Ahead of Sweden's second outing at Euro 2016, bwfc.co.uk profile the club's record signing who featured for the Swedes at two European Championships
With Sweden in action against Italy later today, bwfc.co.uk profiles the club's record signing who featured for the Swedes in Euro 2016 qualification before retiring from international football late last year.
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85 CAPS 20 GOALS
European Championships: 2 (EURO 2008 AND EURO 2012)
Best Stage Reached: GROUP-STAGES
Tournament Appearances: 5
Tournament Goals: 0
After featuring sporadically for Sweden during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Johan Elmander called time on his international career in November 2015 having previously represented his homeland at two European Championships.
Starting his career in his homeland with stints at Holmalund and Orgryte, the forward moved to Eredivisie side Feyenoord in 2000.
Although never a first team regular for the Dutch club, Elmander was handed his international debut as a substitute against Greece in February 2002, while he came off the bench in Feyenoord’s UEFA Cup victory over Borussia Dortmund later that season.
Earning only a handful of caps over the next two seasons while spending time on loan at Djurgarden and NAC Breda, he missed out on places in both Sweden’s 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 squads before joining Danish side Brondby in August 2004.
But after two prolific campaigns in Denmark, where he won a league and cup double in 2005, Elmander was included in the Swedes’ squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, coming off the bench in their group game clashes with Paraguay and England.
Moving to French side Toulouse following the tournament, his impressive form at club-level continued, cementing the striker’s status as first-choice for Sweden, scoring twice as they qualified for Euro 2008.
Drawn in a group with eventual winners Spain, Russia and Greece for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland, Elmander came off the bench in the 71st minute as Sweden opened their campaign with a 2-0 victory over the Greeks.
Handed a start as they fell to a stoppage-time 2-1 defeat against Spain in their second game, he was also named in the Swedes’ starting XI for their winner-takes all final group game against Russia.
However, Elmander was unable to prevent Sweden from falling a 2-0 defeat as they suffered an early exit.
Moving to Wanderers in a club-record deal following the tournament, the forward endeared himself to supporters almost immediately with a debut goal against Stoke City, but would struggle for consistency during his first two seasons at the Reebok Stadium.
But after Sweden narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Elmander recovered to enjoy his finest season for Bolton, netting an impressive 12 goals before moving to Galatasaray on a free transfer.
Winning the Turkish Super Lig during a prolific first season with the club, Elmander also scored twice in Euro 2012 qualification as Sweden qualified for the finals in Poland and Ukraine.
A 71st minute substitute in their opening 2-1 defeat to co-hosts Ukraine, the striker started as Sweden faced England in their second group game, needing to avoid defeat to stay in the competition.
Falling behind to an Andy Carroll header midway through the first half, Sweden turned the game on its head to take the lead shortly after the restart thanks to a Glen Johnson own goal and Olof Mellberg strike.
However, Theo Walcott’s introduction change the tide of the game once more as the winger equalised for the Three Lions before Danny Welbeck clinched victory for Roy Hodgson’s side – eliminating Sweden from the tournament in the process.
Elmander was unused as they concluded their campaign against France as goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sebastian Larsson clinched a shock 2-0 victory for Sweden.
Winning the Turkish Super Lig again in 2012/13, he spent the following season on loan at Premier League side Norwich City, however the striker scored just once for the Canaries as they suffered relegation
Returning to Brondby in June 2014, he was unable to help Sweden qualify for the 2014 World Cup despite scoring three times in qualification as they suffered a play-off defeat to Portugal.
Captaining Sweden for the first time in their friendly clashes with Ivory Coast and Finland in January 2015, Elmander won his final international cap against Iran the following March, while he left Brondby after two seasons earlier this summer.
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