Sweden: Player Profiles

FIFA WWC Sweden: Player Profiles

Pulse Sports Team 16:18 - 22.06.2023

Get to know every member of the Sweden squad to the Women's World Cup this summer.


Name: Zecira Musovic

Date of Birth: 26 May 1996

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Chelsea

Profile: Still a backup to Ann-Katrin Berger at Chelsea but has developed immensely since joining the west London club in 2021 and could be Sweden’s No 1 at the World Cup. The only one of four children in her family to be born in Sweden – her family come from the Serb town Prijepolje, near the border with Bosnia, but fled before she was born to avoid the Bosnian war. Musovic wanted to focus on table tennis before falling in love with football. She started as an outfield player but made her senior debut at the age of 13 for Stattena IF. Signed her first professional contract with Rosengård in 2015 – there she played with Amanda Ilestedt whom she happens to share an Instagram account with called “vardagmedoss”, where they share behind the scenes footage when they are together. Happy to try anything, from making sourdough bread to painting.

Name: Jennifer Falk

Date of Birth: 26 April 1993

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Häcken

Profile: A hugely respected goalkeeper who is fighting to be No 1 with Zecira Musovic. Admitted in an interview this year that she had “felt pressure” to move abroad but that, after a long period of reflection, she decided to stay in the Gothenburg area. “The feeling that I should or must move abroad has been stressful,” she told Göteborgs-Posten. Recently became a mother and says England would be her preferred option if it came to it, though her partner would prefer Barcelona “so that she could play more padel”. Described as the joint-funniest player on the team alongside Rebecka Blomqvist, is good at DIY and has renovated a whole house with her partner for the past couple of years.

Profile: A hugely respected goalkeeper who is fighting to be No 1 with Zecira Musovic. Admitted in an interview this year that she had “felt pressure” to move abroad but that, after a long period of reflection, she decided to stay in the Gothenburg area. “The feeling that I should or must move abroad has been stressful,” she told Göteborgs-Posten. Recently became a mother and says England would be her preferred option if it came to it, though her partner would prefer Barcelona “so that she could play more padel”. Described as the joint-funniest player on the team alongside Rebecka Blomqvist, is good at DIY and has renovated a whole house with her partner for the past couple of years.

Name: Tove Enblom

Date of Birth: 20 November 1994

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: KIF Örebro

Profile: Has played for four different clubs in Sweden but was relegated with two of them. Currently with KIF Örebro, she was picked ahead of veteran Hedvig Lindahl to be the third-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup. Captain at club level, she received her first call-up for the national team at the age of 28 in January and impressed the national coach, Peter Gerhardsson, in training although she has yet to play a game for Sweden at the time of writing.


Name: Jonna Andersson

Date of Birth: 2 January 1993

Position: Defender

Club: Hammarby

Profile: Back in Sweden with title-chasing – and domestic cup-winning – Hammarby and said at the squad announcement that the quality of the league is good enough to provide eight players for the travelling party. Spent four years at Chelsea, winning four WSL titles. The defender grew up in Mjölby, a small town with a population of a little over 10,000. The left back has said that she never dreamed of being a professional footballer, “I think that’s because I never dared or let myself think about being a professional”, she said in an interview with Vavel.

Name: Nathalie Björn

Date of Birth: 4 May 1997 

Position: Defender

Club: Everton

Profile:  An incredibly versatile player that has been picked as a defender this time around, where she can play centrally or at right-back, but she can also operate in midfield with great effect. Was incredibly consistent for Everton and one of their leaders during the 2022-23 season. Joined Everton from Rosengård in 2021 but admitted she struggled to understand the local accent to begin with. “It has been tough, I didn’t understand a word they said”, she told SVT. “I was sitting with two Liverpool players every lunch during corona and they suddenly asked me a question and I just said ‘what?’” Has known international teammate Filippa Angeldal since they were five. “We talked about going on to play for the national team already when we were kids,” she told Aftonbladet.

Name: Magdalena Eriksson

Date of Birth: 8 September 1993

Position: Defender

Club: Bayern Munich

Profile: Left Chelsea this summer after six hugely successful years at the club, joining Bayern Munich together with partner Pernille Harder. “Dear Chelsea family,” she wrote in an open letter. “It’s with a heavy heart I announce that my journey as a Blue will come to an end. I see myself as extremely privileged to have played a part in this great club's history.” Eriksson recovered from a loss of form early in the 22-23 season to once again be integral to Emma Hayes’ team as they won the double again and gave Barcelona a run for their money in the Champions League semi-final. At the World Cup in 2019 a picture of her and Harder kissing went viral and overnight Eriksson had gotten over 20, 000 new followers on Instagram. “I knew we were famous, but I never understood how big of an impact we could make until that picture was taken”, she told the Guardian.

Name: Linda Sembrant

Date of Birth: 15 May 1987

Position: Centre-back

Club: Juventus

Profile: The centre-back is 36 now but still an important and respected player for the squad. Born in Uppsala she played in Sweden until 2014, when she joined Montpellier, and has been with Juventus since 2019, winning three Serie A titles and recently completing a 100 games for the Italian club. She he has torn her ACL twice - the latest time just before the Olympic Games in Tokyo two years ago. “It was like a knife stabbing your heart”, she told Footbollskanalen. A few months ago she broke her nose and had to play with a mask. “It hurt a lot and I could feel it sticking out the wrong way,” she said upon her return. She has won more than 130 caps and scores the odd important goal too, such as the one in stoppage time against Belgium in the Euro 2022 quarter-final.

Name: Amanda Ilestedt

Date of Birth: 17 January 1993

 Position: Central defender

Club:  Paris Saint-Germain

Profile: Says she has developed a lot since joining PSG two years ago. “When you are up against players such as Kadi (Diani), Marie (Katoto), Lieke (Martens) och Ramona (Bachmann) every day in training it is a pretty good environment,” she told Aftonbladet. “You have to work on being on your toes and think one step ahead and read the game a bit earlier.” Ilestedt comes from an ice hockey family and growing up she played that sport as well as handball before choosing to focus on football at the age of around 12-13. She was part of the Sweden team who finished second at the Tokyo Olympics but, remarkably, she is not the only one with an Olympic medal in her extended family with cousin Oliver Ekman Larsson also winning silver with “Tre Kronor”, at the 2014 Games.

Name: Hanna Lundkvist

Date of Birth: 17 July 2002 (20)

Position: Right back

Club: Atlético Madrid

Profile: The young right-back grew up on the island Djurö in the Stockholm archipelago and, after spells at AIK and Hammarby, joined Spanish giants Atlético Madrid in 2021. Life away from friends and family, however, was extremely tough. “It was like someone had hit me in the face,” she told Aftonbladet. “But I have got tougher mentally and believe in myself more now.” The first trophy, the Spanish Cup, has followed and she impressed on her debut for Sweden in February, Barcelona’s Fridolina Rolfö saying: ”I am really impressed, she should be incredibly proud of what she has done.” Fun fact: Lundkvist is able to juggle three footballs with her hands.

Name: Anna Sandberg

Date of Birth: 23 May 2003

Position: Left back

Club: BK Häcken

Profile: One of the younger players in the World Cup, Sandberg plays with a lot of energy and likes to push forward on the left-hand side. She was schooled as a midfielder and once told Fotbollskanalen: ”I never thought I’d be a left back as I’ve always been a very attacking player, but I like it. It’s fun”. Has already shown she is able to deal with pressure after Häcken bought her for a record Damallsvenskan fee from KIF Örebro in 2022. She has impressed since then, proving in the Champions League qualifiers against PSG that she belongs at the highest level and made her Sweden debut against China. She likes to sing but, according to teammate Hanna Lundkvist, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she is any good at it.


Name: Caroline Seger

Date of Birth: 19 March 1985

Position: Midfielder

Club: Rosengård

Profile: For a long time it looked as if last year’s Euros would be Seger’s final major tournament but when the Swedish World Cup squad was announced in June she was still there. Now 38 years and with 235 caps – a record in Sweden – she had battled hard to recover from a foot injury to make it. “It is extra special to be included after everything that has happened. Bloody hell I have worked hard to get here,” she told Sydsvenkan. She is a remarkable player with a remarkable career. At high school Seger was in the same class as Andreas Granqvist. They both later captained Sweden's national team, Granqvist the men and Seger the women. She always seems to have time on the ball and always seems to make the right decisions.

Name: Filippa Angeldal

Date of Birth: 14 July 1997

Position: Midfielder

Club: Manchester City

Profile: Having played for Sirius, AIK, Hammarby, Linköping and Häcken, she had her international breakthrough at the Tokyo Olympics, where she was the only Swede who started every game. Clubs from around Europe wanted to sign her and in the end she opted for Manchester City, joining the WSL club in September 2021. It has not always been plain sailing but in recent months she has been given more and more opportunities by Gareth Taylor and City triggered a one-year extension to her contract in June. Met another future Sweden international, Nathalie Björn, at the age of five and they became best friends. They were playing for Vaksala SK at the time where Angeldal’s dad, Christer, coached them. They went on to win the Swedish youth tournament Gothia Cup as well as the Under-19 Euros in 2015 together.

Name: Hanna Bennison

Date of Birth: 16 October 2002

Position: Midfielder

Club: Everton

Profile: Bennison’s rapid rise has stalled somewhat at Everton, where perhaps more was expected of her in her second season at the club. However, she has always been able to adapt and learn and was an obvious choice for the World Cup squad. In 2021 when Sweden were preparing to face Australia Bennison left the training camp for her high school graduation, “I value the national team extremely highly but you only graduate once,” she told Aftonbladet. The national team coach, Peter Gerhardsson, backed the decision. “I hope she has as much fun as I did,” he said. When asked how she keeps her hair so perfect during games she said: ”Loads and loads of hairspray.”

Name: Elin Rubensson

Date of Birth: 11 May 1993

Position: Midfielder

Club: Häcken

Profile: Has turned 30 now but is playing as well as ever and has been selected for the World Cup in midfield, despite a brief spell at right-back for club and country. In 2020, during the pandemic and with a postponed Olympics, Rubensson and her husband Filip, started trying for a child and at the end of the year Frans arrived. Wonderful news for the couple, of course, but it has also led to a change in maternity police from her club, Häcken. For some time of her pregnancy Rubensson was paid as little as 10% of her salary but in March 2022 the club announced a new policy that meant players would receive 100% of their salaries for six months before the birth and six months after it. Rubensson’s sister, Cajsa, is 11 years younger but also plays in Damallsvenskan, for Rosengård. They hope to one day play together.

Name: Kosovare Asllani

Date of Birth: 29 July 1989

Position: Midfielder / forward

Club: Milan

Profile: One of Sweden’s all-time greats, Asllani has struggled with injuries for the last few seasons, to such an extent she broke down in tears during a press conference in April when asked about it. She returned to the podium and said: “I think it is a build-up frustration. I mean this game is a friendly, why do I care so much? But I guess it is because you just want to play so much. Play without pain.” Sweden are a different team with Asllani in it, that’s for sure and she has played in six countries now (Sweden, United States, France, England, Spain and Italy) and has amassed more than 150 caps. When CD Tacón became Real Madrid in 2020, Asllani was their first galáctica signing. In 2015 she starred in the children’s book ”Pass the ball! Shouts Kosse” written by Anja Gatu. Born in Kristianstad to Kosovar parents, she has a tattoo of a double-headed eagle on her ankle.

Name: Lina Hurtig

Date of Birth: 5 September 1995

Position: Left winger / forward

Club: Arsenal

Profile: Has had an injury-hit first season at Arsenal after joining from Juventus last summer, but when fit she is an asset to any team. Preferring to play off the left-wing, she can also play centrally and is a real aerial threat. The Sweden coach, Peter Gerhardsson, admitted after last year’s Euros that he wished he could have played Hurtig more and regretted not being able to get the team to play to her strengths. Maybe he will find a way in Australia and New Zealand. She has won the Swedish league and the Italian league twice and is one of three mums in the squad.

Name: Sofia Jakobsson

Date of Birth: 23 April 1990

Position: Forward / right winger

Club: San Diego Wave FC

Profile: The indefatigable winger has been with San Diego Wave since January 2022 and has settled well in the US, but then she is an experienced traveller. She signed for the NWSL team  after ending her three-year contract with Bayern Munich after only six months. “It did not turn out to be exactly what I had hoped for when I signed for Bayern. I did not play as much as I would have liked to,” she told SVT. She has had spells in France, Russia (“I did learn a bit of Russian but it is gone now,” she says), Germany, England and Spain. Made her Sweden debut in 2011 and is closing in on 150 caps now. When asked what her hidden talent might be, she said acting.

Name: Olivia Schough

Date of Birth: 11 March 1991

Position: Winger

Club: FC Rosengård

Profile: An experienced forward who, according to herself, had her best ever season in 2022, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists as Rosengård won the Swedish league. It was her first Damallsvenskan win despite coming close many times in a long and impressive career. She is an understated but smart player who is likely to be used from the bench at the World Cup. In 2015 she opened up on losing her mum to cancer six years previously and revealed that she too is carrying the same gene. “They have recommended I remove my breasts and my uterus but I am not going to do something that drastic now,” she told Eskilstuna-Kuriren. She has regular check-ups and is a proud ambassador of Cancerfonden, a Swedish organisation providing financial support to, primarily, research “to beat cancer”.

Name: Stina Blackstenius

Date of Birth: 5 February 1996

Position: Striker / forward

Club: Arsenal

Profile: Has had a topsy-turvy time at Arsenal since joining in 2022 and the pressure increased at the start of the year when there were persistent reports that the Gunners wanted to involve her in a swap deal to lure Alessia Russo to London. It did not happen and Blackstenius knuckled down, and worked hard in the absence of long-term absentees Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedama and, by the end of the season, had managed to convince most doubters. But, remarkably, without McDonald’s help, Blackstenius may not have been a footballer. One of her early coaches admitted taking her to McDonald’s so she would join the district team. “We had to bribe her because she never understood how good she was, so we did it as a fun thing,” the coach told GP. Growing up she played both football and handball but chose the former whereas her sister, Nina Koppang, went the other way and has represented Sweden in handball.

Name: Fridolina Rolfö

Date of Birth: 24 November 1993 (29)

Position: Forward / right winger / left winger

Club: FC Barcelona

Profile: Rolfö has become one of Sweden’s all-time greats, and she still has many years left in her career. A key player for Barcelona, she mainly plays as an attacking left-back there, but up front for Sweden, an insight to her versatility as a footballer. Has been in outstanding form this season and was rewarded with her first Champions League triumph, having been a losing finalist twice. Growing up she dreamed of playing on the biggest stage and was inspired to play football by her sisters. According to Sofia Jakobsson she has the most powerful shot in the squad and Hanna Glas says Rolfö is the most stylish player in the squad. “She is a little different and she can wear clothes that stand out,” Glas told Aftonbladet.

Name: Madelen Janogy

Date of Birth: 12 November 1995 (27)

Position: Forward

Club: Hammarby

Profile: Named after the Swedish princess, Janogy became the first player with African heritage to play for the national team when she made her debut in 2019. She moved to Wolfsburg the same year but announced that she was taking a break from football in 2020 because of mental health problems. She moved back to Sweden and joined Piteå a few months later. “I think me being open is also me trying to help others in the same situation,” she told Expressen. “I wouldn’t have been able to handle it without help. I wasn’t feeling bad during training but the evenings, they were a nightmare.” She is now back at her best with Hammarby, who won the Swedish Cup recently, and was part of the Sweden team that finished second at the Tokyo Olympics.

Name: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd

Date of Birth: 12 February 1997

Position: Right winger

Club: Chelsea

Profile: The quick and skilful winger has not managed to become a regular starter at Chelsea since her move there from Häcken but Emma Hayes has said she believes in her and playing a part in the club winning the double is not a bad start. Rytting Kaneryd certainly seemed to enjoy it, judging by the clips of her dancing to celebrate the trophies that went viral. In 2020 she had joined champions Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC only for the club to fold a week later. They then became Häcken. “It felt very weird and it was a couple of tough days but as soon as the solution with Häcken came about I had a good feeling”, she told Stadium.se.

Name: Rebecka Blomqvist

Date of Birth: 24 July 1997

Position: Forward/striker

Club: Wolfsburg

Profile: Has struggled for playing time at Wolfsburg, understandable given the competition at the German club but said in April that she is still highly motivated, going into every training session and match giving her all. Scored three goals in 30 minutes in a league game against Werder Bremen this spring having come on as a substitute. “Rössö” is the name of her first club – and now also the nickname of the Wolfsburg forward, given to her by her former teammate Lisa Ek. In 2019, at the age of 22, her life was put on hold as the doctors had found a cyst on one of her ovaries. After surgery and tests she was told that it was cancer. “Every third person gets cancer but for some reason I didn’t think it would happen to me,” she told Bohuslänningen. “Suddenly life is all there is. You can’t explain it. The most difficult thing is not knowing. It is the disease that decides.” She returned within a year and tests have been clear since then.