Helsingborg have finally lost a game, and what a way to lose. Daniel Mendes’ goal was scored six seconds after kick-off after the Brazilian charged down and blocked Helsingborg’s Markus Holgersson’s attempt to clear the ball. The resulting rebound managing to sneak past an unprepared Pär Hansson. It is the fastest goal scored in the Allsvenskan, although still lags a long way behind the fastest ever goal scored: 2 seconds after kick-off in a league match in Saudi Arabia.
Posts Tagged ‘Helsingborg’
The first thing that strikes me about Helsingborg is that there seems to be something about the club that entices loyalty from its players. Like all Swedish clubs they’ve lost a lot of players to the rest of Europe, but with HIF they nearly always come back. The prime example is Henrik Larsson, who first left the Reds in 1993, and after a distinguished career with Feyenoord, Celtic and Barcelona, he returned in 2006. He’d arguably won the 2006 Champions League Final single-handedly for Barcelona and could have continued playing there, but he instead choose to return to this boyhood club. In 2007 he spent 10 weeks on loan at Manchester United, and again could have made the move permanent if he really wanted. But again he turned down the chance to earn exceedingly more money to fulfil a pledge to play for Helsingborg IF.
Henke isn’t alone. This winter both Mattias Lindström and Erik Edman have returned, and join Marcus Lantz and Christoffer Andersson as former youth players who initially left for Europe but got drawn back. Lindström played for Gais last season, and in my view was easily our best player (even more important than league leading goal scorer Wanderson) but as he stressed to all the Gaisare when he left, Helsingborg is his hometown and HIF have always been his club.
As the club state on the English version of their website (in classic Swenglish): “The history has a great part in the commitment. There have been years with great success, but also with setbacks, but no indifference. HIF stirs the feelings. If you are travelling the country and mention that you are from Helsingborg – yes, then HIF come up immediately.”
Of late the Helsingborg youth academy has produced an impressive array of talented youngsters, including Rasmus Jönsson, Pär Hansson and Joel Ekstrand. However the most exciting is Sebastian Carlsen who is currently on load at Inter Milan and could potentially become a full time signing next summer. Based on current trends, he’ll be back at the Milk Cow before the decade’s end.
As one of the more populated regions of Sweden, Skåne has a number of football clubs and thus Skåne derbies are common. But the biggest and most significant is that between Helsingborg IF and Malmö FF. These are the two biggest clubs in the region, and it is common for both to be amongst the title contenders each season. It’s a fierce rivalry, equally to anything in Stockholm or Göteborg.
Why Might I have Heard of Them?
In 2000 Helsingborg produced a huge upset by defeated Inter Milan to qualify for the Champions League Group Stages. No Swedish club has qualified since. In 2007/08, they qualified for the last 32 of the UEFA Cup before being knocked out by PSV Eindhoven.
Any players, past or present, I might know?
By far the best known Helsingborg player is Henrik Larsson, whose photo is still stuck all over the club’s website despite retiring last season. His number 17 shirt has been retired with him. Kenyan international McDonald Mariga, who currently plays for Inter Milan, played for Helsingborg until 2008. Swedish international Erik Edman, who returns to the club this season, recently played for Tottenham and Wigan.
Colours and kit: Red shirts with blue shorts.
Nicknames: Di röe (the Reds), Mjölkkossan (the Milk Cow)
Home Ground: Olympia