Sweden beat Portugal in a thrilling penalty shoot out in the Final of the Under-21 European Championships, claiming their first ever Under-21 European Championship title. It was a commendable effort from a side that was dismissed early on in the tournament as no-hoper in the shadow of favourites Germany and Portugal. It was no surprise to see, then, the Swedish U-21 side celebrate wildly after the final whistle. They had proven their doubters wrong and their management right. John Guidetti, naturally, was at the heart of things…
This wasn’t the first time that Sweden had shown their elation in extravagant style. Nor was it the first time that John Guidetti led the team in the outpouring of emotions.
It’s hard to criticise Guidetti, who is now a free agent, for celebrated so much though, as he was absolutely crucial in Sweden’s victorious European campaign. It was not just his performances that proved Sweden had what it took to go all the way. The warning signs of an upset were clear in Sweden’s superb 4-1 dismantling of frontrunners Denmark in the semi-finals. In truth, the scoreline flattered the Danes, and it should and could have been 6 or 7-1 to Sweden.
But it mattered little whether they won that game by 3 or 5 goals. What mattered most, as John Guidetti put it after the semi-final, was that they had established themselves as a side capable of contending for the biggest honours – “I’m super happy! We’re the best in the Nordics.”. Now it’s time for them to progress though. Mathias Lühr, writing in Expressen, put it best – “This was the championship when a Swedish national side showed its true power. It was the night when Sweden showed they can perform miracles… Now we must not allow this to go to waste. Make the most of this team now. Make the most of a team that knows how to win a major trophy.”