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Media reaction to Sweden's U21 EURO win

Sweden woke up with bemused wonderment as U21 champions. Read the best of the reaction from there and elsewhere, featuring Zlatan Ibrahimović and Luís Figo.

The Swedish newspapers on Wednesday morning
The Swedish newspapers on Wednesday morning ©UEFA.com

Johan Esk, writing in Dagens Nyheter 
For the first time since 1948, a Swedish men's team won a major championship. We may have to wait as long for the next time, and that is just one of a thousand reasons why Håkan Ericson's golden heroes deserve to be celebrated as kings [at their homecoming] in Kungsträdgården on Wednesday. This U21 team has shown every other Swedish national team in every sport that this is what collective teamwork looks like.

Erik Niva, writing in Sportbladet
I had long ago given up hope that I would ever see a Swedish national side win a major title. But if I ever become despondent and negative again you can all bang me in the head with a big fat EURO trophy. There are no limits to how far a Swedish national team can go. Where are we going next? Paris next summer? Or Rio de Janeiro? It matters little. The important thing is that we know we can make it. We've got the medals to prove it.

Mathias Lühr, writing in Expressen
This was the championship when a Swedish national side showed its true power. It was the night when Sweden showed they can perform miracles. It has been an honour to follow Sweden in the Czech Republic. The team has done so much more than anybody can fathom, so much more than anybody could have asked for. Now we must not allow this to go to waste. Make the most of this team now. Make the most of a team that knows how to win a major trophy.

Max Wiman, writing in Sydsvenskan
Many heroes, but the biggest never made it to the penalty spot. Daniel Andersson [Malmö sporting director] will have to lock Oscar Lewicki in a safe until the transfer window closes, for this little warrior had a sensational tournament. Sweden have a new Stefan Schwarz: same position, same number, raised in small clubs in Malmö, youth careers in Germany, breakthroughs with Malmö.

Tomas Nilsson, writing in Helsingborgs Daglad
Champions. Best in Europe. The team with nine lives refused to put a full stop on their drawn-out miracle. Of course the victory did not come in ordinary manner: the Under-21s don't treat Swedish hearts kindly, Swedish hearts that have embraced a new national side. A national side that makes us believe in life after you know who.

You know who (Zlatan Ibrahimović)
Yeeeeeeees! Fantastic! Awesome! At a loss for words. The Bragdguld awaits. [The Bragdguld is an annual award for a Swedish sportsperson or team that has defied the odds]

Pedro Barbosa, writing on MaisFutebol.iol.pt
I saw a Portuguese team taking control of the match from the first minute against a Sweden that played to their own strengths. I have no doubt that the Portuguese people are proud of what these young players have achieved. They gave everything, they were better, but simply did not lift the trophy. The future is promising and this European Under-21 Championship showed that there are several valid options for the senior squad even now.

Manuel Queirós, writing in Diário de Notícias
The Portuguese players felt that they were better but, as the minutes went by without a goal, they began to show some fear of defeat. Physically the Swedes were fresher thanks to their conservative approach and the strategy paid dividends. To lose a European title without losing a single match [qualifying included] is hard, but we lacked composure and the capacity to adjust our game to the reality of a final.

Pedro Candeias, writing in Expresso 
Portugal were the better team but could not score and Sweden decided in from the 11-metre line: the line that separates heaven from hell. The dream is over. Portugal tried everything to break down the two-tier Ikea closet of Swedes but, as minutes went by, legs tired and heads lost concentration. Portugal ran out of fuel and that ended up making the difference in the penalty shoot-out.

Jan Vacek, writing in Czech daily Sport
Yellow-blue dream fulfilled. Sweden arrived in the Czech Republic in the shadow of Germany, England, Denmark and Portugal. But the Swedish boys proved all predictions wrong. They flew through a tough group, swept Denmark aside in the semi-final and fulfilled their dream by defeating Portugal on penalties.

Czech website iDNES.cz
The tournament ends in sensational style. The outsiders confounded the odds to lift the trophy. They left Italy and England behind them in the group and overcame Denmark in the semi-finals. The Swedish fans were simply wonderful.

Highlights: See Sweden's penalty glory

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