Euro 2016

Five Swedish stars to know who aren’t Zlatan

Five Swedish stars to know who aren't Zlatan
Swedish players celebrating after qualifying for the Euro 2016. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
Top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the name on everyone's lips after his double fired Sweden through to the Euro 2016 finals. But here's who else to keep an eye on as the Nordic nation moves on in the contest.

1. John Guidetti

Born: April 15th 1992

Position: Forward

First club: Brommapojkarna

Current club: Celta Vigo, Spain

Trivia: Guidetti spent his formative years playing football in Nairobi, where his dad worked as a teacher. Today, despite being one of the up-and-coming stars in Swedish sports, he seems to have kept both feet on the ground: read this heartwarming story of his kickabout with a young fan.

John Guidetti in the playoff against Denmark in Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

2. Emil Forsberg

Born: January 23rd 1991

Position: Midfielder/forward

First club: GIF Sundsvall

Current club: RB Leipzig, Germany

Trivia: Unlike another internationally famous Swedish footballer we all know, Forsberg is humble to an almost absurd degree. After scoring one of the goals against Denmark in the first leg of their Euro 2016 playoff, he summarized his efforts as follows: “It went okay. I can play better.” His father jokingly described him as “the most boring person to interview” when the reporter from Expressen asked him about his son afterwards.

Emil Forsberg vying for the ball with a Danish player. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

3. Erkan Zengin

Born: August 5th 1985

Position: Midfielder

First club: Norsborgs IF

Current club: Trabzonspor, Turkey

Trivia: Zengin, who grew up near Stockholm but was born in Turkey, made his international debut for the Turkish U18 national side. Despite being among the older players on the Swedish team, he has only represented the national team since 2013.

Erkan Zengin at Sweden-Moldova in October. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

4. Oscar Lewicki

Born: July 14th 1992

Position: Midfielder

First club: Limhamns IF

Current club: Malmö FF, Sweden

Trivia: Lewicki won the award for new player of the year at Sweden's national football gala in 2012. He won the European Championship with the Swedish U21 players earlier this year and is one of the youngest footballers on the national team.

Oscar Lewicki playing for Sweden against Moldova in October. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

5. Albin Ekdal

Born: July 28th 1989

Position: Midfielder

First club: IF Brommapojkarna

Current club: Hamburg, Germany

Trivia: Ekdal played for various clubs in the Italian league, including Juventus, from 2008-2015. He missed Sweden's playoff with Denmark this week after a foot injury which is likely to see him off the pitch for the next three to four months. But he should be back well in time for next summer's tournament. Voted midfielder of the year at Sweden's annual football awards ceremony earlier this month, he is someone you'll want to keep an eye on.

Swedish midfielder Albin Ekdal. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT