A country of esteemed beauty and of tremendous sporting caliber that has truly been reflected in the wide plethora of athletes to ever don the prestigious colors of Sweden. These are the all-time greatest athletes to ever represent Sweden from a number of the world’s most distinguished sports.
The All – Time Greatest Athletes to Ever Represent Sweden
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Football/Soccer
Arguably the most notable Swedish athlete to a number of sporting audiences from across the world is the towering striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has remained as one of the most renowned stars in the world’s most popular sport.
Ibrahimovic has represented some of the world’s most acclaimed footballing teams including Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester United, PSG and LA Galaxy to name a few and claimed a number of incredible accolades throughout his illustrious career.
He is also the all-time leading scorer for the Swedish national team and scored what may claim to be one of the greatest goals ever witnessed in world football with his overhead kick volley against England back in 2012.
Even at the age of 40, Ibrahimovic is still going strong in his third stint with AC Milan as the ‘Rossoneri’ look to remain as likely challengers in the current bet odds for this season’s Serie A title.
Björn Borg – Tennis
A name that is forever logged into the history books for his impeccable dominance over the tennis scene during the late 1970s and early 1980s, there is no question Borg deserves to be on this list.
Borg famously won six French Opens and five titles at Wimbledon during his heyday of sheer dominance marking the Swede as one of the most successful and most legendary tennis players to ever lived and aniconic name within Swedish sports folklore following his efforts at all major tennis tournaments.
Ingemar Johansson – Boxing
A global icon during the 1950s and early 1960s, Johansson became a major figure in the heavyweight boxing division after claiming numerous championship belts across his storied career.
His most famous victory came in 1959 where he defeated Floyd Patterson for the WBA (then called NBA), NYSAC and The Ring magazine heavyweight crowns, with Patterson winning the belts back soon after in a rematch and then defeating Johansson in a third fight in 1961.
Finishing his career with a winning record of 26 wins (17 by way of knockout) and two losses in the aforenoted Patterson fight, Johansson arguably remains as the greatest Swede to ever compete in combat sports.
Alexander Gustafsson – MMA
From one incredibly talented fighter to another, Alexander Gustafsson is a currently active fighter signed with the biggest MMA promotion, the UFC.
After a near decade of competing in the UFC, Gustafsson has delighted fans with his incredible durability and fighting ability which has since treated spectators to some of the greatest fights in the promotions history.
Gustafsson’s legendary encounter with Jon Jones in 2013 remains as one of the all-time favorite brawls amongst fans which has since earned a passage into the UFCs Hall of Fame.
The Mauler has also tangled with the likes of current Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz, Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira and Fabricio Werdum in his most recent fight back in July 2020.
While Gustafsson has never been able to lift a UFC Championship belt, he remains a cult favorite amongst fans of the sport who remain eager to await his potential return to the Octagon.
Börje Salming – Ice Hockey
After a few brief seasons in the Swedish hockey divisions, Salming would declare for the 1973 NHL Draft, but ultimately go undrafted yet would soon be signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In Ontario, Salming became a nine-time NHL All-Star and was named to numerous All-NHL first and second teams as the Swede established himself as one of the league’s premier defenders throughout his tenure in the league.
He has since been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and named to the Maple Leaf’s ‘Legend Row’ where he has been commemorated with a bronze statue to honor the legacy he left behind for any future European hockey players.
Annika Sörenstam – Golf
Finally, we have one of the greatest female golfers to ever partake in the sport with Annika Sörenstam being one of the game’s most elite names.
With 10 major championships, including three US Women Open tournament victories and 89 worldwide tournament wins, Annika Sörenstam has long been considered to be the figurehead for women’s golfing competitions marking her as the most successful Swedish golf player to ever live.
She is now proudly inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame with her legacy forever cemented and further inspired by a number of future female golfers, who are looking to also become a mainstream name amongst fans of the long withstanding sport.
Sweden as a country, has certainly not been shy of talent over the past number of decades when it comes to establishing a new high-profile sporting athlete across a range of different sports.
With the sporting industry further garnishing a greater interest and reputation across a worldwide scale, it is only a matter of time before another major name from Sweden becomes a household name in the growinghotbed for a variety of sublime sporting talent.
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