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Sweden

Published: Friday 1 March 2013, 14.00CET
Creating history by qualifying for the final tournament for the first time Sweden did it in dramatic fashion, with an added-time goal from Valmir Berisha earning their last-eight place.
Sweden
Sweden players celebrate qualification for the finals ©Gábor Baricsa

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Last updated: 12/05/2013 01:05 CET

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Pts: Points   

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Published: Friday 1 March 2013, 14.00CET

Sweden

Creating history by qualifying for the final tournament for the first time Sweden did it in dramatic fashion, with an added-time goal from Valmir Berisha earning their last-eight place.

Sweden qualified for their first ever UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals in dramatic fashion. Needing a draw in the last match of the elite round, the Swedes had to wait until added time against Hungary to achieve the desired result. Prolific scorer Valmir Berisha headed in the crucial goal to earn a 1-1 draw. Gentrit Citaku and Christer Lipovac are other players who established fine scoring records in qualifying, with midfielders Elias Andersson and Isak Ssewankambo and central defender Linus Wahlqvist forming the backbone of the team.

Roland Larsson has been in charge of the side since 1998, and believes this crop is as good as he has seen. "When we beat Bulgaria away last year, I started to believe that this would be possible," he said.

Qualifying round: Republic of Ireland 1-1, Romania 2-1, FYROM 4-0 (Group 10 runners-up)

Elite round: Belarus 4-1, Finland 5-0, Hungary 1-1 (Group 3 winners)

Key players
Elias Andersson (midfielder, Helsingborgs IF), Gentrit Citaku (midfielder, IFK Norrköping), Isak Ssewankambo (midfielder, Chelsea FC)

Coach: Roland Larsson

Date of Birth: 27 January 1962
Nationality: Swedish
Playing career: Svedala IF, Minnesbergs IF 
Coaching career: Svedala IF youth, Svedala IF, Trelleborgs FF youth, Sweden U16/U17

After playing lower league football in southern Sweden Larsson decided early on that his career lay off the pitch. After studying his first coaching course at the age of 15 he took charge of first team football soon after.

The coach also has a degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for several newspapers before Allsvenskan club Trelleborgs FF gave a chance to dedicate himself full-time to football in 1993 as Larsson was put in charge of the youth ranks. From there he was plucked by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) in 1998 to manage the national youth side at U16 level and he has remained in the position ever since.

Team records

Qualifying top scorer
Valmir Berisha: 5

UEFA European Under-17 Championship best
First finals qualification

Last updated: 18/04/13 17.20CET

Related information

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Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=1936265.html#sweden

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