Sweden has a short glorious history regarding EURO tournament. The best performance so far was in 1992 when they made the final four as a hosting country. The next and the only other advance to the knockout stage was the 2004 tournament when they were knocked out by the Netherlands due to penalty shoot-out loss.
The reasons Sweden was chosen in this list of “underdogs to watch” in 2016 EURO can be summed up to two. First, despite their lack of impressive results in the final stage, Sweden has qualified for every single EURO tournament that took place since 2000. Being that consistent in qualifying to the final stage of the EURO is indeed not an easy feat to be achieved. Second, this EURO tournament is highly likely to be Zlatan’s last opportunity to shine in a major international tournament, considering his age.
Road to qualification
It definitely was a rough journey. Sweden was placed in qualifying group G with Russia, Austria, Moldova, Montenegro, and Lichtenstein. Initial reaction to this group organization from Sweden was pretty optimistic. Yes, Sweden showed a great performance against Moldova, Montenegro, and Lichtenstein. But everyone can do that. On the other hand, Sweden failed to win even a single game against Austria and Russia who finished first and second respectively.
Eventually, Sweden was forced to face Denmark in a playoff match. This was when Sweden’s true superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, came to rescue. Ibrahimovic score three of the 4-3 aggregate score against Denmark.
How to cite this page: “Sweden: History”, Written by Brian Koh(2016). European Cup 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/european-cup-2016-guide/underrated-teams-of-euro-2016/sweden/sweden-history/ (accessed on (date)).