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AIK prepare to bid the Råsunda farewell

Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 14.49CET
As AIK prepare to play the final match at Stockholm's famous Råsundastadion, celebrates five classic games staged at the one-time home of Swedish football.
by Sujay Dutt
from Stockholm
AIK prepare to bid the Råsunda farewell
AIK v Napoli will be the last game at the Råsunda ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 21 November 2012, 14.49CET

AIK prepare to bid the Råsunda farewell

As AIK prepare to play the final match at Stockholm's famous Råsundastadion, celebrates five classic games staged at the one-time home of Swedish football.

"There is definitely an air of melancholy," said AIK captain Daniel Tjernström ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League match against SSC Napoli, knowing that the next visitors to the Råsundastadion – the Swedish national team's home for the last 75 years – will be a demolition crew.

Sweden played their last game at the Råsunda in August and have now moved to Solna's Friends Arena – scene of their Zlatan Ibrahimović–inspired 4-2 friendly win against England last week. AIK had their final Swedish league fixture at their home ground against Malmö FF on 4 November, and the Napoli match will mark their farewell before they too head for the Friends Arena.

"The Råsunda has meant a lot to all AIK players, myself included," said midfielder Tjernström. "At the same time, we need a new modern arena and that is what we are getting. It's necessary, but there is definitely an air of melancholy." As the club prepare to say goodbye, reflects on five unforgettable games at the stadium.

Sweden 2-5 Brazil
29/06/58, FIFA World Cup final
Sweden had played three group matches and a quarter-final at the Råsunda en route to the final, and confidence was boosted even further when Nils Liedholm opened the scoring against Brazil. However, the visitors – with Didi, Vavá, Garrincha and Pelé in their starting XI – stormed back to claim their first world title, Vavá and Pelé both netting twice.

Djurgårdens IF 4–1 IFK Göteborg
25/10/1964, Allsvenskan
Like AIK, Djurgården were founded in Stockholm in 1891 and also called the Råsunda home in the 1950s and 1960s. On the final day of the Allsvenskan season in 1964, they needed to beat IFK by a three-goal margin to steal top spot from Malmö. Leading 3–1, the Stockholmers were awarded a 90th-minute penalty. Berndt Andersson stepped up and, with the last kick of the campaign, made Djurgården champions.

Sweden 2-1 England
17/06/1992, UEFA European Championship group stage
Sweden had four points and knew England required a victory from their climactic group fixture to reach the knockout phase. The hosts trailed to a fourth-minute David Platt effort before bringing the Råsunda crowd to their feet. Jan Eriksson's header made it 1-1, then Thomas Brolin hit the memorable winner, after one-twos with both Klas Ingesson and Martin Dahlin.

AIK 1–2 FC Barcelona
14/09/1999, UEFA Champions League group stage
Nebojša Novaković's 72nd-minute chipped lob from the edge of Barcelona's penalty area shocked the Spanish champions and became an instant AIK classic. In a frantic last five minutes, Barcelona stormed back and won the match thanks to headers from Abelardo Fernández and Dani García. For AIK, it was a harsh ending to their first taste of UEFA Champions League football.

Sweden 3-2 Netherlands
11/10/2011, UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier
The final competitive game at the Råsunda was also Sweden's last chance to earn a UEFA EURO 2012 place. Undaunted by opponents who had not dropped a point in nine group outings, Kim Källström gave Sweden the perfect start with a curling free-kick, yet when the Dutch equalised and then went ahead, things looked bleak. However, Sebastian Larsson and Ola Toivonen turned it around in a dramatic second half.

Last updated: 22/11/12 12.50CET

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