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FOOTBALL

Join the Club: Football

Join the Club is The Local's guide to becoming a member of sporting organizations in Sweden.

Join the Club: Football

With pre-season training getting underway at football clubs all over Sweden, now may be an ideal time to dust off the boots and get involved with your local outfit.

At the grassroots level, there are well-organized leagues in operation all over the country, offering suitable alternatives for everyone from the fit young goal machine to the paunchy veteran.

Here we provide a small sampling of some of the clubs operating in Sweden’s two largest cities, followed by details on how to get in touch with clubs in your local area.

Stockholm

With three men’s and two women’s teams, Långholmen FC is Stockholm’s largest English-speaking football club.

Established in 2002, the club has taken the Stockholm league by storm, needing just five seasons to make the leap from Division 8 to Division 4.

The first team is supplemented by a Reserves outfit and a third team playing in the less competitive Korpen league.

The club also has a women’s Korpen team and is for the first time preparing to enter a women’s team to the Stockholm league for the 2008 season.

For more information and contact details:

Långholmen FC

Another English-speaking club doing the business last year was the Tudor Arms FC.

The team affiliated with the oldest English pub in the capital capped a fine season by securing promotion to Division 6.

The Tudor Arms also has a veterans team, which will need to produce some serious samba football if it is to defeat the likes of Sol de America and Bolivia IF when the new season kicks off in April.

Website with contact into:

Tudor Arms

Gothenburg

There are a few teams in Gothenberg actively seeking players for the 2008 season.

Men:

Competing in Division 7, Grimmeruds BK reformed last year after a lengthy slumber and are now looking for new blood to strengthened their squad.

Grimmereds BK

Guldringen SK in Division 6 are interested in hearing from potential goalkeepers and strikers.

See their ad here:

Guldringen SK

Women:

Mölndal Fotboll are keen to find new players and trainers.

Contact: Mölndal ad

Website: Mölndal Fotbolls Damlag

Nationwide

The Swedish Football Association provides an English-language introduction to the Swedish league system.

Swedish Football Association

Once you have clicked on the “To the Leagues” link, go to the “Kontaktuppgifter och Tävlingar” tab on the next page to find links to every district association and active club in the country.

Over the coming weeks, The Local will add a range of other sports to the Join the Club series. If you would like your club to be mentioned in the guide, please drop us an e-mail at the following address:

FOOTBALL

Putellas becomes second Spanish footballer in history to win Ballon d’Or

Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Spain won the women's Ballon d'Or prize on Monday, becoming only the second Spanish-born footballer in history to be considered the best in the world, and claiming a win for Spain after a 61-year wait.

FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award.
FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Putellas is the third winner of the prize, following in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, and United States World Cup star Megan Rapinoe, winner in 2019.

Putellas captained Barcelona to victory in this year’s Champions League, scoring a penalty in the final as her side hammered Chelsea 4-0 in Gothenburg.

She also won a Spanish league and cup double with Barca, the club she joined as a teenager in 2012, and helped her country qualify for the upcoming Women’s Euro in England.

Her Barcelona and Spain teammate Jennifer Hermoso finished second in the voting, with Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia coming in third.

It completes an awards double for Putellas, who in August was named player of the year by European football’s governing body UEFA.

But it’s also a huge win for Spain as it’s the first time in 61 years that a Spanish footballer – male or female – is crowned the world’s best footballer of the year, and only the second time in history a Spaniard wins the Ballon d’Or. 

Former Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez (not the ex Liverpool and Barça player now at Atlético) was the only Spanish-born footballer to win the award in 1960 while at Inter Milan. Argentinian-born Alfredo Di Stefano, the Real Madrid star who took up Spanish citizenship, also won it in 1959.

Who is Alexia Putellas?

Alexia Putellas grew up dreaming of playing for Barcelona and after clinching the treble of league, cup and Champions League last season, her status as a women’s footballing icon was underlined as she claimed the Ballon d’Or on Monday.

Unlike the men’s side, Barca’s women swept the board last term with the 27-year-old, who wears “Alexia” on the back of her shirt, at the forefront, months before Lionel Messi’s emotional departure.

Attacker Putellas, who turns 28 in February, spent her childhood less than an hour’s car journey from the Camp Nou and she made her first trip to the ground from her hometown of Mollet del Valles, for the Barcelona derby on January 6, 2000.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas (R) vies with VfL Wolfsburg's German defender Kathrin Hendrich
Putellas plays as a striker for Barça and Spain. GABRIEL BOUYS / POOL / AFP

Exactly 21 years later she became the first woman in the modern era to score in the stadium, against Espanyol. Her name was engraved in the club’s history from that day forward, but her story started much earlier.

She started playing the sport in school, against boys.

“My mum had enough of me coming home with bruises on my legs, so she signed me up at a club so that I stopped playing during break-time,” Putellas said last year.

So, with her parent’s insistence, she joined Sabadell before being signed by Barca’s academy.

“That’s where things got serious… But you couldn’t envisage, with all one’s power, to make a living from football,” she said.

After less than a year with “her” outfit, she moved across town to Espanyol and made her first-team debut in 2010 before losing to Barca in the final of the Copa de la Reina.

She then headed south for a season at Valencia-based club Levante before returning “home” in July 2012, signing for Barcelona just two months after her father’s death.

In her first term there she helped Barca win the league and cup double, winning the award for player of the match in the final of the latter competition.

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