When people talk about the best striker that ever lived you’ll always hear the same old names. Van Basten, Muller, Ronaldo etc. It’s extremely rare you’ll ever hear someone mention Henrik Larsson in the same breath though. For me he’s without doubt the most underrated striker ever. And the reason he gets so little credit is always that old chestnut, “he only scored goals in Scotland”.
Not true. He’s scored goals in Holland, Spain, England, UEFA Cup’s, Champions League’s, European Championship’s and World Cup’s. In fairness the majority of his goals did come playing for Celtic, but two hundred and forty two goals in three hundred and fifteen games can’t be scoffed at.
At international level he notched thirty seven in one hundred and four. One of which I’m sure everyone can remember. At Euro 2004 he scored goal of the tournament with an unbelievable diving header against Bulgaria.
One of his most impressive games though was for Barcelona. 1-0 down to Arsenal in the Champions League final of 2006 Larsson was brought on from the bench. He changed the game, assisting both Barca’s goals in a 2-1 win. Thierry Henry said after the match: “He came on; he changed the game, that is what killed the game. Sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto’o and people like that; you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference, and that was Henrik Larsson tonight.”
Larsson left Barcelona a hero and went back to his native Sweden with Helsingborg. He did however have a short loan spell with Manchester United in which he scored three goals. He was that impressive for United that Alex Ferguson tried everything to convince him to stay ‘till the end of the season. Larsson being a man of his word though went back to Helsingborg in the middle of March.
While I’m not saying Henrik Larsson is the greatest player to ever live, let’s give the guy a bit more credit.
I mean, Celtic would probably have him back now if they could.
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