Stronger — than the United States
Article by Kristoffer Bergström for Aftonbladet
When Sweden changed their physical tests a surprising result appeared. The Swedes are better trained than the world’s best national team.
— I can feel that we always have more energy than our opponents, says Antonia Göransson.
With three weeks left until EURO 2013 the favourites form are uncertain. Many French national team players are from Lyon who lost the Champions League final in May. Germany yesterday had their sixth player ruled out. Sweden today faces Brazil in their second to last friendly before the tournament. Gamewise it is unclear where they stand, but physically it is crystal clear.
When Pia Sundhage took over as coach last fall the tests were expanded and modified. They adapted to the rivals, and can therefore now see who is the strongest and most durable. The last so called Yo-Yo test were held the other day and the results were pleasing.
— We are better prepared than ahead of the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Olympics. Most importantly, the squad feels collected. The worst performers have good results, which is what we have been working at, says physio Helena Andersson.
How do you compare to the top nations?
We keep track of Pia’s players in the United States and are in comparison just as good. Actually, I think our players have even better results.
Earlier this year a couple of players have shone in the tests, but now five are in the top. Central defender Charlotte Rohlin, central midfielders Lisa Dahlkvist and Caroline Seger, and forward Lotta Schelin all performed well, but best was winger Antonia Göransson. Her results left Pia Sundhage amazed.
— I have never seen results like those before, she says.
Numbers are one thing. How does this help on the pitch?
In women’s football the tempo can be increased and this shows that we have players with speed. We have those kinds of results that should give us plenty of confidence. We are well trained! And that’s in comparison to all Americans.
Antonia Göransson says she notices the physical advantage during matches. It is even more obvious in the second half.
— Yes, I can feel that. Against Iceland you could feel it. We often get a grip of a match and do not give the other team many chances, which is a sign of that we have energy throughout the whole match, she says.
Sweden — Brazil, kick-off Wednesday, 19 June at 5.45 pm CET
Starting lineup for Sweden:
Nilsson, Fischer, Rohlin, Thunebro
Öqvist, M. Hammarström, Seger, Göransson
On the bench: K. Hammarström, Lindahl, Ilestedt, Dahlkvist, Jakobsson, Konradsson, Magnusson, Samuelsson, Schough, Banusic, Hurtig, Segerström
The Brazilian squad: Picarte, Luciana — Poliana, Danielli, Andressa, Bagé, Bruna Benites, Janaina, Gislaine — Formiga, Francielle, Maria, Marta, Rosana, Bia — Karen, Fabiana Baiana, Adriane, Débinha, Giovânia