Ljungberg: 'It's good to have Henrik back'
AFP · 5 Jun 2008, 11:35
Published: 05 Jun 2008 11:35 GMT+02:00
Despite announcing his retirement after the 2006 World Cup, Larsson, who turns 37 in September, was persuaded to return to the national side by Sweden's coach Lars Lagerbäck for his country's Euro 2008 mission.
With 95 caps and 36 goals to his name, Larsson has been playing for his local team Helsingborgs IF since 2006, with a three-month loan spell at Manchester in 2007, and he trained with the Swedish squad here on Wednesday in pouring rain.
Larsson played up front alongside Internazionale striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the first time since the 2006 World Cup in the 1-0 defeat to the Ukraine on June 1st in a Euro 2008 warm-up international.
"He has been away for a little bit, but it's great to have him with us, he has a lot of experience and maybe brings an extra style of game and gives us a few more options," said West Ham midfielder Ljungberg.
"It just feels great to have him here again."
Both Larsson and former Arsenal man Ljungberg, who has 71 caps, are key players for Sweden who face defending champions Greece, Russia and Spain in Group D.
Winger Ljungberg has been struggling with a leg injury, but played part of the game against the Ukraine and says he should have no problems ahead of next Tuesday's first Euro 2008 match against Greece in Salzburg, Austria.
"It feels quite good," said 31-year-old Ljungberg.
"I tested it against the Ukraine to see how it was and it felt good, I could have stayed on for a bit longer than I did, but it's good to know its strong."
And the Swedish captain said his side can qualify from their group if they play to their potential.
He said: "Spain are always going to be favourites, they are a great side, it's going to be hard, we played well against them at home and we struggled a bit away.
"But if we play to the level we know we can we will qualify from the group."