One of the most important Swedish people to have ever walked our flat earth is Henrik Larsson. Larsson, who made his name banging in an inhumane number of goals during a long career at Celtic before gracing Barcelona and Manchester United, is now managing Swedish club Helsingborgs IF, which makes Helsingborg the most interesting club in Sweden.
But a name and nostalgia alone aren’t enough for a player with a storied career to pull out wins as a manager. Sometimes even the greats need a little divine intervention.
This weekend’s divine intervention came from Helsingborgs’ 42-year-old kitman Daniel Andersson, who became more than a pitman after the team’s two goalkeepers were ruled out due to injury. That meant Andersson pressed into action between the posts for the team’s season opener – Larsson’s first match in charge of the club.
That’s definitely worthy of a chuckle, but the chuckles didn’t last long, as Andersson went out and kept himself a clean sheet, making several quality saves and exhibiting goalkeeping technique and pedigree that one doesn’t typically learn at Kitperson Academy.
Andersson is the goalkeeper in green. Check out the saves for yourself.
In the interest of full disclosure, Andersson is also the team’s goalkeeper coach, and has one cap for Sweden back in 2001. So it isn’t as if Larsson pulled out Lars from the Accounts Payable to go out and get smacked in the face with reckless abandon.
Still, 42-year-old Andersson did an admirable job in the face of adversity. And for that, all credit should obviously go to the divine overlord of Swedish soccer, Hendrik Larsson.
The lesson: Always keep your boots around. You never know when you’re going to get called up.