Sweden

Teams /  Sweden  / Sweden 
Sweden have 875 Fans
 
 
 
 
World Cup 2010 special: part two – Have any player-managers ever appeared at a World Cup?
John Ashdown - 4 years ago

"With rumours that David James is hoping to become manager of Portsmouth, and given that he has been selected for Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, would this be the first time a club manager has played in a World Cup finals?" wonders Rich Liddiatt.

Step forward Graeme James Souness, who played for, and captained, Scotland in Mexico in 1986 having been appointed player-manager at Rangers in April of the same year.

Souness was part of the side outplayed by the Danish Dynamite in the opening group game and beaten by West Germany in their second outing. The format meant that Scotland would still have qualified for the second round had they beaten Uruguay in the final group game. Souness was dropped, José Batista was sent off after less than a minute, but a 0-0 draw sent Scotland home.

In 1986 Northern Ireland also had a player-manager in their squad in the shape of reserve keeper Jim Platt. Platt had been appointed Coleraine manager in 1985, but was still part of the squad that went out in the first round in Mexico.

And, perhaps most impressively, there's Gunnar Gren, along with Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm part of the great Gre-No-Li Milan trio of the early 1950s, who returned to Sweden to take over as manager of Orgryte in 1956. And he was still in the hotseat at the old Gamla Ullevi ground in 1958 when, at the age of 37, Gren was a key part of the Sweden side that made it all the way to the final before losing to Brazil.

SAARLAND UBER ALLES"Saarland competed as a team in the qualifying rounds for the 1954 World Cup," writes Graham Clayton. "Have there been any other examples of non-national teams competing in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup?"

That's one mighty can of worms you've opened there, Graham. As Claus Moser notes: "There is a bit of a grey area as to what you consider as a 'nation'. Throughout Fifa's history, there have always been a number of members who were not representing fully recognised states, but rather colonies, dependencies or semi-autonomous territories." And as Vid Gunapala points out: "Saarland was independent of both the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) following the end of WWII. It was on 1 January 1957 that Saarland joined West Germany, in what is sometimes referred to as the Kleine Wiedervereinigung ('small reunification', in contrast with the post-Cold War 'big reunification'). Therefore the team representing Saarland was by no means a 'non-national' entity. For example, it had its own president."

In fact, Vid's email was so wonderfully comprehensive, providing a full list of sides who could qualify for our vague definition of 'non-national', that we might as well (having put his email into table format to give at least a general impression that we're doing some work here) hand this one over to him:

THE REAL WORLD CHAMPIONS"I remember before the last World Cup you discussed who the 'real' world champions were," writes Shane Byrne. "When you last ran the article, it was the mighty Zimbabwe, can I ask who are currently world champions on this basis?"

For those unaware of the Unofficial Football World Championship, dating back to 1872 and the very first international football match (a draw between England and Scotland). England became the first unofficial world champions with a 4-2 over the Tartan Army in 1873 and the title has changed hands in a boxing-style format ever since.

Zimbabwe were deposed as title holders back in 2005 by Nigeria and the crown has since passed through the hands of Romania, Uruguay, Georgia, Scotland, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, Hungary (again) and Sweden, but the current title holders are Holland, who took the title from the Swedes in November 2008. All of which info, and more, can be found on the rather marvellous Unofficial Football World Championships website.

KNOWLEDGE WORLD CUP ARCHIVE"Apart from Josip Simunic in the recent Australia-Croatia match, has any other player in a World Cup been awarded three yellow cards in a single match before being shown the red card?" wondered Nina Koutts during the 2006 tournament. "If so, who was the referee responsible for this tremendous feat?"

Not exactly, Nina, although Iranian referee Jafar Namdar came mighty close at the 1974 finals. Late on, during an ill-tempered game between Australia and Chile, Namdar booked Ray Richards for time-wasting over a free-kick. Absent-mindedly forgetting he had already booked Richards in the first half, Namdar happily trotted off to leave Richards thinking it was his lucky day.

Ultimately, his efforts to remain inconspicuous failed: four minutes later, an irate Fifa official arrived on the touchline, informing the linesman of Namdar's mistake. Cue some mad flagging, Australian protestation and eventual dismissal for Richards.

For thousands more questions and answers take a trip through the Knowledge archive

Can you help?"Article 26.4 of Fifa's World Cup regulations outlines rules on numbering of players in squads pointing out that the No1 jersey must be allocated to one of the goalkeepers," writes Danny O'Donnell. "This eliminates the possibility of an outfield player having the No1 jersey as was the case with Argentina in 1978 and 1982 when they allocated numbers to the entire squad on an alphabetical basis. I seem to recall that England adopted a similar approach in 1982 with exception of the goalkeepers who had the 1, 13 and 22 jerseys and Kevin Keegan who was allocated the No7 out of the alphabetical sequence. In 1990 Scotland decided that, with exception of goalkeeper Jim Leighton who was No1, to allocate remaining squad numbers on the basis of the number of caps won. This throws up the question of any innovative methods of allocating squad numbers?"

Is Theo Walcott the first player to be left out of a finals squad after scoring a hat-trick in qualifying?" wonders Ally Johnson.

Send your World Cup questions and answers to knowledge@guardian.co.uk

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Football Italia - 22 hours ago
Torino beat Brommapojkarna 3-0 in Sweden this evening in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round clash. Giampiero Ventura named his strongest possible line-up for the clash in Stockholm as the Toro looked to get their European ...
caughtoffside - 5 hours ago
“The day Olof Mellberg decided to quit the national team it was a great loss to Swedish football and the team. But to me personally it was an even greater loss. When I had him on the team I never had to look back because I knew he was behind me and I ...
Times of India - 3 weeks ago
The ongoing FIFA World Cup fever has gripped Bollywood. The latest to join the football fan club is Irrfan's elder son, Babil. The 15-year-old is currently in Sweden, where he is undergoing football coaching. ALSO READ: Irrfan Khan to launch Mira Nair ...
Magnoliareporter - 2 weeks ago
Mustin, a native of Fayetteville, Tenn., was a two-year starter for the Mulerider football team and earned All-GAC First-Team and Don Hansen All-Super Region III Third-Team honors his senior season of 2013. In his two seasons at SAU, Mustin totaled 141 ...
The FA - 1 hour ago
The experience of the trip has been invaluable according to Edwards, and it also provided him with his finest moment whilst wearing the Three Lions. “It was hard to break Sweden down. They knew they only had to draw to get through to the final while we ...
The FA - 1 hour ago
... football that left the man in charge proud. “I've said it all week, I'm just really proud once again of the players and how they are taking the playing philosophy on board,” Micciche told TheFA.com. “We totally dominated possession again against ...
Hartlepool Mail - 3 hours ago
Captain Houghton, who now plays for newly formed Manchester City, believes taking on Sweden will act as the perfect preparation for the crunch Wales match on August 21. Houghton, 26, said: ... “They've got players that can win football matches ...
Herald Sun - 13 hours ago
Canada, China, Fiji, Finland, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Great Britain, India, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga and the USA will contests the men's event. Canada – Northern Lights, Canada – Midnight ...
Goal.com - 2 hours ago
The forward also netted 11 times in 10 matches for Portugal last year, including a stunning four-goal haul against Sweden to secure victory in the World Cup playoffs. The disappointing showing from his side in Brazil was the only real blemish in an ...
Goal.com - 9 hours ago
The forward also netted 11 times in 10 matches for Portugal last year, including a stunning four-goal haul against Sweden to secure victory in the World Cup playoffs. The disappointing showing from his side in Brazil was the only real blemish in an ...

Latest Photo Galleries

Euro 2008 Group D final games
6 years ago
All the best pictures from the Russia v Sweden and Greece v Spain
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football