The Famous Swede: Zlatan

Yes, yes, I know this is a rowing history blog, but I would like to make an exception only to show you why the football [some of you might call it soccer] player Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended up on my ‘Famous Swedes List’. Just have a look at the goal he scored yesterday when Sweden played against England. Hold on to your hats….

On Saturday 17 November, YouTube cut the previous video I had up due to copyright issues. The above one is from the Russian tv, which does not seem to have the same issue.


  1. It may be a conspiracy but if you try and view this in the UK, a message says that it is blocked on copyright grounds. While the game may have been a memorable one for the Swedes, I doubt that it will achieve the fame of possibly the last time a Scandinavian country beat England at soccer. In 1981 Norway beat England 2 – 1 in Oslo in a World Cup qualifier. The Norwegian radio commentator was Bjørge Lillelien who delivered a famous verdict on the match in a mix of English and Norwegian. It is still famous in the UK where it is often affectionately repeated and parodied.

    The original can be heard here:

    Here is the full English translation:

    We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana….we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all.
    Maggie Thatcher can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you ……. We have knocked England out of the football World Cup. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!

    Tim Koch.

  2. Sorry Tim and all you other Brits that this film clip is blocked for you, but if you would like to watch it, you will find tons of the same clip on YouTube, just search on 'Zlatan'. Regarding Bjørge Lillelien euphoric outburst, well, he is from Norway, it should say it all. On a personal note, I think that the Swedes are very happy that they were able to beat the great football nation England, however, most joy they feel (and that goes for me, too) is that Zlatan scored such a beautiful goal – it must truly be one of the top three most gorgeous goals ever.

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