Friday, April 16, 2010

Fast Freddie

The fellow above is one Karl Fredrik "Freddie" Ljungberg, born this day 1977 in Vittsjo, Sweden. In the picture above he is wearing the national team's jersey, and that is one reason he is a hero of mine. He scored 15 goals for the Swedish national team in his 75 appearances. He also managed to complete a personal double for me by starring for my club team, Arsenal, as well. In 216 games for the Gunners he scored 46 goals. Including a cracking goal in the 2002 FA Cup final against Chelsea that sealed the win, and made him the first player to score in two consecutive FA Cup finals in 40 years. Not bad for a fellow from a small town in Sweden. He moved to the Arsenal in 1998 for the sum of 3 million pounds, which was a record for a Swedish player at the time. He was also signed after being scouted for a year by the Arsenal scouts, and was signed without our gaffer (Arsene Wegner) ever seeing him play live (he had watched him in a game against England on TV, and decided to sign him). He left Arsenal in 2007 for their London rivals West Ham United, but his spell there was not a success. He then moved to the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, and there he remains despite some rumours of his return to European football. He retired from the national team after their disastrous Euro 2008 campaign, and has been only playing in America since then. He is also famous for posing in his boxers for a Calvin Klein advert, that drew a great deal of attention. It seems that Freddie packs more than just a powerful shot, in fact, he seems to be packing. But, for scoring all those wonderful goals for club, and country Freddie Ljungberg (April 16th, 1977-present), you are my (234th) hero of the day.

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