As his side prepare to go home,
Sweden coach Erik Hamren said his players had proved they were
"winners" after finally notching some points with a 2-0 victory
over France in their final Euro 2012 Group D match on Tuesday.
"My philosophy as a coach is that if you behave like a
winner, you're going to be a winner. Sometimes it takes time
because of the circumstances, but you're going to be a winner,"
he told a news conference.
"For me the players have been winners, even when we lost."
With no chance of qualifying for the last eight following
defeats by Ukraine and England, the Swedes came out determined
to show that they had deserved their place in the competition.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a stunning scissor-kick to put the
Swedes ahead early in the second half and Sebastian Larsson
scored a late second to stun the French, who limped through to
the quarter-finals behind group winners England.
"The difference today from the two games against England
and Ukraine was that the margins were more on our side
defensively," Hamren added.
"France had some good chances, the difference today
compared to England and Ukraine was that France didn't score
from those chances they had.
"I'm glad that we won this match and I'm proud of the
players, but it hurts too."
The coach introduced Christian Wilhelmsson at halftime and
the winger had an immediate effect on the game with his electric
pace and trickery, leaving many to wonder why he had not
"You always think about that - could I do something else,
would it have been better with someone else?" said Hamren,
adding that he was still considering the best way to use
Wilhelmsson for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
"You never know if it's going to be better, but of course
I've been thinking about that and I'm going to think about it
the whole summer."
Captain Ibrahimovic was given the man of the match award.
"The prize is not just for me, it's for the whole team. They
give me the freedom to play the way I can play, without them I
can't do anything," he said.
"Today we had a nice ending, we said this morning we wanted
to finish in a good way. We have had a lot of supporters here
and we wanted to do it for them."
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