Larsson says tearful farewell

Swedish striker plays his final ever match

By Richard Bailey   Last updated: 29th October 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Larsson says tearful farewell

Larsson: Calls time on his career

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Henrik Larsson bid a tearful farewell to professional football after he played his last ever game for hometown club Helsingborg.

The 38-year-old began his career with Hogaborg before spells with Helsingborg, Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United yielding a total of 415 goals.

The striker was also a vital member of the Swedish national team making over 100 appearances for his country scoring 37 goals.

The prolific marksman won four SPL titles with Celtic, two La Liga crowns with Barca as well as a UEFA Champions League winners' medal in 2006 and a Premier League title while on loan at United.

The result in his final game was not fitting for someone who has given football so much as Helsingborg sank to a 2-0 defeat to Djurgarden.

An emotional Larsson was close to tears when video tributes from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback and international team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic were displayed on a huge screen after the match.

"It really hits you when you meet all this love," he said. "I'm normally quite a cool character but right now I feel like I could cry.

"It's huge to be able to end it on our home ground and it has to end some time. It's rubbish to end things this way (with a defeat) but you can't have everything in life."

Moving

Larsson was also moved that Helsingborg had decided to retire his number 17 shirt in his honour: "It's a fantastic gesture by the club, to retire it for ever. I'm very moved."

Larsson admitted that retirement had already left him feeling empty and revealed he would like to remain in the game in some capacity.

"I don't know if I have to go down to the employment agency and do certain things, but I have the luck and luxury to be able to say no to jobs which are offered to me," he pointed out.

"But obviously there is an emptiness at present, and I need to fill that emptiness with something.

"I'm fortunate enough to have earned enough money to be able to sit back and not panic, but I have to do something. I can't just glide through the rest of my life."

Comments (44)

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Danny Wilson (Manchester United fan) says...

what a legend, wish you joined united earlier in your career, what a player.

Posted 20:02 1st November 2009

Lee Samuel (Manchester United fan) says...

thank you henrik, sheringham in dequise!!!!!! and ole in the finnish...........

Posted 19:38 1st November 2009

Kevin Super (Celtic fan) says...

Quite simply the best player ever to wear a Celtic jersey and somewhat overlooked because he played in Scotland, but he still did himself proud at barca and man utd, a true proffesional and always welcome back HAIL HAIL HENRIK.

Posted 20:12 31st October 2009

Ben Tumbo (Chelsea fan) says...

You were truly exceptional both as a player and your personality on the field. Good luck Henrik.

Posted 06:11 31st October 2009

Fraser Soutar (Celtic fan) says...

Henrik brought a real ray of sunshine to the scottish game, he tagged on the end of an amazing Rangers era that had Laudrup and Gazza in it(2 truely world class players) and created his own, movement, vision, workrate and clinical finishing he was in my opinion the complete striker and will always be (quite rightly) held up as a ture football legend!! Hail Hail Henrik

Posted 21:29 30th October 2009

Nikhil Nair (Barcelona fan) says...

You won everyone's heart. In the 2006 Champions Final, when Barcelona played Arsenal, the talk was all about Ronaldinho. But, he was barely seen as you help them secure the 2nd CL Title (now 3). A truly gifted football player you are! God Bless You!

Posted 11:14 30th October 2009

Damien Nejad (Celtic fan) says...

How could I not give a mention to Henrik? What a player! When I think of all the happiness I experienced, particularly between 2000 and 2004 because of his sublime quality. During my 24 years to date I experienced much happiness mainly through one man - his chip over Klos alone was simply sensational, then there was the likes of Juventus, Liverpool and how could I forget Boavista. I was gutted for him as well as myself in Seville. He deserved more! God Bless Henrik - Celtic legend!!!

Posted 11:05 30th October 2009

Baniko Demetriou (Manchester United fan) says...

Its very sad to see such a great player retire. He is a credit to himself and football as a whole. What a player, professional and gentleman. Henrik Larsson epitomises everything that is still good in football at a time when the sport needs it, especially when idiots like Marlon King dragging its name down.

Posted 08:15 30th October 2009

Jeremy Tan (Manchester United fan) says...

A great player, a legend, a gentleman, a true sportsman, a perfect example for others to follow. There will never be another footballer like Henrik Larsson! Hope to still see him involved in football.

Posted 01:58 30th October 2009

Scott Baxter (Celtic fan) says...

quite simply the greatest striker to grace scottish football. a truly world class player and model professional. hope you enjoy your retirement henke and come back to paradise where you belong in the managers seat sometime. henrik larsson is the king of kings!

Posted 00:55 30th October 2009

Ross Andrews (Celtic fan) says...

You are my Larsson, what a career Henke. On a day bad stories come out about a player going to jail, Henrik is at the complete other end of the scale. Hardworker, great striker, extra mile guy, complete legend. Thanks for the memories, hope to see you back in Glasgow at some point.

Posted 00:52 30th October 2009

Hola Amigos (Barcelona fan) says...

Larsson = A legend to be remembered!

Posted 21:37 29th October 2009

Craig Allison (Manchester United fan) says...

Absoute class. I hope you have a very long and happy retirement with your family. You have earned it so go and enjoy it! well done and all the best!

Posted 21:02 29th October 2009

Jimmy Bakaly (Barcelona fan) says...

Thanx for everything you did at Barca Henrik Larson and for bringin the most beautiful cup the champions league to the nou camp you are a legend and always will good luck for the future u always got a home Barca

Posted 20:56 29th October 2009

Steve H (Manchester United fan) says...

And all of this after coming back from one of the most horrific injuries I have ever seen, still sends shivers down my spine thinking of that Champions League night!! Henrik was and always will be god and should be a true inspiration to all upcoming footballers.

Posted 20:13 29th October 2009

Steven Johnson (Celtic fan) says...

The King of Kings.. Quite simply the greatest player to have graced the hoops in my lifetime. Have a happy retirement and hope to see you soon in paradise.

Posted 19:25 29th October 2009

Dgani Qayyum (Manchester United fan) says...

henrik larson was by far the loan legend for united.he was amazing and i cant believe he retired. LEGEND!!!

Posted 19:21 29th October 2009

Andy Wallwork (Newcastle United fan) says...

The man was a class act.

Posted 19:13 29th October 2009

Roanan Wilson (Celtic fan) says...

Hail Hail Henrik Larrson

Posted 19:13 29th October 2009

Ebrima Mambureh (Manchester United fan) says...

what a legend a top man with respect. His strike rate in celtic colours was phenomenal. I was luckey to watch him in united colours and wished he stayed there for a bit longer. A true football man we all love you. Good luck in what ever you intend to do in life.

Posted 18:43 29th October 2009

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