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By On June 19, 2018

How Sweden ended a 60-year drought

  • Sweden’s Class of 2018 marked by mental toughness
  • The team have worked on mental preparation and togetherness
  • Sweden face world champions Germany on Saturday
© Getty Images

By Alexandra Jonson with Sweden

Defeating Korea Republic in their opening match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ saw Sweden overcoming a 60-year drought. The Scandinavians hadn’t won their first match at a World Cup since 1958, when the tournament was held in their own backyard.

Since then, Sweden have qualified for seven World Cups but failed to gain a win in each of their opening matches, with draws in 1974, 1978, 1994, 2002 and 2006. In 1970 and 1990, they lost their first-up encounters.

Though the current crop o f players are playing in their first ever World Cup, many of them have experienced the opening match hoodoo when playing at the UEFA EURO in 2012 and 2016. That the Swedes could finally put an end to the opening-match curse was the result of hard work, combined with a lot of mental training.

Mental preparation
When Janne Andersson took over as head coach for the Swedish national team in 2016 he brought Daniel Ekvall with him, a sports psychology advisor, who worked with Andersson for several years at his previous club IFK Norrkoping. Ekvall has become an important figure in creating what has become the biggest strength of the Swedish team, the group cohesion.

“We have worked a lot with Daniel Ekvall, and learned what is important for us so that we can be as mentally ready as possible. That’s something we will continue to do and the trust we have in this group among the players and the staff makes me believe we are better prepared than in prev ious tournaments,” said captain Andreas Granqvist the day before Sweden’s opening match against Korea Republic.

On Monday, the results could be seen. After overcoming early nerves, Sweden took control and they never looked back.

The mental strength was evident, even as the chances kept on coming but the ball would not go in. A penalty from Granqvist finally saw Sweden get the goal they had been chasing to win the match.

“This is something we have prepared for: we felt at half-time that we should have been one or two goals up, but we showed enough strength to keep working and not stop,” Sebastian Larsson told FIFA after the match.

“It’s about how you relate to each other and in that process the players are very involved, and they have been since I came here,” Andersson said. “We work on this every time we meet, and we discuss how we want it to be: what is important on the pitch, and in what way we should we behave. It’s not that complicated really.”

Next up for Sweden in the group stage: defending champions Germany. There is no doubt that Janne Andersson’s men are the underdogs. However this is not a new situation for the Swedes, who saw off both Italy and the Netherlands in the qualifying stages to make it to Russia. The key, once again, was the mental strength of the team.

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Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

3 die of 6 men wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

The fatal shooting of three men in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, was the latest incident in suburban feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory or honor. Sweden's justice minister called the shootings an "abominable crime."

Police in Malmo said Tuesday that three of the men â€" aged 19, 27 and 29 â€" had died overnight. None of the victims were identified, in line with Swedish practice.

Three others â€" aged 21, 30 and 32 â€" had been injured â€" one seriously, Region Skane, the regional health authority for southern Sweden, said.

"It is an abominable crime and reminds us once again that our main task is to fight organized crime," Sweden's Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish news agency TT.

Malmo police chief Stefan Sinteus told a news conference that the shooting likely was linked to feuding criminal g angs that are fighting over territory and honor, conflicts which have become more common in major Swedish cities in recent years. In Malmo alone, there are three or four gang feuds, Sinteus said.

"Those involved are to be considered as gang-members who are involved in serious organized crime," Sinteus said. "It is unusual that three die in the same incident."

"We didn't see it coming," he added.

Sintenus said there was no motive for the late Monday shooting "but generally speaking" a feud could start over business conflicts, girls or a perceived lack of respect by others.

The men were shot as they left an internet cafe in the southeastern part of the southern Swedish city on Monday evening. Police could not confirm media reports that the shots had been fired from a car and that an automatic weapon had been used.

Police said a dozen shots were fired but no arrests have been made and they are looking for a dark vehicle.

The shots caused screaming among bystanders but police quickly said there was no reason for the public to worry.

Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

Sweden is home to more dollar millionaires than ever

After entering the top 25 countries by number of dollar millionaires in 2017, Sweden has now risen from 25th to 23rd place in the annual World Wealth Report published by tech and outsourcing firm Capgemini Consulting.

"What we're seeing is both that these people's wealth is growing and also that there are more people who have this wealth," said Johan Bergström, the firm's head of finance.

The number of dollar millionaires in Sweden grew from 116,000 people in 2016 to 132,000 last year, and the total wealth of all the Swedes in this category increased by a total of 14 percent.

The report also showed that young people were achieving good results in investments. Almost 38 percent of the dollar millionaires aged under 40 said they were happy with the results of their investments, compared with those over 40, only 17 percent of whom reported the s ame satisfaction.

"One reason might be that people earlier in life focus on creating wealth, and later in life focus more on protecting their wealth," Bergström explained.

Across the globe, the wealth of dollar millionaires grew by around 10.6 percent, with the United States, Japan, Germany and China the four largest markets for millionaires.

FOR MEMBERS: Does Sweden's tax system really screw the rich?

Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

Sweden, After Further Review, Beats South Korea in World Cup

  1. Sweden, After Further Review, Beats South Korea in World Cup New York Times
  2. Sweden gets benefit of video review, beats South Korea 1-0 The Spokesman-Review
  3. Sweden boss Janne Andersson: Ref shouldn't have needed VAR to give penalty ESPN FC
  4. Sweden saved by VAR after struggling without Zlatan Ibrahimovic ESPN (blog)
  5. Full coverage
Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

World Cup predictions: Experts all nail England, Belgium to win on high-scoring Day 5

4:23 PM ET

  • ESPN staff
play
3:01
Hislop: Lukaku's double will do wonders for his confidence

Shaka Hislop gives his verdict on how impressive Romelu Lukaku and Belgium were to dispatch Panama and avoid an early World Cup slip-up.

After a tough Sunday, our experts bounced back in a big way on Monday, with all 10 correctly predicting Belgium and England -- although they left it late -- as winners and five even nailing the exact score of the Belgium match. The results were split on South Korea and Sweden but Ale Moreno, Ed Dove and Manu Martin all had the Swedes for the win, with Moreno and Martin nailing the 1-0 score prediction.

Martin and Dove put up strong scores with 50 points apiece bu t the day belonged to former Venezuela international Ale Moreno, who lit up the scoreboard with 70 points of a possible 90. Moreno was spot-on with the exact scores for Sweden-South Korea (1-0) and Belgium-Panama (3-0) and missed out on the England-Tunisia scoreline (2-1) only due to a converted Carthage Eagle penalty.

Well done, Ale!

Check out how our pundits got on with their predictions for Sunday's games and remember to join the pundits' league in Match Predictor.

We've got our top talent on hand from England, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Australia and Africa -- many of whom will be based out in Russia for the tournament -- to analyse each and every one of the 64 matches.

We'll score our experts just as we do in the Match Predictor -- 10 points for correct result, with a bonus 20 points for getting the scoreline right too. Who will come out on top on Tuesday?

ESPN Experts panel:

E SPN FC: Mark Ogden, Raphael Honigstein, Shaka Hislop, Paul Mariner, Ale Moreno
ESPN Deportes: Mauricio Pedroza, Manu Martin
ESPN Mexico: Javier Trejo Garay, Miguel Pasquel
Kwese, Africa: Ed Dove

Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

Sweden Democrats call for referendum on Swedish EU membership after 2018 election

SD party leader Jimmie Ã…kesson told newspaper Dagens Industri that the EU is a "large web of corruption where no one has control over anything".

The Swedish nationalists want Sweden to follow the UK's example and leave the EU, and promise they will push for a referendum on the matter in the next mandate period.

READ ALSO: Swedish faith in the EU grows according to new poll

"We pay an enormous amount of money and get overwhelmingly little back. But the main reason is ideological: we should not be in an ideological union," Ã…kesson claimed.

Recent polls suggest the Sweden Democrats could be the second largest party in the autumn 2018 general election, but even if the vote plays out as such, they would still have a hard time pushing a referendum through parliament. None of the other bigges t parties in Sweden support holding a vote on Swedish EU membership.

And Swedish support for EU membership actually appears to be growing following the Brexit vote, with a major poll earlier this year showing that 53 percent of Swedes are generally in favour of membership (up from 49 percent in 2016) while the proportion of people generally against it dropped to 18 percent (down from 23 percent) in the same time period.

In the same poll only 17 percent of Swedes said it would be a good idea to leave the EU, while 57 percent said it would be a bad idea.

Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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By On June 19, 2018

2 die of 6 men wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of Sweden's third-largest city, have died, Swedish authorities said Tuesday.

Police in Malmo said two of the men â€" aged 18 and 29 â€" died overnight. Hospital authorities said a third man, in his 30s, also died. None of the victims were identified, in line with Swedish practice.

Three others had been injured â€" one seriously, Region Skane, the regional health authority for southern Sweden, said.

Witnesses told Swedish media that the men were shot as they left an internet cafe in the southeastern part of the southern Swedish city on Monday evening.

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Police said a dozen shots were fired but no arrests have been made and they are looking for a dark vehicle. A police news conference was expected later Tuesday.

Feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory have become more common in major Swedish cities in recent years.

The shots caused bystanders to scream but police quickly said there was no reason for the public to worry.

Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden