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Malmö's claims to fame

Malmö aim to overturn a 3-2 deficit at home to Celtic and earn a second straight group spot: we look at their claims to fame including the moment Zlatan Ibrahimović became a star.

Malmö made yet another comeback to beat Salzburg invthe third qualifying round
Malmö made yet another comeback to beat Salzburg invthe third qualifying round ©AFP/Getty Images

Formed: 1910
Nicknames: MFF, Himmelsblå (Sky Blue), Di Blåe (The Blues, in the local dialect)

UEFA club competition honours (runners-up in brackets)
European Cup (1979)

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
League title: 18 (2014)
Swedish Cup: 14 (1989)

  • Though known as 'Himmelsblå', Malmö did not start wearing their sky blue kit until 1920, ten years after the club's formation. Until then they had played in red and white stripes, still used today as a change kit.
  • Malmö's first season in the Allsvenskan, Sweden's top flight, was 1931. Among the team directors was 33-year-old Eric Persson, who would go on to become the club's longest-serving president. During his tenure (1937–75), Malmö won 11 league championships and nine domestic cups. Persson passed away in 1984 aged 86 and a bust of the man known as 'Hövdingen' (Chief) stands outside Malmö New Stadium.
  • Football loyalties in the southern Swedish city were for many years divided between Malmö FF and IFK Malmö. In 1960 IFK finished second in the league, ahead of MFF in fourth. However, IFK were relegated in 1962, never again rising to earlier heights while their neighbours became a force not only in Sweden but also Europe.
The goal that beat Malmö in their sole European Cup final
The goal that beat Malmö in their sole European Cup final©Getty Images
  • Young Englishman Bob Houghton was the coach who led MFF to the 1979 European Cup final, still the only time a Swedish side has got there. Houghton's squad was built entirely on local talent: of the 11 starters in the final, full-back Ingemar Erlandsson from Glimakra, 120km away, was the most distant recruit. In fact all of the players were from the southern region of Skane, and most were born in Malmo itself, though for the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest in Munich, they were missing two key locals – captain Roy Andersson and prolific scorer Bo Larsson.
  • MFF pride was dented when in 1999 they suffered relegation after 64 consecutive seasons in the Allsvenskan. The silver lining to that  particular cloud was that a young striker named Zlatan Ibrahimović got the chance to hone his skills for 12 months in the second tier. Ibrahimović scored 12 goals as Malmö were immediately promoted and the next year he departed for Ajax.
Zlatan Ibrahimović back in his home town for a game
Zlatan Ibrahimović back in his home town for a game©Getty Images
  • Preceding Ibrahimović as an international star produced by MFF was Bo Larsson. In his two stints at the club (1962–66 and 1969–79) he registered 119 goals and in between had three fine Bundesliga seasons at Stuttgart. Larsson also represented Sweden at the FIFA World Cups of 1970, 1974 and 1978.
  • The club's current sporting director Daniel Andersson was a player and captain of the team before retiring in 2012. He shares the experience of captaining MFF with older brother Patrik and father Roy before him. All three Anderssons also featured for Sweden at major final tournaments.
  • Malmö have been the subject of two documentary films: Blådårar (1997) and its sequel Blådårar 2 (2001). The first instalment follows players and fans during a season after several trophy-less years, as the club attempt to regain past glory. The follow-up begins with the pain of demotion in autumn 1999 and the subsequent successful bid to bounce back to the top flight. Teenager Ibrahimović emerges as a star in the second film, introducing the world to Zlatan one-liners such as: "If I make it to the pros I need to have a car, a Lamborghini Diablo. I want it to have the licence plate 'TOY'. You know, English for toy."
  • In all of their qualifying ties last year, and again this, Malmö got through despite failing to win their first leg.