Stockholm||Lithuania||4–2||4–2||Friendly|
|7.||1 June 1996||Råsunda, Stockholm||Belarus||5–1||5–1||1998 World Cup qualification|
|8.||1 June 1998||Neftochimik Stadium, Burgas||Bulgaria||1–0||1–0||Euro 2000 qualification|
|9.||27 March 1999||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Luxembourg||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying|
|10.||9 October 1999||Råsunda, Stockholm||Poland||2–0||2–0||Euro 2000 qualification|
|11.||19 June 2000||Philips Stadion, Eindhoven||Italy||1–1||1–2||Euro 2000|
|12.||7 October 2000||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Turkey||1–0||1–1||2002 World Cup qualification|
|13.||28 February 2001||Ta'Qali Stadium, Ta'Qali||Malta||2–0||3–0||Friendly|
|14.||6 June 2001||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Moldova||1–0||6–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|15.||6 June 2001||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Moldova||2–0||6–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|16.||6 June 2001||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Moldova||3–0||6–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|17.||6 June 2001||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Moldova||6–0||6–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|18.||15 August 2001||Råsunda, Stockholm||South Africa||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|19.||1 September 2001||City Stadium, Skopje||Macedonia||1–0||2–1||2002 World Cup qualification|
|20.||5 September 2001||Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Istanbul||Turkey||1–1||2–1||2002 World Cup qualification|
|21.||7 October 2001||Råsunda, Stockholm||Azerbaijan||2–0||3–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|22.||7 June 2002||Kobe Wing Stadium, Kobe||Nigeria||1–1||2–1||2002 World Cup|
|23.||7 June 2002||Kobe Wing Stadium, Kobe||Nigeria||2–1||2–1||2002 World Cup|
|24.||16 June 2002||Ōita Stadium, Ōita||Senegal||1–1||1–2||2002 World Cup Round of 16|
|25.||5 June 2004||Råsunda, Stockholm||Poland||1–0||3–1||Friendly|
|26.||14 June 2004||Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon||Bulgaria||2–0||5–0||Euro 2004|
|27.||14 June 2004||Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon||Bulgaria||3–0||5–0||Euro 2004|
|28.||22 June 2004||Estádio do Bessa Século XXI, Porto||Denmark||1–1||2–2||Euro 2004|
|29.||4 September 2004||National Stadium, Ta'Qali||Malta||7–0||7–0||2006 World Cup qualification|
|30.||9 October 2004||Råsunda, Stockholm||Hungary||2–0||3–0||2006 World Cup qualification|
|31.||13 October 2004||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík||Iceland||1–0||4–1||2006 World Cup qualification|
|32.||13 October 2004||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík||Iceland||3–0||4–1||2006 World Cup qualification|
|33.||17 August 2005||Ullevi, Gothenburg||Czech Republic||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|34.||12 September 2005||Råsunda, Stockholm||Iceland||2–1||3–1||2006 World Cup qualification|
|35.||2 June 2006||Råsunda, Stockholm||Chile||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|36.||20 June 2006||RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne||England||2–2||2–2||2006 World Cup|
|37.||20 August 2008||Ullevi, Gothenburg||France||1–0||2–3||Friendly|
On 6 June 2009, before Sweden's 1-0 loss against Denmark, Larsson's brother Robert Larsson was found dead in his flat in Helsingborg, in south-west Sweden. Henrik was not told until after the match had concluded.
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2006–07||Manchester United||Premier League||7||1||4||1||2||1||13||3|
*Include's appearances and goals in the Scottish League Cup.
Orders and special awards
Larsson also played floorball at a competitive level in 1989. On 23 November 2008, he resumed his floorball career when he played his first Swedish Super League game, for Helsingborg. In his second game for the club, he made two assists, and was voted man of the match.
|Sweden national football team Captain
|File:Henrik larsson snorsjoabalen 2007|
|Full name||Edward Henrik Larsson|
|Date of birth||20 September 1971|
|Place of birth||Helsingborg, Sweden|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Striker (retired)|
→Manchester United (loan)
|1992||Helsingborgs IF||Division 1||31||34||-||-||31||34|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2006/07||Manchester United||Premier League||7||1||4||1||2||1||13||3|
|Sweden national team|