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Henrik Larsson

Henrik Larsson
 
Complete Name: Henrik Larsson
Nationality: Swedish
Place of Birth: Helsingborg (Sweden)
Date of Birth: 20/09/1971
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 76 kg
National Team: Sweden
Current Club: FC Barcelona (Spain)
Position: Right Midfielder, Central Midfielder
 

Pictures

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Club career history

Högaborg (Sweden), Helsingborgs IF (Sweden), Feyenoord Rotterdam (Holland), Celtic Glasgow (Scotland), FC Barcelona (Spain)
 

Honours

2001 Scottish Premier League Champions (Glasgow Celtic)
2002 Scottish Premier League Champions (Glasgow Celtic)
2001 Scottish Premier League top scorer (Glasgow Celtic)
2002 Scottish Premier League top scorer (Glasgow Celtic)
2001 Scottish FA Cup winner (Glasgow Celtic)
2001 League Cup winner (Glasgow Celtic)
2003 Scottish Premier League top scorer (Glasgow Celtic)
2003 UEFA Cup Finals (Glasgow Celtic)
2005 Primera.. League Champions (FC Barcelona)
 

Biography

Henrik Larsson, nicknamed "Henke", (born September 20, 1971 in Helsingborg, Skåne län, Sweden) is a Swedish international football player. Henrik's father is from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa.

Having completed seven very successful years with 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 Spanish giants Barcelona. Despite having missed the majority of season 2004/2005 through injury, the option to play in season 2005/2006 was extended and accepted.

Larsson started his professional career playing for Högaborg at the age of 17. He subsequently played for Helsingborgs IF and Feyenoord. Although he was finalising the details of the contract with Grasshopper-Club Zürich in 1993 he moved to Feyenoord for £295,000. Following a complicated contract dispute with feyenoord, he was signed by Celtic manager Wim Jansen in July 1997 for a fee of £650,000. His debut, playing Hibernian at Easter Road, was less than spectacular; he inadvertently passed the ball to the Hib's player (and well-known Celtic Fan), Chic Charnley, resulting in a 2 - 1 loss for Celtic. He didn't fare much better in his first European game, scoring an own goal, although Celtic did run out 6 - 2 winners.

Larsson scored 242 goals for Celtic, in 315 matches, making him Celtic's third all-time record goal scorer (in all competitions).

In 2001 he won the "Golden Boot" award for being Europe's top goal scorer, with 35 league goals. His total in all competitions that season was 53.

In 2003, he scored two superb goals in the UEFA Cup Final, although opponents Porto went on to win 3-2. His goalscoring feats on the continent for Celtic mean he holds the record for number of goals scored for a British club in European matches.

In 2004, after having moved to Barcelona, he scored against Celtic in a Champions League match. After the game he said "It was very difficult for me to celebrate my goal because I had so many great times here...".

In 2004, The Swedish Football Association bestowed upon him the accolade "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 Euro 2004 in Portugal. Despite initially maintaining his decision to retire, turning down overtures from UEFA President Lennart Johansson and the Swedish Prime Minister in the process, he eventually returned to the national side at the behest of his son, and to great effect, scoring three goals in four matches and leading Sweden to the quarterfinals, where they were defeated in a penalty shootout by the 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 World Cups (1994 at which Sweden came 3rd, and 2002), and two European Championships (2000 and 2004).

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

In January of 2006, Henrik announced his decision to leave his current club F.C. Barcelona and return to Sweden at the end of his current contract in July 2006, revealing that he politely refused a verbal promise by club president Joan Laporta to extend his contract to the end of the next season. Larsson thinks that at 34 and having a very successful career behind him, it is time to retire from Barça and enjoy his last years in his homeland. He has rejected offers from many reputable clubs, including 2004 European champions FC Porto and some English Premiership sides after that announcement, but he was quick to reject them all, saying he preferred to stay in Camp Nou to help fill in for lead scorer Samuel Eto'o when he goes to participate in the 2006 African Nations Cup in Egypt. It is reported that he will be the main replacement of Eto'o, ahead of the much younger Argentine striker, Maxi López, who was actually brought to fill in for Larsson when he was injured.

Henrik Larsson played in 30 League, Champions League and Spanish Cup games, scoring 7 goals in total. His time on the park was restricted by a knee injury he suffered in a match against Barca's arch-rivals Real Madrid in November 2004, which took him out of the game for 6 months.
 

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