In Celtic’s illustrious and unbroken history, there have been six Celts that have graced Celtic Park’s turf from Sweden. These seven also have represented their national team, Blågult, whilst representing the Celts in the club game.
As the Swedish prepare for their quarter final with Gareth Southgate’s England, we look at the six Swedes who played in both Hoops as well as blue and yellow.
Number 7. Only one man is befitting of being top of this list. The King of Kings.
Henrik Larsson needs no introduction, he is a club legend that we had the pleasure of witnessing in his prime. A player that in today’s market would’ve been priceless and a man that helped the Swedes to a record finish at a World Cup.
Beginning his career at Högaborg, Larsson moved to Helsingborg before Feyenoord – which then led to his move to Wim Jansen’s Celts and, as they say, the rest is history.
With Sweden, Henrik scored 37 times in 106 appearances – his penultimate strike coming against England in the World Cup in 2006. Larsson was also part of the side in 1994 that finished third place.
Henrik left Celtic after seven glittering years, laden with trophies. 242 goals in 313 appearances has left him firmly etched in the hearts of every Celtic fan, as well as the history books.
Number 6 – Magnus Hedman. Hedman played for Celtic between 2002-2005, acting predominately as a back-up to Rab Douglas. The goalkeeper had made 58 appearances for his national team and in his day with AIK and Coventry City was one of the best goalkeepers around; however, Celtic had him after his powers peaked and he didn’t make the impact that had been hoped for.
Number 5 – John Guidetti. Guidetti is one of two Celtic-Swedes that are currently in Russia. Guidetti joined from Manchester City on loan to bolster Ronny Deila’s striking options and made an immediate impact. However, dwindling form and the emergence of Leigh Griffiths began to limit Guidetti’s chances and he decided to move to Celta Vigo when his loan & City contract expired.
Guidetti left Celtic with a League Cup and Premiership winners’ medal after scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances.
Number 4 – Daniel ‘Big Dan’ Majstorovic. A seasoned pro signed by Neil Lennon to add power and experience to the centre of defend, Big Dan had it all. Plying his trade in homeland as well as Switzerland, Holland and Greece gave a youthful Celtic side some stability and composure. Lennon had a coup on his hands. Majstorovic made 65 appearances across two seasons for Celtic, scoring twice. His most notable appearances coming when he captained Celtic to a 2-0 victory over Rangers at ibrox, where he was a colossus at the back.
On the international stage, Big Dan made 50 appearances for Sweden scoring twice. Incidentally, it was with Sweden that Majstorovic suffered the injury that ended his Celtic career after a tackle with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Number 3 – Johan Mjällby. A centre defender with composure and an eye for a pass, Dr Jo signed Mjällby after impressing for club and country. The towering Mjällby joined Celtic in 1998 from AIK and went onto make 174 appearances for Celtic scoring 13 goals and playing a hugely important role in Martin O’Neill’s Celtic side’s. Mjällby returned to Celtic as assistant manager to Neil Lennon and enjoyed success in the three-in-a-row triumph achieved by Lennon’s side.
With the national team, Mjällby made 49 appearances, scoring four times – including against Belgium at Euro 2000. Furthermore, Johan captained the side at the World Cup in 2002.
Number 2- Mikel Lustig. Eccentric and excellent, Lustig has definitely won the hearts of the Celtic support. A few years plagued with injuries had many speculating whether the player would feature again for Celtic; however, the ex-Rosenborg player has performed admirably under Brendan Rodgers and made himself the undisputed first choice at right back for club and country.
Sadly today, Lustig will miss out in the match versus England but hopefully his teammates can secure a place in the semi final for Sweden and Lustig.
1. There is a notable mention to Freddie Ljunberg, who also played for Celtic and Sweden but we got Freddie at the tail-end of his career and his performances were a shadow of the player that had lit up the english game with Arsenal.