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