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Euro Whites: Johan Mjallby

18 June 2016

Our ongoing series continues as bwfc.co.uk profiles one of Wanderers' former assistant managers who turned out at two European Championships

With tournament debutants Iceland, led by veteran manager Lars Lagerback, in action today against Hungary, bwfc.co.uk profiles the club's former assistant manager who played under the Swede at his first European Championships as a manager back in 2000.

JOHAN MJALLBY
SWEDEN (1997-2004) 
49 CAPS and 4 GOALS

European Championships: 2 (EURO 2000 AND EURO 2004) 
Best Stage Reached: QUARTER-FINALS 

Tournament Appearances:
Tournament Goals: 1

Former Wanderers assistant manager Johan Mjallby represented Sweden at two European Championships, as well as captaining them at the 2002 World Cup, in an international career that spanned seven years and fell just short of a half-century of caps. 

Equally capable of playing at centre-back or midfield, the 44-year-old made his Sweden debut against Israel in 1997, with the majority of his early appearances coming as a holding midfielder. 

Enjoying the peak of his career with Celtic, Mjallby came to the attention of the Hoops after scoring for Sweden against England on his European Championships debut in their opening Euro 2000 qualifier in September 1998. 

Moving to Celtic Park just two months later, he was on the scoresheet again against Luxembourg the following year and would be an ever-present for Sweden in qualification. 

Qualifying automatically for the summer tournament as group winners ahead of England, Sweden won seven and drew one of their eight games to be drawn in Group B alongside co-hosts Belgium, eventual runners-up Italy and Turkey. 

Opening their Euro 2000 finals campaign against Belgium, Mjallby took advantage of a goalkeeping error to halve the deficit for Sweden after goals either side of half-time had put the co-hosts 2-0 ahead, only for skipper Patrik Andersson’s late red card to end any hopes of a comeback. 


Captaining Sweden in Andersson’s absence as they fought out a 0-0 draw against Turkey in their second match, he was then withdrawn just before the hour-mark as they lost 2-1 to Italy in their final group game to exit the competition after finishing bottom of their group. 

An injury to Andersson saw Mjallby again inherit the armband as Sweden competed in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. 

Completing 90 minutes in all three groups, he put in a man-of-the-match performance against Argentina in Sweden’s final group game as they drew 1-1 to qualify for the knock-out stages alongside England. 

However, the Swedes were knocked by Senegal out in the round-of-16 as Henri Camara’s golden goal in extra-time secured a surprise 2-1 win for the African outfit. 

Taking part in his second European Championships tournament in 2004, Mjallby was an unused squad member as Sweden suffered a quarter-final exit. 

After finishing top of Group C on goals scored ahead of Denmark and Italy, the defender could only watch on from the sidelines as Sweden exited the competition – losing 5-4 on penalties to the Netherlands following a 0-0 draw. 

Leaving Celtic to join La Liga side Levante that summer, Mjallby won his last international cap later that year in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Hungary, before hanging up his boots in 2006 after a brief spell in his homeland with AIK. 

Embarking on a coaching career, he was named as Neil Lennon’s assistant manager in March 2010 at Celtic, before leaving Scotland and later following the Northern Irishman to Bolton Wanderers in October 2014.

Departing Macron Stadium in September 2015, Mjallby returned to his homeland and was handed his first managerial role in February 2016 after being appointed head coach at Swedish third tier side Vasteras SK.

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