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Larsson at the double

Published: Wednesday 16 June 2004, 19.00CET
euro2004.com diarist Henrik Larsson celebrates scoring twice in Sweden's opener in Portugal.
by Henrik Larsson
from Estoril
Published: Wednesday 16 June 2004, 19.00CET

Larsson at the double

euro2004.com diarist Henrik Larsson celebrates scoring twice in Sweden's opener in Portugal.
The dust has settled on Sweden's sensational 5-0 win against Bulgaria in their opening UEFA EURO 2004™ game, and after scoring twice in the space of a minute - the first a sensational diving header - euro2004.com diarist Henrik Larsson is feeling fantastic. The former Celtic FC player passed up the opportunity to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot, but is still delighted to be back in the swing of things.

It was tremendous to be back on the pitch playing for Sweden against Bulgaria and to score and win just made it better. The players have been brilliant in making me feel like I was never away.

No doubts
I had no doubt that I could still do a job for my country, because since retiring from international football two years ago I have played at the highest levels with Celtic. I still feel fit and after such a good season with Celtic, I knew I was prepared for this championship.

Impossible dream
Having said that, I could not have dreamt that things would go as well as they did. I'm obviously happy to score, but it was a real team performance. I was only able to get those goals because of two great crosses. We have an experienced side and everybody knows each other really well. The younger players are good enough to pick things up quickly.

'Not my job'
There was no question of me taking the penalty to complete my hat-trick, it's not my job. It hasn't been my job at Celtic for some time and it was more important that we scored the goal than I got a hat-trick.

Italy focus
We're very pleased with 5-0, but it's just the first game and we know there are two more tough matches to play in this group. We can't dwell on what we have done because we haven't achieved anything yet. The thing now is to focus on our next game against Italy.

Henrik Larsson was speaking to Adrian Clarke. His personal website is at www.icons.com.

Last updated: 16/06/04 12.45CET

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