• Sweden edition
 
Ljungberg adds Swedish sex appeal to Seattle Sounders

Ljungberg adds Swedish sex appeal to Seattle Sounders

Published: 20 Apr 2009 12:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2009 12:51 GMT+02:00

I should start this with a disclaimer: if you're expecting a qualified analysis of the athletic aspects of football, you should stop reading right now. This is strictly a discussion of the aesthetic aspects of the game. I make no claims to be an expert on what we North Americans like to call soccer, but I do feel particularly well qualified to comment on the...let's just say...players' assets.

That's why I was over the moon when The Local's associate editor David Landes happened to mention that Swedish soccer darling Freddie Ljungberg had done a Beckham and headed across the Atlantic to play in Major League Soccer (MLS). And I found it particularly fortuitous he had landed in Seattle, my (almost) hometown.

I was anxious to see Freddie in action. After sitting out the first game of the season due to hip surgery in December, the Swede made his MLS debut against Salt Lake on Saturday March 28th. His first goal a week later was the decider in favour of the Sounders in a 2-0 win against Toronto FC.

To rewind a bit, I first became acquainted with Freddie’s, um, ball handling skills during the 2006 World Cup when he scored a winning goal in the 88th minute against Paraguay, assuring the Swedish National Team a spot in the second round. Sure, that was cool, but the game became infinitely more interesting when I discovered that Freddie was also an underwear model.

His professional resume is impressive: Swedish National Team captain, star in the English Premier League, Arsenal winger, and of course, poster boy for Calvin Klein.

So what's this Swedish midfielder-cum-male-model doing playing footsie with a bunch of Yanks? In 2007, he transferred to West Ham after nine years with Arsenal. Following a £6 million payment to terminate his contract after broken ribs kept him off the field for most of his stint with the East London team, speculations abounded about his imminent retirement. In October 2008, however, the Sounders announced they had signed Ljungberg as their Designated Player for 2009. At a salary of $1.3 million per year, Freddie has now become the fourth-highest paid player in the entire MLS.

But forget about the moolah and the fancy titles. I think that in reality, it's all about the boxer briefs. Freddie wanted to come to a country where we savour the finer things in life - like a hot Swede wearing very few clothes. He explained it all in a 2006 interview with a British tabloid: "In America, where of course there is so little interest in soccer, I have become the Calvin Klein ad man…People stop me in the street and I expect a conversation about football, but all they want to talk about is the underwear!"

Of course we do! We're an appreciative bunch, especially when it comes to sexy Swedes. And Freddie is clearly doing his part to spark American interest in the game. All of this season's Sounders games have been sell-outs.

The Sounders management is certainly taking advantage of Freddie's curbside appeal, with his cherubic little face plastered all over local billboards and buses. Now if they would just let him run around on the field in his underwear. (As a side note, since taking off your shirt results in a yellow card, is removing your pants an automatic red? That would really be a shame. It's a practice that ought to be encouraged, not punished.)

I've certainly become a fan, if not of the game, at least of the man. You know how some couples indulge each other's celebrity crushes by allowing a theoretical free pass if one of them ever has the chance to hook up with Hollywood royalty? Well, my boyfriend had a thing for actual royalty in the form of Princess Madeleine, so I let him have his fantasy while I held out for Freddie.

I'm glad I did, because now it seems like it might be a fated encounter. After all, he's Swedish, and I speak Swedish. And we're both in Seattle. What more could you ask for?

Freddie, if you're reading this, give me a call or send me an email at news@thelocal.se. It might just turn into, as they say in soccer-ese, an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:03 April 20, 2009 by jones2
This man is the one and only reason to develop an interest in football. Damn you Seattle for luring him away from these fair shores!
Today's headlines
Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake

A boy scheduled to be vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella instead received a vaccine against cervical cancer. His family has now reported the blunder for inspection. READ  

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency
Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency

The Swedish government has announced that it will increase funding to the jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in 2015, primarily to cover personnel costs but also to prevent long-term unemployment. READ  

Police 'powerless' against street racers
Police on E4 highway. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police 'powerless' against street racers

Stockholm police said they were powerless to react when streetracers took over at "insane speeds" on a large highway on Friday night. READ  

Saab carmaker wins receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker wins receivership

After initial rejection, a Chinese-owned company set up to take over Saab's assets after the troubled Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy said on Friday it had succeeded in being placed in receivership. READ  

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

775
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se