Everyone in Sweden knows it, even if they won’t all admit it, but for anyone still unsure here are the six reasons Malmö is Sweden's football capital.
6. Champions League football. Malmö football fans have faced a dilemma in recent years: Should they attend the men’s or women’s matches in Europe’s top competition? Or both?
Malmö FF sliced open Celtic a couple of years ago to make it to the coveted group stages, repeating the previous year’s feat when they knocked out Salzburg to advance. Local legend Markus Rosenberg bagged a hatful of key goals over the course of two campaigns that left the rest of Sweden wondering if they’d ever catch up.
This clip brilliantly captures the euphoria inside Swedbank Arena in the closing minutes of the Celtic game.
And don’t even get us started on the women from FC Rosengård who have played in the Champions League seven times, and only missed out on a semi final place after a penalty shootout. .
Bonus quiz question: Can you name any other Swedish team that reached the final of the European Cup?
No? Didn’t think so. And only Trevor Francis, England’s first million-pound footballer, prevented them from winning it.
Find out more: Malmö FF’s homepage
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He was so far ahead of his time that it took the rest of Sweden a few years to realise he actually was as good as he’d been telling anyone who’d listen back in his teenage Malmö FF days.
Although he grabs a lot of headlines for his attitude and ego, he has never forgotten his roots and always speaks highly of Malmö. He even partly funded the construction of a training pitch, Zlatan Court, to inspire kids in Rosengård, his old neighbourhood.
This lovely video shows just how important the city still is to its most famous son.
3. The M club. Manchester, Milan, Madrid, Munich, Malmö. As everyone knows, most of Europe’s great football cities start with M. Zlatan Ibrahimovic certainly knows it, which is why he chose to be born in Malmö. He has also had stints with both Milan clubs, has played for Manchester United, and would probably have played for Munich or Manchester City had not his nemesis Pep Guardiola got there first.
Find out more: FC Rosengård’s homepage.
1. Incredible fans.
Famously loud Celtic fans, gracious in defeat after that Champions League exit, were full of praise for the volume levels inside Swedbank Arena. Malmö FF’s supporters are passionate about their club in a way that’s probably best understood in places like Barcelona or Dortmund, where the team is a unifying and positive force in the city.
Pump up the volume on this clip of fans chanting before a 2014 Champions League qualifier against Sparta Praque to get a taste of it. Better still, get yourself over to Malmö to take in a game live. You won’t regret it!