Henrik Larsson has been named in Sweden’s 23-man squad for Euro 2004 after the prolific Celtic striker went back on his decision to retire from international soccer.
The 32-year-old striker, who has scored 24 goals in 73 games for his country, last week agreed to make himself available once . He has made just one apppearance – in a Euro 2004 qualifying win over Hungary in April last year – since quitting the international game after the 2002 World Cup finals.
“He’s got two qualities that make him the player he is – one is that he is a fine goalscorer, but at the same time is a very good team player,” joint coach Lars Lagerback told reporters.
“He makes the team and his team mates good, not least because of his mobility and his incredible running ability. He also has a fantastic understanding of the game, he’s a very all round player.
“As Henrik often says himself, you have to remember that football is a team sport and one player never decides the outcome of a game, but (Larsson’s presence) definitely means a rise in quality on and off the pitch.”
The squad includes just six players who were not at the 2002 World Cup.
Lagerback warned that skipper Johan Mjallby, defender Michael Svensson and striker Marcus Allback could still be ruled out of the squad because of injuries.
Sweden have been drawn in Group C against Italy, Denmark and Bulgaria.
Goalkeepers: Andreas Isaksson (Djurgarden), Magnus Hedman (Ancona, Italy), Magnus Kihlstedt (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)
Defenders: Erik Edman (Heerenveen, Netherlands), Teddy Lucic (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Olof Mellberg (Aston Villa, England), Johan Mjallby (Celtic, Scotland), Michael Svensson (Southampton, England), Andreas Jakobsson (Brondby, Denmark), Erik Wahlstedt (Helsingborg), Petter Hansson (Heerenveen)
Midfielders: Anders Andersson (Belenenses, Portugal), Kim Kallstrom (Rennes, France), Tobias Linderoth (Everton, England), Fredrik Ljungberg (Arsenal, England), Mikael Nilsson (Halmstad), Anders Svensson (Southampton, England), Christian Wilhelmsson (Anderlecht, Belgium), Pontus Farnerud (Racing Strasbourg, France)
Strikers: Marcus Allback (Aston Villa, England), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Mattias Jonson (Brondby), Henrik Larsson (Celtic, Scotland)