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Thousands welcome home Sweden's heroes

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Thousands welcome home Sweden's heroes
02:42 CEST+02:00
Stockholm's Kungsträdgården park was packed with tens of thousands of Swedish football fans on Wednesday afternoon as they welcomed the country's Under-21 team home after their historic European Championship win in Prague.

The players flew in from the Czech Republic after lunch and headed straight to Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm to show off to crowds of screaming fans.

It was a nail biting penalty shoot-out in Prague that led Sweden to victory over Portugal on Tuesday night, giving Sweden their first European Under-21 title in history. 

Sweden was last in the U21 European Championship final in 1992 and the looks on the players faces speaks volumes about how chuffed they are with the historic result.

"Without you it would have never happened," captain John Guidetti told the fans.

"This gold is not only for us, this is for all of you," he said.


Photo: TT

Sweden's goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren (seen below) saved two penalties in the shoot-out that lead Sweden to victory.

The AIK Stockholm stopper sent a vociferous yellow-clad crowd at Prague's Eden stadium into raptures when he saved attempts by Ricardo Esgaio and William Carvalho for the 4-3 win in the shoot-out following a goalless draw after extra time and he got the crowds in Stockholm screaming too.


Patrik Carlgren:Photo: TT

As The Local reported on Tuesday night, the country's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is so passionate about football that he left Sweden's major political conference, Almedalen, to head home to watch the game.

Asked by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet on Tuesday if he thought football was "en sossesport" (a socialist sport), he replied: "Yes, absolutely, this is a sport that everyone can engage with...we see around the world that football is something you dot need to be rich to enjoy."


Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (right) is a huge football fan. Photo: TT

 

Meanwhile at Almedalen, Swedish broadcaster TV4 broadcast the Swedish team's homecoming on giant television screens at the political conference.

 


Photo: The Local

 

With temperatures hitting 24C in the Swedish capital - one of the hottest days of the year so far in Stockholm - the weather was perfect for the fans welcoming home their heroes.

With highs of up to 30C expected in the coming days, the party atmosphere looks set to continue.


Photo: TT

 

 

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