LINUS LINDAHL / AIPS* in DUBAI: Sweden did not waste much time feeling sorry for themselves after losing 3-0 to Nigeria in the semi-final in Dubai of the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.

They still have medals in sight and the support from a former Sweden star.

Captain Elias Andersson was one of the first players who, at the final whistle, went to congratulate the Nigerians. He was sad but not tearful.

”No, I am a tough guy,” said Andersson. “Now we have to look forward to the bronze match, try to beat Argentina and go home with a medal. We will try to forget this soon so we can start to watch how we will play against Argentina.”

Watching in the stands were Argentinian icon Diego Maradona and former Sweden international Christian Wilhelmsson who plays now for Baniyas in UAE.


He was impressed with both teams and thought some of the Swedish player have a bright future.

Wilhelmsson said: “I think there were some interesting players with a lot of potential. The captain Andersson was really good and Gustav Engvall. The team should be very proud with what they have accomplished so far.”

Valmir Berisha, Sweden’s top scorer, went without a goal this time.

He said: “I am happy and dissapointed at the same time. I am disapointed because we lost 3-0 but I am happy because he are a fantastic group and that we have come this far.”

He also wished Nigeria the best of luck in the final against Mexico, saying: ”I think, and hope, they win.”


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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