25 Şubat 2008 Pazartesi

Henrik Larsson

This article is about the Swedish footballer. For
the Danish footballer, see Henrik Larsen.
Henrik Larsson (born December 2, 1971 in
Helsingborg, Sweden) is a Swedish national
football team|Swedish international football
(soccer)|football player.

Having completed seven very successful years with
Celtic F.C.|Celtic in Glasgow, Scotland, after the
end of the 2003/04 season he signed a one year
contract with an option for a second year for
Spain|Spanish giants FC Barcelona|Barcelona.

Larsson started his professional career playing
for Högaborg at the age of 17. He subsequently
played for Helsingborgs IF and Feyenoord
Rotterdam|Feyenoord. Although he was finalising
the details of the contract with Grasshopper-Club
Zürich in 1993 he moved to Feyenoord for
£295,000. He was signed by Celtic in July 1997
for a fee of Pound sterling|£650,000. His
debut, playing Hibernian F.C.|Hibernian at Easter
Road, was less than spectacular; he inadvertently
passed the ball to the other side, resulting in a
2 - 1 loss for Celtic. He didn't fare much better
in his first European game, scoring on own goal,
although Celtic did run out 6 - 2 winners.
Larsson scored 242 goals for Celtic, in 315
matches, and in 2001 he won the "Golden Shoe"
award for being Europe's top goal scorer.

In 2004, The Swedish Football Association UEFA
Jubilee Awards|nominated Henke as the greatest
Swedish football player of the last 50 years.

His decision to retire from international football
met with much dismay in his homeland and there was
much clamouring for him to return to the team for
their campaign at Ec2|2004 in Portugal. Despite
initially maintaining his decision to retire,
turning down overtures from UEFA President Lennart
Johansson and the Sweden|Swedish Prime Minister in
the process, he eventually returned to the
national side to great effect, scoring three goals
in four matches and leading Sweden to the
quarterfinals, where they were defeated in a
penalty shootout (football)|penalty shootout by
the Netherlands national football team|Dutch.

Larsson's international record is impressive with
33 goals in 83 games, many of which he played in
midfield or as a winger. He has always made his
mark on big occasions and has scored at two
Football World Cup|World Cups (Football World Cup
1994|1994 at which Sweden came 3rd, and Football
World Cup 2002|2002), and two European Football
Championship|European Championships (2000 European
Football Championship|2000 and 2004 European
Football Championship|2004).

He is married and has two children, Jordan (born
1997) and Janice (born 2002).

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