Sweden are the record Men’s EHF EURO title holders, having won four trophies during the golden ‘Bengan Boys’ period. Under the leadership of Bengt Johansson, from whom the team took their nickname, Sweden won the EURO in 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2002, as well as two World Championship titles (1990, 1999) and three Olympic silver medals (1992, 1996, 2000).
After they raised the EHF EURO trophy in 2002 however, Sweden have enjoyed only one notable success – the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. At Rio 2016, the Scandinavian team did not proceed past the preliminary round, ranking 11th. They placed fourth at the home World Championship in 2011 and reached the quarter-finals at the 2017 edition in France – their best results since a silver medal in 2001.
At the EHF EURO, their highest ranking after the 2002 title was fifth in 2008. In Poland in 2016, Sweden finished eighth.
Following the disappointing Rio 2016 Olympic campaign, coaches Staffan Olsson and Ola Lindgren stepped down. New coach Kristjan Andresson led the rebuilding team at the World Championship, where they put on an impressive performance despite having the youngest squad in the competition. 20-year-old Jerry Tollbring was named All-star left wing for the tournament.
26 January: Right back Andreas Cederholm (38 internationals/66 goals) replaces Albin Lagergren.
Remaining replacements Sweden: 1 (1 in final round)
The 28-year-old plies his trade for Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the German Bundesliga and is regarded as one of the league’s best goalkeepers. In 2017, following his second national championship title with the Löwen squad, he was named Sweden’s Player of the Year.
Appelgren is the successor of Mattias Andersson in Sweden’s goal and has developed into one of the team’s key players since becoming the nation’s no.1. He started his playing career in Kroppskultur, then moved to IFK Skövde before turning pro at MT Melsungen in Germany. Since 2015 he has been playing for Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
Right wing Niclas Ekberg has scored almost 700 goals for Sweden – more than any other player in the current squad. The left hander plays a crucial role in the team, and was responsible for the last-second penalty goal against Spain in the Olympic Qualification Tournament, which secured Sweden their place at Rio 2016.
29-year-old Ekberg began his career with his local club, Ystads IF, before moving to AG Kobenhavn for two years then joining Champions League side THW Kiel in 2012.
Ekberg’s biggest success with the national team is the silver medal won at the 2012 Olympic Games, where he was the top scorer of the competition with a tally of 50. He received the Swedish Handballer of the Year award in 2015 and was team captain at the World Championship 2017.
Born in Sweden in 1981 to Icelandic parents, Kristjan Andresson became head coach of the national team in September 2016, replacing Ola Lindgren and Staffan Olsson.
Andresson grew up in the city of Eskilstuna, outside of Stockholm, and started his playing career in HK Eskil before switching to Eskilstuna Guif in the top league when he was 19. He played 11 games for Iceland, including the 2004 Olympic Games.
In 2005, Andresson was forced into early retirement due to multiple knee injuries. At the age of 26, in 2007, he became head coach for Eskilstuna Guif. He remained with the club until 2016, reaching the Swedish championship finals twice.
Shortly after he left Eskilstuna Guif, Andresson was appointed as the new head coach for the national team, leading them in a successful World Championship 2017 campaign that finished with a final ranking of sixth.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events