Swedish Allsvenskan Club Profiles

Malmo FF

Ask someone to name a football team from Sweden and it's almost odds on that they will say Malmo FF.  They are the most successful team in Swedish history with 21 league titles and 35 top two placings.  Added to that are 14 Swedish Cup victories.

It was in the 1970s and 80s that Malmo enjoyed their greatest success. Between 1970 and 1978 they were crowned champions on five occasions but they had to wait until 1984 for their next title. That win signalled a period of domination as they won five titles in a row between 1984 and 1989.

The 90s weren't a great decade for Malmo with no title wins and only one runners-up spot.  In 1999 they were relegated but won promotion the following season. They had to wait until 2004 to win their 18th league title and until 2010 for their next championship. Recent years have seen them dominating Swedish football again with successive league victories in 2013 and 2014.

European Glory

Their greatest season in European competition was in 1978-79 when English manager Bob Houghton was in charge and he led them to the European Cup Final. They knocked out Monaco and Dynamo Kiev in the first two rounds without conceding a goal. It wasn't quite so easy in the quarter final though as they took on Wisla Krakow. They lost the first leg in Poland 2-1 and then went 1-0 down at home with just 32 minutes to go. A Ljungberg hat-trick in 25 minutes (including two penalties) helped them win the game 4-1 and the tie 5-3.  Their defence was back on form in the semi-finals as they beat Cologne 1-0 on aggregate. The final was held in Munich and it was Notts Forest who beat them 1-0 with Trevor Francis scoring the winning goal. They may not have won the European Cup but they were awarded the Svenska Daobladet Gold Medal for the most significant Swedish sporting achievement of the year.

Famous Players and Managers

  • Current England boss Roy Hodgson managed Malmo between 1985 and 1989 winning the league title each year
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic started his career at Malmo and played in the side that was relegated in 1999
  • Their current manager is Norwegian Age Hareide who was appointed in January 2014. He played for both Manchester City and Norwich City in the 1980s

 

IFK Gothenburg

Based in Gothenburg, IFK Gothenburg have won the Swedish title 13 times. Their last title victory was in 2007 but they did finish runners-up last season.

They first won the title in the 1934-35 season but had to wait until the 1941-42 season for their second title win. It was an even longer wait for their next championship and it wasn't until 1957-58 that they were again champions of Sweden. Another decade passed without a title win but they had a great end to the 60s when they won the title in 1969. Their defence of the title was a total disaster though as they found themselves being relegated and didn't win promotion back to the top flight until the 1976 season.  

In 1979 Sven-Goran Erikkson took over as manager and his side were soon challenging for the title. Financial problems beset the club and they had to borrow money from the official supporter's association to travel to Valencia for a UEFA Cup quarter final tie. In 1982 the whole board was replaced and the club nearly went bankrupt but they survived and won the league title and the UEFA Cup.

While Malmo were in the doldrums in the 1990s it was Goteburg who were dominating Swedish football. They won the title in 1990 and 1991 and then four years in a row between 1993 and 1996.

 

UEFA Cup Winners

Twice in the 1980s Gothenburg went all the way and won the UEFA Cup. Their first win was in the 1981-82 season with notable wins over Dynamo Bucharest, Valencia, Kaiserlautern and a 4-0 aggregate win over Hamburg in the final winning the home leg 1-0 and then beating Hamburg 3-0 away. 

They won the trophy again in the 1986-87 season.  On their way to the final they beat Inter Milan on away goals in the quarter finals. After a comfortable 5-1 semi-final win over Swarovski Tirol, Gothenburg beat Dundee United in the final 2-1 on aggregate.

Gothenburg have also enjoyed success in the European Cup reaching the semi-finals in 1985-86 losing to Barcelona. They won the first leg 3-0 at home but an Alonso hat-trick helped the Spanish giants win the return leg 3-0. Barcelona went through 5-4 on penalties.  They also reached the last four of the Champions League in 1992-93 finishing second in a group that included AC Milan, Porto and PSV Eindhoven

Famous Players and Managers

  • Sven-Goran Eriksson managed the club between 1979 and 1982
  • Steffan Petterson won two UEFA Cups with Gothenburg and was capped by Sweden 31 times
  • Their current manager is Jorgan Lennartsson who was appointed in November 2014 and previously managed the Sweden Under-21 side.

 

AIK

AIK are based in Solna which is a part of Stockholm.  Home games are played at the Friends Arena which has a capacity of 54,000, the highest in the league. They hold the record for most seasons in this league with 86 years in the top flight. They have won the title on five occasions and their first title came in the 1931-32 season with a second title following five years later. They certainly had a long wait for their third title triumph but finally in 1983 they again won the league. Another 15 years passed until they finished top again and then won the title for the fifth time in 2009 just three seasons after they returned to the top flight after being relegated earlier in the decade.

European Success

Their best run in Europe was in the 1996-97 European Cup Winners Cup. They defeated Nimes Olimpique on their way to a quarter final defeat to Barcelona despite taking a first minute lead in the away leg. Not that they kept the lead for long as the home side equalized in the second minute going on to win 3-1 and then drawing 1-1 in Sweden to clinch a 4-2 aggregate win.

They qualified for the group stages in the 1999-2000 Champions League but only managed to earn one point in a group that included Barcelona, Fiorentina and Arsenal.

Famous Managers and Players

  • Current Cambridge Utd boss Richard Money managed AIK between 2003 and 2004
  • Scottish manager Stuart Baxter took AIK to the title in 1998 and the group stages of the Champions League
  • Ibrahim 'Teteh' Bangura from Sierre Leone scored 15 goals in 17 appearances for AIK
  • Their current manager is their former player Andreas Alm who has been in charge since 2010 

 

IFK Norkopping

Norkopping have won the Swedish title on 12 occasions first winning in 1942-43. Malmo won the title the following season but Norkopping dominated the next few years winning four championships in a row. Three more titles followed in the 1950s and another three in the 60s.  Their success ended though and it wasn't until 1992 that they were again Swedish champions. They were runners-up in the following season but have failed to make the top two since 1993. 

European success has eluded them and their best performances have been reaching the last sixteen of the European Cup four times in the 1950s and 60s. In 1982-83 they lost in the first round of the UEFA Cup to Southampton.

Famous Managers and Players

  • Their most famous manager is Hungarian Lajos Czeizler who won five titles with Norkopping and went on to manage AC Milan and the Italian national team in the 1954 World Cup. He passed away in 1969.
  • Ake Johannson played a record 321 times for the club winning the title six times. He also played ice-hockey for Sweden. He died last year.
  • Tomas Brolin briefly played for Norkopping before being transferred to Parma. He went on to play for both Leeds United and Crystal Palace,
  • The current manager is Janne Andersson who has been in charge since December 2010

 

Helsingsborgs

They have won the league title on seven occasions. Four of their successes came between 1928 and 1934  Another title followed iin 1941, In 1968 they were relegated and didn't return to the top flight until 1992. Seven years later they won the title,  They were runners-up in 2010 and won their fifth title in 2011.

Famous Managers and Players

  • Current Malno boss Age Hareide won the title with Helsingsborgs in 1999 and was caretaker manager in 2012
  • Their current manager is former player Henrik Larsson who played for Sweden in three World Cups, was a prolific scorer for Celtic and spent a short period on loan at Manchester United

 

IF Elfsborg

ELfsborg have won the title on six occasions. They first won the title in the 1935-36 season and won the league twice more in 1939 and 1940. They were relegated in 1954 but returned to the top league and won the title again in 1961. Relegation occurred again in 1987 and it took them ten years to win promotion.  They had to wait until  2006 before they won the title again. Their last title win was in 2012.

Famous Managers and Players

  • Tobias Linderoth went on to play 76 times for Sweden. He also played for Everton between 2001 and 2004.
  • Sven Jonasson scored a record 254 goals and made 332 consecutive appearances for the club, both league records.
  • Current manager is Magnus Haglund 

 

 

 

 

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