Johanna Rytting Kaneryd: An introduction to Sweden’s rising star

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd
KALMAR, SWEDEN - JUNE 15: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd of Sweden during the Women's International Friendly match between Sweden and Australia at Guldfageln Arena on June 15, 2021 in Kalmar, Sweden. (Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images)

“I was very happy because this is a goal I had for a long time since I started to play football”, said Johanna Rytting Kaneryd with a big smile. “I am just super proud and happy that I reached it.”

It is the first time that the Swedish midfielder got selected to compete in a big tournament with her National team. Recently, Rytting Kaneryd impressed for club and country and earned the spot to compete at the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euros. Her Football Hub spoke to her at Sweden’s pre-camp in Båstad.

The first tournament, first Euros

So far, the preparations for the summer in England have been going well. Rytting Kaneryd pointed out the quality of the training facilities, as well as the good atmosphere among her Swedish teammates. “The group [has] been really nice and good”, she said.

As a newcomer, the midfielder gets a lot of help and advice from the more experienced players. “They are my teammates, but also my close friends”, explained Rytting Kaneryd.

She added: “When they were in the Olympics last year, I talked with them every day, so I know pretty much already. But of course, they tell me that it’s another feeling than at a normal camp. It’s good that they have experienced that. So I know what I’m waiting for.”

However, it is difficult for the Swede to formulate concrete expectations about the upcoming Euros. Nevertheless, she emphasized her excitement, as the big opening game is getting closer and closer.

Break through at BK Häcken

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So far, Rytting Kaneryd has been playing a standout season for her club, BK Häcken. This season, she scored nine goals across all competitions and has six assists to her name. In addition, she was voted Player of the month in the Swedish league. The successful run is, however, not a matter of course. Throughout her career, the midfielder tore her ACL twice and had to deal with several injury setbacks.

Now, she is taking every chance at Häcken to cause trouble in the final third. “This year , I’ve been scoring more goals, and more assists”, the midfielder reflected on her 2022 campaign so far. “I have been working extra weeks, and then also my physical part, that I’m more strong and faster than ever. So physical, I feel in a really, I really good shape.”

Rytting Kaneryd is widely known for her explosiveness once she gets the ball. Mostly used as an offensive midfielder on the right wing, she makes dangerous runs and crosses into the box. “I would say that I’m a creative player that likes to do 1 v 1’s and break the patterns and often use my speed”, she described herself from a tactical point of view.

Looking ahead

Now, Rytting Kaneryd is ready for the next step in her career: “I want to be a threat in the offensive part, of course. I have also been working a lot on my defensive skills. So, my goals are to come to a better league and to play in a better team and to take steps all the time.”

She added: “I will not be happy until I reached that and I want to be as [good] as I can, so I will just keep on going.”

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The Euros are certainly one of those steps, which the midfielder brought up. However, the Swedish squad is stacked with quality players in every position. The rivalry for a place in the starting XI is huge. For newcomers like Rytting Kaneryd, this battle might be extra tough.

“Of course, you want to play as much as you can as a player, but I don’t have any too high expectations”, she reflected honestly. “If I get the chance to play and show what I’m good at, I will just be super, super happy and to be able to help the team to [succeed]. So that’s my goal.”

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