There were no surprises when title favourites IFK Göteborg opened their Allsvenskan campaign on 13 March with a 3-0 win at Kalmar FF. Equally predictable was the fact that two of IFK's goals on opening day came from Tobias Hysén.
"Of course it felt good to start the season like that," Hysén told UEFA.com, "but I was never concerned that the winter break had affected my form. Throughout the pre-season matches it's gone well."
Hysén finished as the Allsvenskan's joint-leading scorer with 18 goals last season and was a regular for Sweden. Yet while the goals and caps kept coming, trophies proved elusive with IFK twice finishing runners-up to AIK Solna – in the Allsvenskan and the Swedish Cup.
As IFK target silverware this time round, the 28-year-old insists there is no thought of revenge. "
We always want to be at the top of the table, we always want to win. That fact has got nothing to do with finishing second last year."
There was never any question Tobias Hysén would grow up to be a footballer. Nor that he would play for IFK. The sport and the club are in his genes. His great grandfather Erik won the Allsvenskan with the Blåvitt in the 1930s, his grandfather Kurt also turned out for the club and Tobias's father Glenn twice won the UEFA Cup with IFK in the 1980s.
The only surprise was that Tobias did not join IFK until he was 25. He signed his first senior contract with Gothenburg rivals BK Häcken before moving to Djurgårdens IF FF in 2004 where he won the 2005 Allsvenskan title. "
I would have loved to have played for the Blåvitt my whole life, but when I finally signed for them it was literally like coming home," Hysén said.
That was in August of 2007. At that time he could have been looking ahead to a season in the English Premier League, having helped Sunderland AFC win the second division championship and promotion the season before. Hysén, though, had not settled on Wearside. "I decided to phone [IFK sports director] Håkan Mild, saying: 'Would you be interested in signing me?'"
The rest is history as far as IFK are concerned, but Hysén admits to still hankering after one corner of England. He has supported Liverpool FC since his father played there between 1989 and 1992, the club clearly leaving a big impression on the young boy.
"I'd go to visit sometimes and I remember John Barnes being on the exercise bike next to where I was sitting," Hysén recalls. "At the age of seven or eight, it was huge to be so close to my idols." The latest member of the Hysén dynasty is now leaving a similar impression of his own.
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