Henrik Larsson is another living proof that football is not necessarily about money, fame and glory, even though, nowadays, these elements play a big part in determining the course of events in our favorite sport. The 35 years old Swedish has left English giants Manchester United FC to join again his old team, Helsingborgs. He went to Manchester on loan this winter, during the season break of the Swedish League, promising to his family, fans and club he would be back in Spring, when the season starts again. So he did.
At Manchester United this year he has had a very peculiar role. Red Devils have been short of strikers, due to injuries and to almost unique situations. They have been looking for a player to sign, possibly a talented one and someone who had not yet taken part to this year’s UEFA Champions League. The identikit perfectly fitted Henrik Larsson who had just come back to play in Sweden after a successful couple of seasons spent at Barcelona FC, where he gave his contribution to win 2 Spanish Ligas and 1 Champions League, producing 2 remarkable and decisive assistances in the 2006 final against Arsenal. In January 2007 he got in touch with Manchester’s manager Alex Ferguson and said he would join the club but just for the Swedish season winter break. Now he has left Manchester United to come back to Helsingborgs and he’s missing the chance to add more trophies to his cupboard, as the English club has a good advantage to win the next Premier League and is in the quarter finals of the Champions League. But a promise is a promise and Henrik wanted to respect it.
Not that he hasn’t won enough trophies in his long, successful career. He has played for 8 seasons with Celtic Football Club, scoring 173 in 221 appearences, winning 4 Scottish Leagues and 5 cups, and, on a personal level, the Golden Boot, which is assigned to the football player who scores the highest number of overall goals (including national and international competitions) in Europe. He is the only non Scottish to have been included by fans in the all-time Celtic top 11. Having already mentioned the trophies in Spain, he also helped Dutch Feyenoord Rotterdam to win 2 Dutch League cups.
His international career has been very successful as well, he has led Sweden to gain the bronze medal in 1994 World Cup in the USA, has scored 36 goals in 93 caps and is one of the six players who have been able to score in 2 different World Cups, one 12 years after the other.
He’s always been an example of fair play as well, and loved and respected by fans and teammates. After his move back to Helsingborgs he might have lost the chance to earn more money and fame but surely he has gained respect and esteem by every true football fan in the world.