“We create so much history” – Sweden players look forward to new record crowd

Sweden's players celebrate after Sweden's midfielder Caroline Seger (L) scored a goal during the Algarve Cup women's final football match between Sweden and Italy at the Municipal stadium in Lagos, southern Portugal, on February 23, 2022. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP) (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Swedish National team faces Brazil in a last big test ahead of the 2022 Euros. The game will be played at Friends Arena in Stockholm, where the current record attendance for a women’s football game in Sweden was set. In 2019, 25 882 fans were in attendance when Germany narrowly beat the hosts.

Now, it’s time for a new record. As more than 34.000 tickets have been sold, the Swedish players look forward to receiving a cheerful send-off before heading to England in July.

Sweden: Big support and excitement

“We’ve been feeling a big support from the Swedish fans and it’s been something different this spring”, said Hanna Glas. Her National team regularly welcomes thousands of fans to their games. However, the time has come to play in a bigger arena. In regard to the increased interest in women’s football, discussions have been sparked about whether the Swedish women’s team should play all of their games at Friends Arena, which is larger than their current home stadium Gamla Ullevi.

For now, getting as many fans into the stands on Tuesday comes first. “It’s just amazing to even think that they will probably [break the] record”, said Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, who shared Glas’ excitement. “[It is] such a big thing now and the people actually want to come and watch us play. Feels like women’s football takes steps all the time.”

Forward Rebecka Blomqvist agrees with this. She is in no way surprised about the high amount of tickets sold. “I think we also we could really break the record”, she said. “I think we’ve promoted ourselves very well. And I think we deserve it.”

Final test for Sweden against Brazil

“It’s amazing and it will be so fun to go to Stockholm and play at Friends Arena”, said Stina Blackstenius visibly excited and eager to get the game started. “I hope that all of the people that have bought tickets will come and then it will for sure be an exciting game.”

Embed from Getty Images

However, their opponent is a tough one. Coached by former Sweden manager Pia Sundhage, Brazil have taken many important steps in its development. The side is known for their speed and dynamic style of play. “That game is important for us to just get [going] and prepare (…) before the Euros start”, added Blackstenius. “But also to practice on the details in our game and see where we are.”

“We will try to find the way we play [with] good combinations and also just enjoy the good environment in Stockholm”, defender Amanda Nildén pointed out. She counts on the supporters in the stands during the challenging game. “To have all the fans in front of us and to get the last boost before the tournament will mean a lot.”

Prepare and enjoy

For Elin Rubensson, the incoming record crowd marks an important milestone for the Swedish team. “We create so much history”, she said when reflecting on the current growth of women’s football. When thinking of the game itself against Brazil, the midfielder believes it will help her side adapt to the large crowds awaiting them in England.

“When you play against Brazil, I think it’s just important to go out and play and get that feeling to play in front of lots of people and enjoy. Focus on what we are going to do.”

Embed from Getty Images

“It’s a big game and it’s incredible”, said Linda Sembrant happily. After missing out on the 2021 Olympics with a torn ACL, the defender is back competing for a title with Sweden this summer. However, her focus lies on Brazil first. “It’s an important game and we [had] one week to prepare like we just get together and we have one game. It’s a part of our preparation.”

She concluded: “It’s really important and we’ll be looking forward to it, also because like how the tickets are selling day after day, more and more. So it will be amazing.”

MORE from Her Football Hub: