when Aftonbladet the Swedish tabloid was founded way back in 1830 it was banned 26 times by King Charles XIV John, and had promoted a Swedish republic and the banning of the monarchy. WELL, the monarchy is alive and the bla/guld, (blue/yellow) Swedish football team will be coming home early from Ukraine after their last match in the Olympic Stadium against France.
Yesterday it claimed that Sweden would beat England 5-0 www.aftonbladet.se while today it had cross county skiers on the front page. Afton bladet means 'afternoon sheet', but to the English it means toilet paper. Why did editor Jan Helin choose those headlines when the aging Tre Kronor have reminded us of an old ABBA? They are now out of EURO 2012. MAMA MIA ! This is the first time that The Three Lions have beaten them in a competitive match.
In recent years the newspaper has been accused more than once of anti semitism and bias against Israel. It claims 1,400,000 readers and is now owned by the Swedish Trade Union Congress, and is the largest paper in the Nordic countries.
The twenty thousand Swedish fans in Kiev outnumbered but didn't outsing the England fans, in what was a mainly friendly atmosphere, in a match delayed 15 minutes due to the 55 minute delay in Donetsk where France beat Ukraine 2-0.
After taking an early lead they were tied then led by the battling Swedes, but finally prevailed with three world class and totally different goals from Andy Carroll 23, Theo Walcott 23, and Danny Welbeck 21, with 18 year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had started against France almost replacing Walcott in the final minutes. A young strike force against their ageing opponents. With Wayne Rooney sitting out two matches due to a ban, you can expect Roy Hodgson to unleash him in the Donbass Arena against the Ukrainians on Tuesday, where one point will secure a place in the quarter-finals.
Also on the front page of Aftonbadet this morning was a close up of Zlatan Ibrahimovic telling goalie Joe Hart to 'F**k Off' after they took the lead. He is a clever player but not one of my favourites over the years, but was a good captain and clearly their outstanding man.
Possibly the defining moment came when Hodgson substituted Walcott for James Milner in the 61st minute. It was almost four years ago that the young Gunner scored for his country, a hat trick against Croatia away. the youngset ever Englishman to achieve this feat. He was mesmorizing, and caused havoc with his blistering pace when he came on and his equalizing goal from far away was a suprise and a joy for us all.
The Abba look alike Olof Mellberg had forced their first goal which was credited by UEFA as a Glen Johnson own goal and scoring the second himself. It was a typical Premier League or rather Championship dour battle, well refereed by Slovak, Damir Skomina, who booked Milner plus three Swedes, Mellberg, J. Olsson and Svensson, but kept the match flowing.
DON'T BE TOO DISAPPOINTED AND GREEDY SVERIGE !! After all you won the recent Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan with the REWARD !!!! ha ha ha, that you have to host the next one in 2013 in Stockholm, which attracts looney Dancing Queens and other strange creature fans from all corners of Europe.
Before that, on November 14th this year the new 2 billion plus Euro FRIENDS ARENA will open in Solna, 6 km from downtown Stockholm. with 50,00 for football, mainly The Swedish National Team and A.I.K, and 67,000 for concerts. It replaces the historic Rasunda Solna Stadium, one of only two to have hosted both the men's and women's FIFA World Cup Finals(the other is the Rose Bowl in California). SWEBANK paid 153 million SEK for naming rights, and they chose the name FRIENDS after the organization that they sponsor that aims to combat bullying in schools. www.friendsarena.se and www.svenskafotball.se
The opening match later this year will be SWEDEN v ENGLAND in a 'friendly'. I CAN'T WAIT !!