Tomas Brolin: Wikis


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Tomas "lillgrisen" Brolin
Personal information
Full name Per Tomas Brolin
Date of birth 29 November 1969 (1969-11-29) (age 40)
Place of birth    Hudiksvall, Sweden
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker, Attacking Midfielder
Youth career
1976–1983 Näsvikens IK
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Näsvikens IK
GIF Sundsvall
IFK Norrköping
A.C. Parma
Leeds United
FC Zürich (loan)
A.C. Parma (loan)
Crystal Palace
Hudiksvalls A.B.K.
036 0(10)
055 0(13)[1]
009 00(7)
133 0(20)
020 00(4)[2]
003 00(0)
011 00(0)
013 00(0)[3]
001 00(0)
280 0(54)   
National team2
1990–1995 Sweden 047 0(26)[4][5]

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 7 May 2007.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 7 May 2007.
* Appearances (Goals)

Per Tomas Brolin (born 29 November 1969 in Hudiksvall) is a Swedish former professional football player who had a successful period with A.C. Parma during the early nineties winning the 1992 Coppa Italia, the 1993 Cup Winners' Cup, the 1993 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 UEFA Cup.[6]

Brolin also played for the Swedish national team, finishing third in the 1994 World Cup and was also a beaten semi finalist at the 1992 European championship as well as having competed in the 1990 World Cup.

Although a class act in his youth [7], in 2007 he was voted in at Number 2 in The Times poll of the "50 Worst footballers (to grace the Premier League)."[8]


Club career

Näsvikens IK/GIF Sundsvall

Brolin's first professional match was for Näsvikens IK in 1984 at the age of 14 against Kilafors, and he went onto make 36 appearances for the fourth division club. GIF Sundsvall, spotted Brolin and offered him a contract in which he could continue his education while developing his career. In 1986 Brolin enrolled at Fotbollsgymnasiet, the football academy in Sundsvall. He was subsequently signed by GIF Sundsvall, making his first team debut in 1987 against IF Elfsborg.

After two seasons at Sundsvall Brolin moved to IFK Norrkoping.

AC Parma

Brolin was signed by the Italian club, AC Parma, in 1990 just after Parma had been promoted to Serie A. He quickly formed an effective partnership at Parma with another player, Alessandro Melli, who, like Brolin was only 20 years old. Melli who wore the No.7 jersey was a box player, quick, nimble, good in the air, and lethal from six yards. Meanwhile, Brolin who wore No.11 was a midfielder. The partnership delivered 20 goals; 13 from Melli and 7 from Brolin. Parma finished in joint fifth place in their first season in Serie A. It was the first time that the team qualified for the Europe in their history.

In 1991-92 season, Brolin played in all 34 Serie A matches, scoring 4 goals. Parma finished in 6th place and it was the club’s run in the Coppa Italia.[9] Brolin scored two goals in the Coppa Italia which resulted in a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina, and the other in the 1-0 victory over Sampdoria in the semi-final. Parma beat Juventus 2-1 on aggregate to lift their first trophy in the club’s history.

In the 1992-93 season with Parma in the European Cup Winners' Cup, the club splashed out on two foreign imports Colombian Faustino Asprilla and Argentine Sergio Berti. The addition of Asprilla and Berti meant the positions of Parma's three other non-Italian players Taffarel, Grün and Brolin were not guaranteed as the club could only field three stranieri in a match. Before Asprilla's arrival, Brolin had been playing up-front with fellow forward Alessandro Melli. However, Parma's coach benched Brolin in favour of Asprilla for most of the season. When Asprilla played, Brolin's No.11 was handed to Asprilla with Brolin playing either in the No.8 or 9 jersey. Brolin did help the club lift the European Cup Winners'Cup by defeating Belgian club Royal Antwerp 3-1 in the final at Wembley.

The following season, the club signed duo Gianfranco Zola and Massimo Crippa for a total of £9m from cash strapped Napoli that put Brolin's place in the team even more in the balance. Coach Scala, having seen the benefit of playing Brolin in midfield during the previous season, decided to play Brolin in a deeper position than his first three seasons at the club. He was handed Melli's No.7 jersey and played in a three man midfield with Gabriele Pin on the right, Crippa on the left, and Asprilla and Zola leading the attack. When the team was a goal down or in need of extra fire power up-front, striker Melli came on as a substitute in place of Pin and Zola dropped into midfield, a tactic that was deployed by the coach during the 1993/94 season.

The club reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup having beaten Ajax and Benfica on the road to Copenhagen, where they played Arsenal. Despite Brolin coming close to scoring in the first fifteen minutes even hitting the post, Parma lost 1-0.


On 16 November 1994, at the Råsunda Stadion in Stockholm, Brolin had broken his foot in a qualifier for Euro 96. At the time of Brolin's injury, Parma were two points clear at the top of the Italian league. By the time he returned on 23 April 1995 Parma were eight points behind leaders and eventual champions Juventus. With Gianfranco Zola missing, Brolin was given his first full start after his injury on 7 May 1995, a week after he resumed playing for Sweden. In his first start for nearly six months came against Genoa, and Parma needed a victory to keep the pressure on runaway leaders Juventus at the top of the league. Brolin lasted 62 minutes before he was subbed for Stefano Fiore as Parma drew 0-0 and slipped seven points behind in the title race. Brolin struggled the rest of the season to find his form and fitness but continued to make appearances. On the last day of the season against Napoli, Brolin was sent off for the first time in his career after the 23rd minute.


Parma signed Hristo Stoichkov for £6.5m as Brolin tried to get back to full fitness for the start of the 1995-96 season. Despite scoring in the Parmalat Cup against the USA (2-1) and Boca Juniors (3-1) and a friendly against RSC Anderlecht (1-0) during the club’s pre-season, the coach felt that Brolin lacked the appropriate level of fitness to continue playing in the central midfield position.

Brolin made his first league appearance during the 1995-96 season as a late substitute in a 2-1 home win against Inter on 10 September. Four days later in a first round European Cup Winners’ Cup, Brolin made his first start against KS Teuta Durrës in Tirana as well as made another start in the return match on 28 September. After a few more appearances, it was clear that Brolin would not have a chance to play regularly due to his lack of form. After five years at Parma, Brolin decided he would have to leave Parma in order to get more playing time.

Leeds United

Brolin turned down three Italian clubs before moving to Leeds United on 7 November 1995. On 17 November, he signed a two and a half year contract. Coach Howard Wilkinson saw Brolin as the perfect foil for the club's top scorer Tony Yeboah.

A day after signing for the club, at St James’ Park against Newcastle, Brolin came on in the 82nd minute for Mark Ford to make his Premier League debut for Leeds United. They lost 2-1. Four days later Brolin made his first start for the club as he contributed in the 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup.

Brolin scored his first goal for the club against Sheffield Wednesday on 16 December,[10] in which they lost 6-2. He continued, briefly, as a regular starter playing in a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 27 December, in which he scored his second goal for the club. On 13 January, Brolin hit two goals as 10 man Leeds United, without Yeboah and Deane, beat West Ham United 2-0 at Elland Road.

Then came a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on 20 January. After that match Brolin and Wilkinson clashed over the player's defensive abilities, saying he was not pulling his weight. He played in the 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest on 31 January, but was dropped for the league match against Aston Villa despite Wilkinson missing nine first team players through suspensions, injuries and international duty. Brolin also missed the following matches.

Brolin returned to the team as Leeds beat Birmingham City 3-0 on 25 February, in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final to play Aston Villa at Wembley.

On 1 April 1996, Brolin had to apologise to Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, after an April Fool's Day prank backfired. He had told Swedish television station that he was going to play out the season on loan to former club IFK Norrköping. However, he returned on 3 April, and played in the matches against Southampton, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest. He played his last match of the season at Stamford Bridge on 14 April setting up Gary McAllister's goal in the 4-1 defeat, but was dropped for the following match against Manchester United. On 1 May, it was announced by the club that Brolin had returned home to Sweden undergo surgery to remove scar tissue from his troublesome ankle, and was not fit for Leeds' last two league matches. However, his future at Leeds was already in doubt.

Loan move to FC Zürich

In the summer of 1996, Brolin went searching for a club and was granted three extra days by Wilkinson to find a new club, however no serious interest was forthcoming. On 19 August 1996, Leeds United announced that Brolin was on the transfer market and were prepared to sell him for nearly £2m less than the £4.5m paid for him just a year earlier.[11] Leeds manager Wikinson had fined Brolin a week's wages around £12,000 for not turning up to pre-season training and announced he was seeking guidance from the Professional Footballers' Association on the legality of withholding Brolin's wages, and told the press that he would rather have any player in my team than him. Leeds stopped his wages when he refused to show up for pre-season training and reportedly saved £72,000 by the time Brolin had joined FC Zürich on loan, where he received the minimum wage of £800-a-week for a player in the Swiss League.

Brolin joined the Swiss club on 20 August 1996 and played three matches for FC Zürich in the Nationalliga A and one Swiss Cup match against lowly Uzwil, which FC Zürich won with a 10-0 scoreline. Brolin wanted to stay at the club until their mid-season winter break in December to get back to full fitness but Leeds under new coach George Graham wanted him back at Elland Road and refused to allow him to play for the club against FC St.Gallen on 9 October, after his loan spell ended on 30 September. Graham was quoted as saying "We have heard nothing from Tomas Brolin. We have not even got a telephone number for him. All our correspondence with him has been done through his agent, Lars Peterson." Leeds gave Brolin an ultimatum to return to the club on 6 November or face legal action.

Loan move to Parma

A proposed loan move to Sampdoria collapsed on 13 November after a medical due to a metal staple in his foot. This scuppered a move back to Italy, with a view to a permanent £2 million move to the club.

Leeds urged Brolin, to return to Yorkshire and have tests on his damaged ankle to clarify the extent of the injury, fearing Brolin would be forced to retire, and wanted him to seek a second opinion from a leading orthopaedic surgeon. Then on 24 December, Brolin paid £500,000 of his own money to fund his loan move back to Parma until the end of the season. Brolin trained with the club but did not return to first team action until 23 February 1997 as a second half sub in a 2-0 win over Lazio. He also made substitute appearances against Cagliari (3-2), Perugia (2-1), Internazionale (1-0), and Fiorentina (0-1) - all in March 1997.

Brolin played in an exhibition match at the Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc, in Barcelona on 26 April for the International Association of Professional Footballers (AIFP), of which he was a founding member. Brolin played against Udinese (0-2) on 28 April as a sub, and with Parma having several injuries and suspensions, Parma Coach Carlo Ancelotti handed Brolin his first and only start in his second spell at the Italian club on 4 May in a 2-1 win over Atalanata, and he made another appearance in the 3-0 win over Vicenza a wek later. Brolin even played a part in Parma’s title run-in with Juventus, making substitute appearances against AC Milan (1-1), and against Juventus (1-1) on 25 May, coming on after Crespo limped off with a hamstring injury. His last appearance came on the last game of the season, on 1 June, in a 2-1 win over Verona, as Parma finished in their best ever position, second place.

By the end of the season, it was clear that Parma were not interested in keeping the player and had only agreed to sign him on loan to keep him fit after so many years of loyal service to the Parma club.

Leeds Departure

On 16 June 1997 his loan deal with Parma expired. Under the terms of the agreement, he was obligated to return to Elland Road within 72 hours. However, Brolin was axed by coach George Graham for the club’s pre-season tour of Sweden. Brolin was forced to find another club on loan or play for the reserves.

On 29 August, he was offered a loan deal with Real Zaragoza but the deal fell through and Brolin missed the Spanish transfer deadline. As a result, he was fined by Leeds for being absent for training for three days which he disputed. Then, on 15 September, Brolin met with Jim Jefferies about a loan to Hearts. Yet again, the deal fell through. According to Brolin’s agent, the club would not meet their price, but the Hearts chief Chris Robinson decided to pull the plug on the deal due to the player’s lack of fitness.

After the two failed loan deals, Brolin continued to train and play in the reserves. On 6 October, he was fined £90,000 after missing a match to attend his father's 50th birthday as well as criticizing George Graham in the media. The player threatened to take the club to a Premier League tribunal. On 28 October 1997, club officials, Brolin, and Brolin's representatives decided to terminate Brolin's contract for a reported £140,000.

Although he recovered from his ankle injury, Brolin never regained his pre-injury level of fitness. He made 19 Premier League appearances for Leeds, scoring 4 goals.[12]

Crystal Palace

On 16 November 1997, Steve Coppell, the manager of struggling Crystal Palace, offered Brolin a two week trial. Palace had been playing a friendly in Sweden, and Coppell was hoping to finalize the two week trial while he was there. At the time, Brolin was training with Hammarby in Stockholm.

The trial began on 5 January 1998. With a player shortage, Brolin was asked by Coppell to play for the club in a league match. Brolin was registered as a player for the club and allocated the No.12 jersey. He played in the home league match against Everton on 10 January, and netted a ball in the 72nd minute only to see the referee rule it out for offside. The club lost 3-1 but Brolin, whose trial ended on 16 January, was handed a contract until the end of the season.

In his third game, Brolin came up against his old club Leeds United. Brolin was still overweight, but managed to get a starting place in the team. However, after five minutes, he had to come off after a collision with Bruno Ribeiro, which left him dazed and needing stitches to a head wound. While he was receiving treatment, Leeds scored. Brolin, determined to upset his former team returned to the field six minutes later, but Palace were unable to beat Leeds.

Brolin went onto play twelve more times for Palace, mostly as a striker due to the London club's shortage of players up-front. On 13 March 1998, the club lost to Chelsea 6-2. Crystal Palace had been procured by Mark Goldberg who decided Steve Coppell should step down as manager and player Attilio Lombardo would take over as player-manager. Despite it being widely reported that Brolin was to be his assistant coach, Palace chairman Goldberg insisted that the fluent Italian and English speaking Brolin was merely Lombardo’s interpreter.

Brolin's last competitive game came in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on 27 April 1998. He was substituted for Jamie Fullarton after 68 minutes. Brolin was unable to recapture his form or fitness failing to score in 15 appearances.[13] Palace were relegated from the Premier League and on 14 May 1998, he was released from the London club and returned to Sweden to think about his prospects.


On 12 August 1998, the player announced his retirement from the game and made his last appearance on 29 August 1998 in the last 15 minutes for Hudiksvalls A.B.K. against Kiruna FF as a goalkeeper.

International career

Under 21

At the age of 20, and having played in the Allsvenskan for GIF Sundsvall for three years, Brolin moved to IFK Norrköping and in his first game for the club in a pre-season friendly against IFK Eskilstuna, he netted a hat-trick. However, it was his hat-trick in his league debut in a 6-0 victory over IFK Göteborg at Idrottsparken in Norrköping, that grabbed all the headlines and alerted Sweden's coach Olle Nordin to Brolin's talents. Sweden had just qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1978, and were looking for a forward to lead their frontline, having only managed nine goals in six matches during the qualifying rounds.

Eighteen days later, Brolin was lining up against Wales at the Råsunda Stadion, and five minutes after Dean Saunders had given the visitors the lead, Brolin announced his arrival on the international stage with two goals in six minutes to give Sweden a 2-1 lead. Sweden won 4-2 on the night, and Brolin went onto score another two in the following match with Finland a month later, which Sweden won 6-0. Subsequently Brolin was picked to lead the Swedish attack in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Sweden failed to win any of their matches at that tournament, but after scoring against Brazil, Brolin was soon signed by Italian club AC Parma for £1.2 million pounds (out of a possible 12 buyers), and also won his first Guldbollen as Sweden's footballer of the year.[14][15]

Euro 1992

In Euro 92, he was joint top-scorer with three others (Jan Eriksson and Kennet Andersson); his goal against England did much to raise his profile.

World Cup 1994

Brolin went to the World Cup in the best shape of his career, at the age of 23, However despite having a talented group of players, Sweden was not predicted to go far at the World Cup in America. After they scraped a draw with Cameroon in their opening game, not much was expected of them. Things improved in Sweden's next game with Russia, with Brolin playing behind Martin Dahlin and the towering Kennet Andersson, as Sweden won 3-1.

In their final group match, Sweden drew 1-1 with tournament favourites Brazil after Brolin set up Sweden's goal for Kennet Andersson, and reached the second round.

Brolin scored 3 goals for Sweden in the 1994 World Cup, and Sweden surprised many by finishing third in the competition.[16] Brolin's performances earned him a place in the competition's "World Cup All Star Team". In the quarter final against Romania, he scored one of his most famous goals; when Sweden were awarded a free kick, everyone expected Stefan Schwarz to shoot. Instead, he jumped over the ball and Håkan Mild passed the ball past the wall to Brolin who managed to score. Brolin received his second Guldbollen award in 1994.

Euro 1996

On 16 November 1994, at the Råsunda Stadion in Stockholm, Brolin broke his foot in a qualifier for the European Championship. On 7 May 1995, a week after he had returned from injury, Brolin played for Sweden against Iceland, and scored a penalty but was unable to help his team to a much needed victory in their qualifying campaign.

On 16 April 1996, Brolin was then dropped by Swedish coach Tommy Svensson for a friendly against Northern Ireland in Belfast, and was quoted "Brolin is not at 100 percent at the moment and it is difficult to say when he will be." Brolin told Swedish news agency TT that it was the best for him, and the national side "Right now I need to recover in order to get to the capacity needed to add something to the national team."

In the end, Sweden did not qualify for 1996 European Championship.


In 47 games for Sweden, Brolin scored 26 goals. However in February 2010, Brolin claimed credit for a goal against Norway, given to international teammate Roland Nilsson and that his record should read 27 goals.[17]

International goals

Scores and results list Sweden's goal tally first
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 25 April 1990 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Wales 1-0 4-2 Friendly
2. 25 April 1990 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Wales 2-0 4-2 Friendly
3. 27 May 1990 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Finland 3-0 6-0 Friendly
4. 27 May 1990 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Finland 4-0 6-0 Friendly
5. 10 June 1990 Italy Stadio delle Alpi, Turin,  Brazil 1-2 1-2 1990 World Cup
6. 5 June 1991 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Colombia 1-0 2-2 Friendly
7. June 1991 Sweden Ullevi, Gothenburg  Soviet Union 1-0 2-3 Scania 100 Semi-finals
8. June 1991 Sweden Ullevi, Gothenburg  Soviet Union 2-2 2-3 Scania 100 Semi-finals
9. June 1991 Sweden Idrottsparken, Norrköping  Denmark 4-0 4-0 Scania 100 3rd place
10. 14 June 1992 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Denmark 1-0 1-0 Euro 92
11. 17 June 1992 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  England 2-1 2-1 Euro 92
12. 17 June 1992 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Germany 1-2 2-3 Euro 92 Semi-finals
13. 2 June 1993 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Israel 1-0 5-0 1994 World Cup qualification
14. 2 June 1993 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Israel 2-0 5-0 1994 World Cup qualification
15. 2 June 1993 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Israel 4-0 5-0 1994 World Cup qualification
16. 20 April 1994 Wales Racecourse Ground, Wrexham  Wales 0-2 0-2 Friendly
17. 5 June 1994 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Norway 1-0 2-0 Friendly
18. 5 June 1994 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Norway 2-0 2-0 Friendly
19. 24 June 1994 United States Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac  Russia 1-1 3-1 1994 World Cup
20. 10 July 1994 United States Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto  Romania 1-0 2-2 1994 World Cup Quarter-finals
21. 16 July 1994 United States Rose Bowl, Pasadena  Bulgaria 1-0 4-0 1994 World Cup 3rd place
22. 17 August 1994 Sweden Eyravallen, Örebro  Lithuania 1-0 4-2 Friendly
23. 17 August 1994 Sweden Eyravallen, Örebro  Lithuania 2-0 4-2 Friendly
24. 16 November 1994 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Hungary 1-0 2-0 Euro 96 qualifying
25. 1 June 1995 Sweden Råsunda, Stockholm  Iceland 1-1 1-1 Euro 96 qualifying
26. 16 August 1995 Sweden Idrottsparken, Norrköping  United States 1-0 1-0 Friendly
  • Brolin has also claimed credit for a goal against Norway in 1991 which has been officially recorded to Roland Nilsson[17]


After retiring from football, Tomas Brolin settled to become a businessman and returned to his homeland where he owns an Italian-Swedish restaurant called "Undici" (Italian: 11, the number he wore while playing for Parma).[18] Undici has been fined numerous times for permitting underage drinking.[19] He also invested money in real estate and - to some public amusement - in a firm selling a new type of mouthpiece for vacuum cleaners.[18][20][21] He also appeared in a video by Dr. Alban which featured other famous Swedish sportsmen, including Björn Borg.[22]

In 2001, a long time girlfriend, Susan Hardenborg, gave birth to Brolin's first child, a boy, named Sebastian.[23] The couple had split before the birth of the child, but remain on good terms.

Brolin has been an active World Series Poker player, since 2006.[24][25] Playing in the 2007 World Series of Poker and the 2006 Football & Poker Legends Cup organized by He has also competed regularly in the European Poker Tour and cashed twice - once in the Season 4 Prague event where he came 23rd and again in the EPT Grand Final later that season in Monte Carlo where he came 38th out of a 842-strong field.

Career honours

Club honours

IFK Norrköping


Leeds United

International honours

Individual honours


  1. ^ National Football Teams Player Profile - Tomas Brolin at
  2. ^ "Leeds Fans - Tomas Brolin Profile". 
  3. ^ Tomas Brolin career stats at Soccerbase
  4. ^ "BBC Sports Player Profile - Tomas Brolin". 
  5. ^ "FIFA Player Profile - Tomas Brolin". 
  6. ^ Where are they now? No. 6 Crystal Palace FC Supporters' Website - The Holmesdale Online
  7. ^ Football's foreign lottery BBC Sport, 2 January 2003
  8. ^ "50 worst footballers". The Times. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  9. ^ Tomas Brolin to Leeds - When a Big Money Move Went Wrong The Transfer Tavern
  10. ^ Tomas Brolin Funny Goal YouTube
  11. ^ Premiership Shockers XI The Sun
  12. ^ Top 10 rubbish footballers including Sean Dundee, Massimo Taibi, Ramon Vega and Ali Dia The Sun
  13. ^ Profile: Tomas Brolin BBC Leeds - Sport
  14. ^ a b Zlatan vinnare igen — men kom inte, 9 November 2009
  15. ^ 1994: Tomas Brolin, Parma Aftonbladet
  16. ^ FIFA Player statistcs - Tomas BROLIN
  17. ^ a b Swede Tomas Brolin dreams of retirement goal BBC Sport, 3 February 2010
  18. ^ a b "'Said and Done' Article". The Guardian. 24 December 2000. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  19. ^ Tomas Brolin nekas serveringstillstånd Aftonbladet
  20. ^ Nu har Brolin sug i blicken Aftonbladet
  21. ^ "Twinner Vacuum Cleaner - English Website". 
  22. ^ "YouTube Video - Friends in Need - "Alla Vi"". 
  23. ^ "'Said and Done' Article". The Guardian. 6 May 2001. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  24. ^ "Tomas Brolin - Poker Stats at Hendon Mob". 
  25. ^ "Interview with Tony Cascarino". The Guardian. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 

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