Former Celtic player Larsson retires from football

by Linn Dupont

Swedish football striker Henrik Larsson retires from professional football.

Yesterday the former Celtic and Barcelona striker announced his retirement. After 16 years as a professional football player he has come to the decision to put his career to an end.

“I am now 38. It’s enough,” Larsson says in a press statement. “Now it’s time for something else”. His decision to retire has been developed over time.

Larsson, who plays for the Helsingborg team in the Swedish premier division, will play two more matches in the Swedish league before he does his final match when the season ends on 1 November. After that he will put his red and blue Helsingborg sweater on the shelf and go for a well deserved vacation.

During the 2000-01 season when playing for Celtic, Henrik Larsson won the Golden Boot for being Europe’s top scorer. Amongst Celtic supporters he is known as ‘The King of Kings’.

Larsson also played in Manchester during 2007. He participated in three World Cups and three European Championships and scored 37 goals in his 106 international matches for the Swedish team. Over the  years, Larsson has retired from the Swedish team several times, but he always came back when they needed him to help support his national team.

When Larsson helped Barcelona beat Arsenal with 2-1 in 2006 it became his biggest European triumph. Barcelona received it’s first Champions League title in 14 years and Henrik Larsson became the hero.

Back in Helsingborg, sports journalist Martin Bergstroem, reveal his opinion on the matter.

“He is without a doubt one of Sweden’s absolute best football players throughout history. Of course that makes his retirement a loss for the Swedish national team and for his fellow club players in Helsingborg,” Martin Bergstroem tells Edinburgh Napier News. “Larsson’s shoes leave a big empty hole to fill out, which opens up for new, younger players to rise in Swedish football.”

“Although, Larsson’s decision was expected,” Bergstroem continues “I think he did the right thing now when Sweden missed out on the World Championships and Helsingborg at the same time missed their chance to this year’s gold medal”.

Say what you want about Sweden loosing one of their greatest football strikers, but Larsson has plans on a future as a trainer. “If he decides to stay in the football world and help develop other players, we should consider ourselves lucky'”, says Bergstroem.

After this mornings press statement with his home club in Helsingborg, Larsson stated that he is fully satisfied with his decision. “It has developed furthermore during this season. Of course, it has been tough, but it was a tougher decision leaving the Celtic,” Larsson said. “I have enjoyed my career and am very grateful to everyone who has supported me ,” he finished his statement.

Henrik Larsson