I hope you are all coping well with staying at home, hopefully you aren’t getting too bored!
Today’s XI is comprised of players from Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands).
None of these countries have ever won a World Cup, with Denmark being the only country to have won a major international tournament (1992 European Championship). Sweden were World Cup runners up in 1958, but since then silverware has been pretty scarce in Northern Europe.
So what if the Scandinavian countries joined forces and played under one flag, what would the team look like?
I’ll show you!
GOALKEEPER- Kasper Schmeichel 🇩🇰
Scandinavia is home to an array of goalkeeping talent, but this was a fairly easy decision to make, Kasper Schmeichel is one of the best keepers in the Premier League.
Since joining Leicester city in 2011, he has made 368 appearances for the Foxes. He was at the forefront of one of the most famous club sides in history when they won the Premier League in 2016, despite the fact that they were 5000-1 to win the title.
Schmeichel has won the Danish footballer of the year on two occasions, and was the named the 3rd best goalkeeper in the world in 2018. He was an obvious choice for the number one jersey.
RIGHT BACK- Emil Krafth🇸🇪
Krafth hasn’t exactly set the world alight since being at Newcastle, and if I’m honest, it was tough to find full backs for this XI.
The Swede has had a decent career at some middling clubs across Europe, and he has been a regular for Sweden ever since his debut in 2014. He is a consistent performer who is a good fit for Newcastle and hopefully he will prove me right with his future performances.
He played 35 times for Amiens last season in Ligue 1, but he led them to an unspectacular 15th placed finish. Before Amiens he was in Serie A with Bologna for four seasons, making 42 appearances.
LEFT BACK- Ludwig Augustinsson 🇸🇪
Another Swedish full back, Augustinsson is currently playing in Germany with Werder Bremen. Last season he played in every single Bundesliga game for Die Werderaner, which shows his importance to his side.
He played every game in the U21 European Championships in 2015 as Sweden won the tournament. At just 25 years of age he still hasn’t reached his peak and he could certainly find himself at a bigger club soon enough.
He often plays in the wing back role, and much like yesterday’s left back choice (Leighton Baines) he often takes set pieces. He is one to look out for.
CENTRE BACK- Simon Kjær🇩🇰
It was a two way shoot out for this centre back slot, and I had to go with the Denmark captain, Simon Kjær. The other option was Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic, but while he has great potential, Kjær takes it on current ability.
The AC Milan man is a calm and composed defender, who has had spells in Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1. The 31 year old has never won a major trophy, but he is widely regarded as a good consistent presence at the back.
He is just five appearances shy of 100 for the Danes, and he will certainly be adding to that in the near future. He keeps Ajer our for the time being.
CENTRE BACK- Victor Lindelöf🇸🇪
I have been really impressed with Lindelöf in the last 18 months, and he just shows why patience is so important when players join a new league.
The Swede is currently part of one of the best defences in the Premier League, and he is an excellent partner for Harry Maguire in Man United’s back line. He cost the Red Devils €35 Million in 2017 and so far I would say he has been worth it.
The hopes of my defence pretty much rest on Lindelöf’s shoulders as the 25 year old is by the far the best of my back four.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Sander Berge 🇳🇴
Our first Norwegian is one of their impressive upcoming talents. Berge has just moved to Sheffield United and he has looked excellent in his first four games for the Blades.
Berge is 22 and because of his height (6 foot 5) he is able to dominate the midfield. After impressing for Genk, he was linked with plenty of big clubs in Europe. He is not just a big presence, his ability to run a game and read the game makes him a complete midfielder.
The Sheffield United fans are extremely excited about his future and I’m sure he will stamp his authority on the Premier League when we resume!
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Emil Forsberg🇸🇪
RB Leipzig are battling right at the top of the Bundesliga, and Emil Forsberg is a big part of the way they play. Their fast, intricate, attacking style of play relies on midfielders possessing excellent technical ability and natural fitness, Forsberg ticks those boxes.
He is one of Sweden’s most gifted players and he has been named as the best Swedish midfielder three times since 2016. He was part of the team that made it to the World Cup quarter finals in 2018.
His best season to date was the 2016/17 season, where he was the leading assist maker in the Bundesliga. At 28, he is at his peak, so he was a must for this XI.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Christian Eriksen 🇩🇰
The former Tottenham midfielder is undoubtedly the best Danish footballer of his generation, and a shoe in for this XI.
I would put him down as being in the top 10 players in the Premier League over the last five years. He was so so important for the Spurs side that came close (not that close) to winning the title.
He is now at Inter Milan, and while he has struggled to start games, his quality is still plain to see. Once the Serie A resumes, I expect to see him making a huge impact on the league, and keeping the Nerazzurri in the title hunt.
LEFT WING- Josh King 🇳🇴
Choosing how to put together my front line was by far the hardest decision of this XI. But I have opted for the Bournemouth man to form the first part of my front three.
I think King is somewhat underrated, considering how highly rated his strike partner Callum Wilson is. He has scored 46 Premier League goals since joining the Cherries in 2015, with his best haul of 16 goals coming in the 16/17 season.
He is quick and good in front of goal, his versatility is also key to him being a key member of Bournemouth’s attack as he can play through the middle or out wide. He has missed just over 20 games in the Premier League since 15/16, so his reliability is clear to see.
RIGHT WING- Martin Ødegaard 🇳🇴
Ødegaard was one of the most hyped up wonder kids in football history, and for that reason he was always going to be a flop at Real Madrid. He is of course still officially a Real Madrid player, and I am sure he will be successful for them in the future.
Loan spells have helped rebuild Ødegaard’s reputation, first with Heerenveen, and then Vitesse and Real Sociedad. This season he has been excellent for The white and blues. He has scored seven goals in all competitions this season, but it is his creativity that has made him an extremely important player for them.
Ødegaard is destined for stardom, and I firmly believe that he will be at a huge European Club very soon. Able to play out wide or through the middle, he is another versatile player who would be great in this side.
STRIKER- Erling Braut Håland 🇳🇴
There was only really going to be one man in this striker spot wasn’t there. Håland is an unbelievable goal scorer, and he is only nineteen, NINETEEN.
The Norwegian has 61 career goals to his name, with ten of those coming in the Champions League. He looks as if he was made in a lab somewhere as a science experiment to see if they could create a perfect striker. Tall, strong, quick and lethal in front of goal, it looks as if they have done just that.
Since his move to Dortmund, he has scored nine goals in eight Bundesliga appearances, and the fact that he has hit the ground running like this just shows the kind of talent we are looking at. He is probably a little too young to take the captaincy for this XI, but his ability may get him the gig.
WORTH A MENTION: Teemu Pukki, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luka Hradecky and Alexander Isak.
That’s all for today!
I hope you enjoyed reading my Scandinavian XI, unfortunately I couldn’t pick any Finnish, Icelandic or Faroese players but they haven’t got any players good enough yet.
See you tomorrow!