Euro Whites: Christian Wilhelmsson

As the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, profile another former Wanderer who reached the same stage of the competition in one of his three European Championships appearances

As the Euro 2016 quarter-finals continue, profile a former Wanderer who represented Sweden at three European Championships and reached the same stage of the competition back in 2004.

SWEDEN (2001-2012) 

European Championships: 3 (EURO 2004, EURO 2008 AND EURO 2012) 
Best Stage Reached: QUARTER-FINALS 

Tournament Appearances: 8 
Tournament Goals: 0

A veteran of three European Championships, Christian Wilhelmsson started his senior career in his native Sweden with Mjallby in 1997, before moving on to Norwegian side Stabaek in 2000. 

Handed his international debut in a friendly against the Faroe Islands in January 2001, the winger missed out on a place in Sweden’s 2002 World Cup squad and would have to wait until 2003 to win his second cap following a move to Belgian side Anderlecht. 

Despite not playing a part in Sweden’s Euro 2004 qualification campaign, Wilhelmsson was named in their squad for the tournament having impressed in his maiden season with Anderlecht as they won the Belgian Pro League title.

Drawn in Group C alongside Bulgaria, Denmark and Italy, the midfielder came on as a 41st minute substitute in Sweden’s opening game against the Bulgarians as they started the tournament in impressive fashion by strolling to a convincing 5-0 victory. 

Handed a starting role in their second outing as they drew with Italy, he was again utilized as a substitute in their final group match as Sweden progressed in the competition courtesy of another draw with Denmark. 

However, Sweden would suffer a quarter-final exit at the hands of the Netherlands, losing 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw despite Wilhelmsson scoring his spot-kick after again coming on as a substitute. 

Going on to score his first international goal months later in a 2006 World Cup qualifying victory over Iceland, he would also find the net against Malta as the Swedes qualified for the tournament as one of the two best runners-up. 

Now a regular for Sweden, Wilhelmsson was included in their squad for the 2006 World Cup having won a second Belgian Pro League title with Anderlecht that season. 

The winger started their first two group games as they drew with Trinidad and Tobago before narrowly beating Paraguay. However, he was restricted to a role from the bench in both Sweden’s final group-games as they drew with England, and their second round defeat against host nation Germany. 

Signing for French side Nantes following the tournament, Wilhelmsson was on the move again months later as he joined Serie A side AS Roma on loan until the end of the season. 

Helping Sweden qualify for Euro 2008 after scoring twice in qualification, the winger spent the 2007/08 season again on loan – this time at Bolton Wanderers. 

However, his loan stint at the Reebok Stadium was cut short after just 13 appearances, with him finishing the campaign on loan at Deportivo La Coruna. 

Named in the Sweden squad for Euro 2008, Wilhelmsson started their opening game as they recorded a 2-0 victory over Greece, only to be forced off late on by injury. 

It proved to be his only appearance of the tournament as a result, with the Swedes suffering a group-stage exit after defeats to eventual winners Spain and Russia. 

Signing for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal after the tournament, the winger won two league titles and three domestic cups during his time with the club, while also enjoying a brief loan stint in Qatar with Al Ahli. 

Continuing to be called up by Sweden as they failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Wilhelmsson scored three times as the Swedes bounced back to qualify for Euro 2012. 

Brought on as a substitute in all three group games, the winger was unable to prevent Sweden suffering another group-stage exit despite beating France in their last match, having already lost to co-hosts Ukraine and England. 

Signing for LA Galaxy in September 2012, with whom he lifted the MLS Cup, he won his final international cap the following month in a 2014 World Cup victory over the Faroe Islands. 

Following a stint with Abu Dhabi based side Baniyas, where he won the GCC Champions League, the winger returned to his first club Mjallby in 2014, before retiring at the end of the season.

However, despite briefly coming out of retirement with Mjallby again last year, Wilhelmsson was unable to help them avoid relegation before hanging up his boots once and for all.

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