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Anders Svensson

Anders Svensson

At 35, Anders Svensson continues to pile up the caps and will contest his fifth major tournament at UEFA EURO 2012. A calm, purposeful midfielder who strikes the ball with power and precision, particularly from free-kicks, his loyalty to IF Elfsborg has helped to extend his international career with Sweden into a 13th season.

• Born in Gothenburg, he moved to Boras to join Elfsborg as a schoolboy and made his debut for the club in Sweden's second tier before winning promotion to Allsvenskan in 1996.

• He enjoyed four full seasons in the top flight, achieving a best finish of fifth in 2000, when he made his breakthrough into the national team following a debut against South Africa in Pretoria on 27 November 1999.

• Established himself for his country during a successful qualifying campaign for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he became a national hero with a decisive free-kick goal that knocked out Argentina and put Sweden into the last 16 as group winners.

• Moved to Southampton FC in summer 2001 shortly after winning the Swedish Cup with Elfsborg; enjoyed an impressive first season in the Premier League and played in the FA Cup final (lost 2-0 against Arsenal FC) at the end of his second term.

• Earned his 50th cap for Sweden at UEFA EURO 2004 in a quarter-final against Netherlands that was spoilt by a penalty shoot-out defeat and elimination.

• Returned to Elfsborg in 2005 after four seasons with the Saints – during which he made 127 Premier League appearances, scoring ten goals – and proved an inspirational captain as the club surprisingly won the title a year later.

• Continued to lead Elfsborg while representing his country throughout the remainder of the decade, playing every minute of Sweden's three games at UEFA EURO 2008 – the year in which Elfsborg finished runners-up to Kalmar FF.

• Reached his century of international appearances on 9 September 2009 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Malta and continued to figure prominently under new Sweden head coach Erik Hamrén during UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.

Last updated: 08/12/13 7.38CET

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