Whether it was his long blonde dreadlocks or his stunning goalscoring record, there was always something fans from all over the world admired about Henrik Larsson and he truly was a one in a million player.
It was at Celtic, Larsson made his name scoring 242 goals in 313 games and established himself as a top-class goalscorer which ultimately led to a move to Spanish giants Barcelona in 2004 and he truly deserved it.
His goal-scoring wasn’t as good for Barca as it was at Celtic, but that didn’t stop him from being a huge presence on the pitch and especially in the dressing room, unfortunately, his time was plagued by injury so he needed to be big in the dressing room.
He did end up being loaned out to Manchester United at the backend of his career and I think every team just wanted someone like him in the dressing room with his experience and technique, he really is a fantastic person and player.
Larsson bagged a very good amount of trophies in his career picking up four Scottish Premier League titles, two La Liga titles and The Champions League, Larsson could have won a Premier League medal with United but he had to see out his contract at Helsingborg, which he did, could he be any more humble?
The Swede has given management a go although it is nowhere near as successful as his playing career and has had many disagreements with the fans of Helsinborg which has led him to leave his post twice, but that will never put a dampener on his career as a player.
We have put together some of the best quotes about the Swedish legend and here is what the world of football have to say about him.
Xavi – “The impact he had on the team was so important. In the final of the Champions League, he made the assists for the goals that helped us win the trophy. He was so important for us and he was loved by the supporters and his team-mates.”
Sir Alex Ferguson – “He’s been fantastic for us, his professionalism, his attitude, everything he’s done has been excellent. We would love him to stay but, obviously, he has made his promise to his family and Helsingborg and I think we should respect that – but I would have done anything to keep him.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – “Henrik was good enough to play for any team in Europe. But after playing at Celtic Park it is easy to understand why he chose to stay there for so long.”
Mikael Lustig – “Probably one of the best players Sweden has ever produced.”
Martin O’Neill – “The pleasure has been all ours… Sensational, from a sensational player”
Ronaldinho – “With Henrik leaving us at the end of the season this club is losing a great scorer, no question. But I am also losing a great friend. Henrik was my idol and now that I am playing next to him it is fantastic”
Thierry Henry – “People always talk about Ronaldinho, and everything, but I didn’t see him today, I saw Henrik Larsson. He came on, he changed the game, that is what killed the game.”
Ronaldinho – Henrik taught me a lot about football and I learned even more from him as a person. I was disappointed that he left for Sweden because I would have loved to have played with him for longer“
Sir Alex Ferguson – “In training he was superb, his movement, his positional play. His three goals for us was no measure of his contribution”.
Samuel Eto’o – “Henrik taught me how to become invisible, how to make other players forget about me.”
Ian Wright – “I remember going to lunch with Henrik Larsson. It was literally like walking along the road with Elvis Presley.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – “We all know Henrik is a quality player. I have said before I think he is the best Scandinavian player since Michael Laudrup – and he has shown that in training and games.”
Chris Sutton – “He could do everything – finish, link up, really unselfish. I enjoyed that partnership more.”
Neil Lennon – “Henrik is an incredible talent, a real predator, and it’s not until you work with him that you realise how special he is. He’s so down to earth.”
Arsene Wenger on the 2006 Champions League Final – “Not bad memories, nightmares. But he is a player I like a lot. I like first of all his intelligence and I like his team attitude.”
Gianluigi Buffon – “Over my career I have played against some of the best strikers there has ever been. Both Ronaldos, Roberto Baggio, Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and I can honestly say Larsson is not out of place in those names. I faced him against Celtic and Sweden and he was a player to fear, he was very special.”
Vincent Kompany – “I’ve faced many great strikers, but the toughest one was when I was 17 and playing against a great Celtic team. On the other side was Larsson and Hartson, which was just an unbelievable strike force.”
Wim Jansen – “The best signing I ever made”
The Swedish Football Association – “The greatest Swedish football player of the last 50 years”
The Celtic Fans – King of Kings/Thanks For The Memories
Editor of Vital Charlton and a passionate Charlton fan. Kieran has been involved in the Charlton press conferences and local newspaper News Shopper and has met with the Charlton manager Lee Bowyer on numerous occasions. He is a regular in the press box on matchdays and also reports on U-23 games.