Saint Petersburg and Emil Forsberg, that just fits.
“It's a fantastic city and I feel very comfortable here,” says the Swede, who has a special working relationship with the Russian metropolis.
In Saint Petersburg he regularly succeeds in what Forsberg enjoys most: scoring goals.
At the World Cup three years ago, he scored 1-0 against Switzerland in that place in the round of 16. At the European Championship he only scored three points against Slovakia (1-0) and most recently against Poland. At 3-2, Forsberg was the decisive player for the Swedes, he contributed two goals that ultimately secured his selection the surprising victory in the preliminary group E ahead of Spain. He was still in danger, Sweden had frivolously gambled away its lead.
After two goals from Forsberg it was suddenly 2-2.
Robert Lewandowski also scored twice before Viktor Claesson scored the winning goal in stoppage time.
Only very few people thought the Swedes could score three goals.
After the 0-0 win against Spain they were criticized for their destructive approach, against Slovakia (1-0) they only scored from the penalty spot.
And now such an offensive festival.
“Everyone deserves great praise.
The whole team is in a great mood, ”said Forsberg.
"He makes the difference for us"
The 29-year-old attacker is of course in a particularly good mood himself when he has scored. Forsberg beamed into all the cameras after the game, he looked happy and relaxed. In the national team he is developing more and more into a leader. The position was vacant recently, at the European Championships it was supposed to be filled by returnees Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he had to forego the tournament for health reasons. For Forsberg the opportunity to play itself in the foreground.
"He makes the difference for us," says coach Janne Andersson of his striker. In the club, at RB Leipzig, he succeeded less and less, especially in the second half of the season. Although Forsberg was regularly used under coach Julian Nagelsmann, he was often substituted on or off. He didn't get the rhythm he wanted. He would have liked to have been on the pitch longer, especially in the important games. Sometimes it gave the impression that Nagelsmann didn't trust him one hundred percent. It is exactly what the sensitive Forsberg needs. Total trust.
He finds out about this in the national team and pays it back with important goals. Coach Andersson has a good feel for Forsberg's needs, who has more freedom as a striker in Sweden than in Nagelsmann's close-knit concept, where processes and whereabouts are more strictly regulated. Forsberg sees himself as an artist, and artists just love their independence.
It's a special summer for Forsberg. For the first time in several years, there should be no speculation about a club change. In May he extended his contract with RB Leipzig until June 2025. A clear indication that he looks forward to working with the new coach Jesse Marsch. When the contract expires, he would be 33 years old, then a return to Sweden would be possible. But there is still time for the son of a footballer family. Grandpa and father were once professionals, just like his wife Shanga, who has since ended her career.
Before Forsberg does that in a few years, he would like to continue surprising with Sweden. The chances are good. In the round of 16 it is against Ukraine, a manageable task. At the World Cup, the Swedes had reached the round of eight, but failed there because of England. Now there could be revenge in the quarter-finals. But before that, the game against Ukraine is on this Tuesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ARD and on MagentaTV). That takes place in Glasgow. And not in Saint Petersburg. To Emil Forsberg's chagrin.Keywords: