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Swedish star's kickabout with young fan goes viral

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Swedish star's kickabout with young fan goes viral
Sweden's striker John Guidetti. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT
17:36 CEST+02:00
A sweet story about how a big-hearted Swedish national football star made an eight-year-old fan's day has gone viral in Sweden.

John Guidetti, who plays for Sweden's under-21 team, was visiting his parents' home in a Stockholm suburb when the eight-year-old boy spotted him.

The brave football fan saw his chance and immediately ran up to the striker to ask him if they could kick a ball around together. Guidetti was in a hurry home to watch the Champions League final, but told the boy they could meet up after the match.

You may be forgiven if you think the story ends here, that one of Sweden's most promising players surely has other things on his mind than pleasing his junior fans. But 90 minutes later the boy, whose identity is not known, ran back to the pitch with some of his friends, to find that the striker had kept his promise.

The former Manchester City star, who ended last season on loan to Glasgow's Celtics and is currently a free agent, confirmed the story on Thursday.

“They came and knocked on the door after the match. There were maybe six of them, they had gone to get their cousins and everything. I brought a friend and then we played, the two of us against them. They thought it was loads of fun,” Guidetti told the Aftonbladet tabloid.

The story was first told by Swedish blogger Andrev Walden, a friend of the boy's father, on Wednesday afternoon. A day later his blog post was one of the top stories on Sweden's viral site Sociala Nyheter, with many turning to social media to praise the footballer.

“John Guidetti is something quite different,” wrote sports journalist Patrick Ekwall on Twitter.

Speaking to Aftonbladet for the first time after the story went viral, Guidetti tried to downplay the good deed – and even offered a rematch.

“If I had been that age and some player you look up to had been there for you, I would have been over the moon. I'm sure I'll play with them more times (…) I think it's normal. Why wouldn't you do it?” he said.

His comments emerged the morning after he played for Sweden in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic after drawing 1-1 with Portugal.

The two teams already knew that a 1-1 draw would see them both through to the next round. A video clip showing the last few minutes of the game, when the Portuguese players kick the ball between themselves without Sweden showing any sign of intervening has also since gone viral.

Sweden are now set to face Denmark in the June 27th semi-finals, with John Guidetti set to make an appearance.

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